Biggest flaw in Soi Lek’s new-fangled theory is whether he would back down from it when pressured by UMNO

The main objective of MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek’s new-fangled theory that Malaysia had been trapped for a decade as a middle-income nation because of “non-progressive” competition between UMNO and PAS is to pass-the-buck and disclaim MCA responsibility for the deplorable state of the Malaysian nation 53 years after Merdeka to the extent that one Cabinet Minister had warned that Malaysia could go backrupt in the year 2019!

However, the biggest flaw for Chua’s new-fangled theory is whether he would back down from it when pressured by UMNO!

In the first place, Malaysia had been stuck in a middle-income nation trap for some two decades and not just the past 10 years – as admitted by the New Economic Model that since becoming an upper-middle income country in 1992, Malaysia has largely stayed where it is.

Can this be solely explained by the competition between Umno and PAS in using religion to strengthen their influence resulting in “non-progressive policies”?

What is the role of MCA as the second largest component party in the Barisan Nasional coalition in the formulation and implementation of “non-progressive policies”?

When former Prime Minister, then Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad arbitrarily and unconstitutionally declared on Sept. 29, 2001 that Malaysia was already an Islamic state, who were the first to give support to the “929 Declaration” if not the BN component parties of MCA and Gerakan?

The New Economic Model (NEM), which had been abandoned unceremoniously in less than three months although it was proclaimed as the basis of the Tenth Malaysia Plan, had pinpointed the disastrous effects of retrogressive policies causing Malaysia to lose out in the competitiveness stakes of nations, eg: “A disastrous exodus of human capital has flowed from the perception that in Malaysia’s labour markets, rewards have historically not been commensurate with skills, achievements and merits.”

The New Economic Model warned that Malaysia risks being left behind or worse still, suffering a reversal in living standards, unless it implements far-reaching and comprehensive reforms.

The NEM has given the correct prescription when it said that for Malaysia to face up to the challenges of globalization and compete on regional and international scale, Malaysia must retain and attract talent and “be seen by its people and by others as a land of equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and the family”.

This is where MCA failed dismally as a leading component party in the governing coalition, not just in the past decade but the past few decades!

Instead of foisting a political fallacy on Malaysians with his new-fangled theory as to why Malaysia had been being trapped as a middle income nation in the past two decades, the MCA Ministers and leaders should own up to their role in Malaysia’s faltering international competitiveness and defend the NEM prescription of high-income advanced Malaysia with inclusiveness and sustainability with a major overhaul of nation-building policies, by stamping out corruption, ending institutional degradation and implementing affirmative action programmes based on need targeting the 40% of Malaysian households which still earn less than RM1,500 a month.

  1. #1 by dagen on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 2:30 pm

    Oh yeah. Wot about the 12.5b black hole? And wot about his bumping act?

    Looks like mca too has an idiot from the wild wild west who habitually fires from the hip.

  2. #2 by limkamput on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 3:02 pm

    But Sdr Lim, whether we like it or not, Malaysia has allowed religion to play a dominant role in our life and today it has formed an inextricable trait of our national ethos. When religion is overwhelming, rationality gives way to dogma; knowledge gives way to religiosity and reason gives way to blind obedience. In Malaysia, religion is also particularly significant in the sense it is also associated with race. Whether we like it or not, lots of discrimination are based on one’s religion. Hence migrants from certain countries are preferred to those from others.

    State sponsored religion is stupid and dangerous. Lots of policies are formulated in the name of religious doctrines that are beyond question and rational debate. Try for example debating on child marriages and you shall see what will happen.

    We can all agree that the progressiveness of a nation is a function of many factors, chief among them, good governance, professionalism, meritocracy and able leadership. On the other hand, we can’t ignore the fact that there are simply no progressive Islamic countries today. To allow religion to dominate at almost every facet of our life is to move gradually but surely into one of those basket case Islamic countries.

    I am not a fan of MCA and I know too MCA is a party to our poor current state. But when views are presented, they merit your consideration and also LGE’s. To summarily dismiss the views shows political dogma rather than rational thinking.

  3. #3 by Dap man on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 3:11 pm

    Malaysia has been stuck as a middle-income nation because of the NEP, Corruption, Ketuanan Melayu stand and lastly Islamic fundamentalism. viz banning the Bible and the use of Allah, etc, etc.

    UMNO should have stuck with the Tengku’s version of practising Islam.

    All through the years the MCA supported everything that UMNO did without a whimper. MCA is also responsible for bringing the country to this level.
    Don’t blame UMNO, blame yourself, MCA.

