by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, June 27, 1994:
The contradictions between Chan Kong Choy and Chua Jui Meng about government treatment of Malaysian Chinese businessmen reflects their competition to be promoted as full MCA Minister after next general elections
In the past fortnight, the second-line MCA national leadership has revealed great contradictions over government treatment of Malaysian Chinese businessmen, which reflect the competition among the MCA Deputy Ministers to be promoted as full MCA Minister after the next general elections.
On 14th June, MCA Youth Leader and Deputy Minister for Culture, Arts and Tourism, Datuk Chan Kong Choy led a 51-man MCA Youth delegation in a dialogue with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
In his press conference the next day, Chan Kong Choy who is also a MCA National Vice President, revealed that the MCA Youth had raised some of the unhappiness of the Malaysian Chinese businessmen in the MCA Youth dialogue with the Prime Minister like the issue of quota in the economic field. As a result, the newspapers the next day hightlighted the quota question, and the Business Times headline “Scrap quota ruling, urges MCA Youth” vas typical of the other press.
However, when UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders mounted an attack on MCA Youth, Chan Kong Choy backed down and denied that the MCA Youth had raised the quota issue with the Prime Minister. However, the message left by the whole episode is clear – that the Malaysian Chinese businessmen are not happy about “deviations” in government policies and measures.
What is interesting is that another MCA National Vice President, Chua Jui Meng, in his capacity as Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, gave an exclusive interview in Kuantan yesterday which was totally contradictory to the message that Chan Kong Choy and the MCA Youth were seeking to convey in their dialogue with the Prime Minister.
Chua Jui Meng, whose exclusive interview was given front-page headline treatment, declared that there had been no government ‘deviation’ in its treatment of Malaysian Chinese businessmen – implying that there could be no cause for any unhappiness among Malaysian Chinese businessmen against the Government.
How could two MCA National Vice Presidents take such contradictory stands on the question of government treatment of Malaysian Chinese businessmen?
There can only be one explanation. Neither Chua Jui Meng nor Chan Kong Choy are really interested about the problems, difficulties and grievances of Malaysian Chinese businessmen as a result of deviations in government policies and measures, but only in raising their political stocks to strengthen their claim to be promoted as full MCA Minister after the next general elections to fill the vacancy created, by the ‘forced’ retirement, of Datuk Lee Kim Sai.
In raising the unhappiness of Malaysian Chinese businessmen in the MCA Youth dialogue with the Prime Minister, Chan Kong Choy hopes to raise the stocks of the MCA Youth and therefore boost his chances of being promoted the next MCA full Minister.
Chua Jui Meng, however, has chosen to endear himself with the top UMNO leadership – by pointedly contradicting and discrediting Chan Kong Choy for raising the ‘ruckus’ over the quota issue, compounded by the MCA Youth Leader haying to publicly retract his press conference announcement.
It is very sad that instead of objectively presenting and resolving the various deviations and unfairness of government policies vis-a-vis Malaysian Chinese businessmen, MCA leaders are only interested in using the issue to promote their Ministerial ambitions.
For a start, let the MCA leadership – including the MCA Deputy Ministers aspiring to become full MCA Minister – raise in Cabinet a full and major liberalisation of government policies as for instance, in repealing the Industrial Co-ordination Act and in fair and just allocation of permits and licences, e.g. taxi permits should be issued to taxi drivers regardless of race, and not to syndicates to benefit a handful with good political connections.