MCA President blames PERKASA for loss of Chinese Support

by Clara Chooi

The MCA has blamed “organisations like Perkasa” for Barisan Nasional’s failure in recapturing Chinese support, especially in the recent Hulu Selangor by-election.

In a press statement today, party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (picture) condemned Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s statement urging the government not to fulfil its pledges of development to the Chinese community.

“I wish to condemn in the strongest terms the statement by the PERKASA chief for asking the government to delay the development allocations to the Chinese community.

“I wish to stress that government money belongs to the people. It should be used for the local community for local development,” Dr Chua said.

In Sunday’s polls, BN’s P. Kamalanathan secured a 1,725-vote majority win over PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim but failed to recapture votes from the Chinese community. The BN only secured fewer than 30 per cent of the Chinese votes, down from the 35 per cent it had garnered during Election 2008.

Ibrahim, the Pasir Mas MP, had capitalised on this and had called the Chinese community “ungrateful.” He urged the BN government not to fulfil its promises to them.

Ibrahim had also called on the government to ignore demands made by the MCA and Gerakan as punishment for their failure to attract Chinese voters.

Dr Chua said that the Chinese voters of Hulu Selangor should not be punished for their failure to choose the BN in the election.

The MCA president noted that he had already discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the latter had given an assurance that he would not take heed of Ibrahim’s demands.

“Najib has given his assurance that the BN will fulfil its pledges of development to the voters of Hulu Selangor. The BN does not renege on its promises,” he claimed.

Dr Chua lambasted Ibrahim for his statement and said that it was organisations like PERKASA that made it difficult for the MCA to get Chinese support for the BN.“Malaysia will not be able to progress if we continue to have people like Ibrahim Ali who professes to champion along racial lines with disregard to the sensitivity of other communities in the country,” he said.

He added that all politicians should be reminded not to utter remarks that touch on the fabric of culture, religion and race for such actions were contrary to the prime minister’s 1 Malaysia platform.

This is the second time the MCA has been at loggerheads with the Malay rights group, which has the backing of many UMNO members and some of its leaders.

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, Dr Chua said: “Who is PERKASA anyway? They are just an NGO.” He also blamed the negative campaigning employed by some of the more right-wing members of UMNO, many of them PERKASA supporters, for the loss of Chinese support for BN.

Dr Chua claimed that Zaid had only gained further popularity with the Chinese voters when BN attempted to use his drinking past and purported gambling habits to discredit him. “Zaid is known as a liberal Malay leader. He is popular, especially among the younger generation of voters compared to Kamalanathan, who is just a new leader.The attempt to blacken his image with the gambling and drinking allegations would not work in the Chinese community because they do not view these things negatively. In fact, they can better identify with him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gerakan vice-president Datuk Chang Ko Youn said Ibrahim’s statement was “irresponsible” and accused the independent MP of failing to take cognisance of the reason why the Chinese community had abandoned the BN.“He should stop making extremist statements and stop trying to alienate the MCA and Gerakan in the BN,” he said.

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