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 3:13 pm

    CSL wants MCA members 2 tell Chinese, b4 d next GE, d achievements of MCA
    D biggest achievement of MCA members: they elected a blue-film actor as president (UmnoB generously allowed it 2 occur)
    A Guinness world record indeed

    CSL also used d old-trick of blaming PAS scaring off FDI 2 frighten voters
    No mention of racist UmnoB, Perkasa, corruption of BN
    After what happened to DarLing n OTK, kia kia, kia si oh

  5. #5 by pulau_sibu on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 4:47 pm

    The answer is ‘UMNO (BN)’s corruption’

  6. #6 by digard on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 4:48 pm

    Make no mistake. Soi Lek was absolutely spot on when he jumped on the bandwagon started by Hishamuddin. Had he insisted, there had been no chance to go on with the juridical proceedings at the Court of Appeal.
    But then, Soi Lek got weak, and suckered into the argument ‘oh, so you side with DAP!?’, and hurriedly made a complete U-turn within 24 hours. Thereby, he and MCA lost the plot. Worse, he (out of frustration?) started to talk nonsensical stuff about the badness of religion in politics. Be this as it is, he has opened all floodgates to be kicked in his buttocks left and right. And deservedly. Because from now on he is without any authority any longer to speak up for the interests of the Malaysian Chinese.
    Actually, had he insisted on withdrawing the appeal, he would have done a great job for the whole of Malaysia, including its Muslim population, which is not at all helped by that short-sighted ban of a number of words in publications.

    But now its over. How could a seasoned politician stumble from from trap into the next, with the last laid out by himself?
    His only chance is to U-turn yet once more, or resign from his post. If not, I pity the followers of MCA, because it would become a toothless old cat.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 5:14 pm

    unmo may yet kick out CSL and then appoint its own favourite
    (deleted) Riduan Tee Abdollah, as the new mca president.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 5:34 pm

    If MCA, the second largest component in BN, ascribe the deplorable state of the country to competition between UMNO and PAS instead of corruption, institutional degradation and affirmative action programmes, how can they save the country from the brink of financial disaster?

    Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek must face up to reality and not “wash his hands” and close his eyes to corruption and other negative elements which impede the country’s progress.

  9. #9 by gofortruth on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 6:35 pm

    I’m surprised man like CSL could not identify the root cause of the ills of Malaysia. I would have picked TDM personally responsible for bringing down Malaysia under his 22 years dictatorial rule & MCA was his “running dog” in helping out to ruin Malaysia.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 6:49 pm

    Running dogs from MCA have different breeds but with one mind…and that is to perform and to beg for survivals…by dogs trainers….UMNO B rouges.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 7:33 pm

    ///Can this be solely explained by the competition between Umno and PAS in using religion to strengthen their influence resulting in “non-progressive policies”?///

    I like the word “solely”. Of course its not solely. MCA is and has been an active albeit subservient collaborator with UMNO and MIC in entrenching ethnicity in politics that leads to the country becoming an upper-middle income country in 1992 and thereafter being stuck at that level.

    To be sure, ever since 1980s politics has also become islamised.

    Even in 1988 in the Supreme Court case of of Che Omar bin Che Soh v Public Prosecutor, the 5 member Federal court led by Lord president Tun Salleh Abas declared the position that notwithstanding Article 3(1) provides that Islam is official religion, the other provisions of the Constitution on proper construction showed that the framers of our Federal Constitution intended it to be secular.

    Comparing, 13 years later on 29th September 2001, during his opening address to the so called “multi-racial” Gerakan Party’s 30th national delegates conference, then PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed counter-declared that Malaysia was an Islamic state (based on the opinion of ulamaks who had clarified what constituted as Islamic country).

    Who would question then that TDM’s statement – and his 20 years aggressive Islamisation of the country with his deputy then (Anwar Ibrahim) was not due to the need to compete with PAS for the Muslim votes? MCA?

    Whilst its true – what present MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said – that “non-progressive” competition between UMNO and PAS was responsible for the deplorable state of country, it would be a “half” truth if he seeks to argue that it is the sole reason or that he could disclaim or absolve MCA’s tacit complicity in Religion being politicised by its senior partner responsible for the deplorable state of the Malaysian nation”. There are 2 obvious reasons for this: –

    1. The decline of the nation is not due to solely religion being politicized by UMNO-PAS competition but also intensification of communal politics based on ethnicity by BN happening well before this competition, at the time immediately after May 13 1969.

