MALAYSIAN Chinese Association (MCA) president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has a Herculean task leading the party into the general election (GE). He speaks candidly to The Malay Mail's (TMM) Terence Fernandez and Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani on internal politics, racial politics as well as his predecessor in the first of a two-part interview. calling for IMalaysia and all that.
Dr Chua: I am not playing racial politics. I am just trying to tell you that we should get out of this racial pigeon hole but having said that, I have to admit that it is not easy. You see, we raised about RM17 million last year and we have given out until now about RM7.6 million. About 1,200 people of all races have benefitted from this of which 25% are Indians.
The 1MCA education loan which was started by me is for all races but I have to admit that I see more and more Indians coming here. I have got no problem with that. This is because half of the Indian voters
are in MCA constituencies.
TMM: You said there has been a significant change in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration since 2008.
Dr Chua: I would say to be fair to (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd) Najib (Razak), he really takes the trouble and the initiative to reach out to all communities. And I would say he is the most hardworking prime minister this country has ever had.
TMM: How hard has it been for you in rebranding MCA since becoming president in 2010?
Dr Chua: It has been a very difficult job knowing that this is war time and the war zone is entirely different now. The war zone has more youth, younger people and higher expectations. Now with the advent of information technology, people are no more dependent on traditional media and you are dealing with Pakatan Rakyat which in my debate with Lim Guan Eng (Penang Chief Min
ister), I said they should be
TMM: Some would accuse you of playing racial politics when other leaders have been
TMM: So you see 2008 had to happen for BN and Umno to actually start listening?
Dr Chua: To be fair, the 2008 political tsunami was a signal that the BN must change. Not just Umno. Everybody got to change including MCA, Gerakan and Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC).
TMM: You said BN has been unable to respond effectively? Why is that?
Dr Chua: Because we are used to it, complacency sets in. given an Oscar for their ability to spin, ability to package, ability to create false impressions and the ability to give false hopes. They win hands down on this...and finally the ability to create issues beyond what you can imagine and MCA and the rest of the component parties have been unable to respond effectively to all these issues created.
TMM: Not that there is truth to what they are saying?
Dr Chua: I wouldn't say that there is no truth but it is spun and has assumed gigantic proportions. Lynas is now spun like it is a nuclear plant when you know it is not a nuclear plant. Agreed? The National Feedlot Corp is wrong but it is not true to say that the condominiums were bought to rear cows but in the minds of the people, they thought the condominium was used to rear cows!
Resource: Malaysian Reserve, Page: 2
Date: Wednesday, 8 August 2012