    2. For the politicization of both race and religion – inimical to progress and unity of the country – MCA is and has always been collaborator, and cannot absolve itself.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 7:42 pm

    Having said the above, one ought not to neutralize a CSL/MCA’s spin by an equal counter spin, detached from reality, as what Anwar/ DAP’s LGE appeared to have responded to Chua Soi Lek (CSL)’s comments. [This could be what is needling our limkamput in his comment #2].

    Anwar said that CSL was “ignorant of the real situation of Muslim communities everywhere” and also alluded to “Islamic-phobia and strong anti-Islam stance have been expressed by some quarters like (Samuel) Huntington, but to get Malaysian political leaders to display such ignorance is unfortunate..”
    But what “Islamic-phobia and strong anti-Islam stance” are we talking here?

    CSL did not comment anything about Islam the religion. He merely said: (1) “when the two Malay-Muslim parties compete, the consequence was the implementation of non-progressive policies, which has resulted in the country falling into a middle-income trap over the past 10 years; (2) “many in the Chinese community should do away with their belief that once the Islamic party is in government, the country will be free from corruption…Some of the most corrupt countries are Muslim majority”.

    And LGE/DAP rubbished/rebutted CSL’s views that portrayed “Muslim countries as “poor, backward and corrupt” by urging CSL “to learn more about the history of Islamic civilisation, whose global empires had not only contributed breathtaking art and architecture, but also the introduction of numbers, algebra and astronomy”.

    There is no dispute here about the greatness of Islamic civilisation. Nobody is disputing that.

    CSL was not talking about Islamic civilization thousands of years ago but the contemporary situation in which large swathes of Islamic countries in Middle East/Africa/Indian Sub Continent governed by ideology of fundamental political Islam are presently economically and technologically backward and engaged in internecine conflicts with each other. Is this contested by LGE/DAP as a fact?

    Ask this: we ourselves are trapped in middle income gap, yet at the same time in spite of being so trapped, you guys admit at same breath that we Malaysia (along with Turkey) are a model Islamic country – meaning exemplary in progress, prosperity, peace and modernity! Now how can we, mired as we are in mediocrity lead as model – unless the rest are even more backward???

    Like I said earlier one ought not try neutralize CSL/MCA’s spin but an incredible counter spin.
    Malaysians have enough of spins, whether from BN or Opposition politicians! Try saying the truth and call a spade a spade for a change.

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 7 August 2010 - 7:45 pm

    Correction: ” Now how can we, mired as we are in Mediocrity and Corruption lead as model – unless the rest are even more backward mediocre and corrupt??? “

  14. #14 by frankyapp on Sunday, 8 August 2010 - 1:42 am

    MCA is all bark and no bite. When it faces its master, guys you know how a timid dog behaves. Needn’t further elaboration !

  15. #15 by ktteokt on Sunday, 8 August 2010 - 10:22 am

    Can MCA say “NO” when UMNO insists on a “YES” answer????

  16. #16 by vsp on Sunday, 8 August 2010 - 1:57 pm

    Why do MCA want to support the NEM? They have benefited fabulously under the NEP and why do they want to throw away the clutch when they are themselves the co-beneficiaries with the UMNOputras?

  17. #17 by Bigjoe on Monday, 9 August 2010 - 3:07 pm

    CSL betrayed his age and career training when he chose this topic in the first place. It shows that, while he is a street-fighter, he is no intellectual and MCA may need a fighter but they need one who is also an intellectual.

    Whether we like it or not, Islam is part and parcel of our what are country is and everyday lives. We can still be secular but religion and Islam in particular is part and parcel of our world and hence cannot be avoided in governance. All that can be hoped for is that faith is not the sole reason for policies and that only when human reason fails should faith be used.

    In his character as a practical fighter, CSL do not have the intellectualism to see the fine line that must be threaded especially now in this stage of our national development. Practicalism rules most of the time except when the challenge is so great that only great minds can design a solution for it. Such is the challenge of MCA and BN today and great is not the mind of CSL. He is much too well-trained in black arts of politics to see the light of great design and great ideas.

    CSL, like Najib, have to take a step back and examine their presumption of politics and everything they know about it. Their failure is to assume they need not rise to great heights to tackle what ails this nation. We the people have already sense the pivotal moment in history for us. They have assume that that they know better. They don’t. They have go back to fundamental of what it means to lead not just practicalities of winning office or the next election but what it means to build a nation, a state.

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