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Monday October 3, 2011
> Reports by FOONG PEK YEE, NG SI HOOI, EDMUND NGO, ELWEEN LOKE, FLORENCE A. SAMY, MAZWIN NIK ANIS, RUBEN SARIO, SIRA HABIBU, RAHIMY RAHIM, REGINA LEE and PRIYA KULASAGARAN > Photos by DARRAN TAN, AZHAR MAHFOF, SAM THAM, LOW LAY PHON and CHAN TAK KONG
KUALA LUMPUR: A “New Deal” based on fairness and bravery is needed to give the people confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
The MCA president said the New Deal must embrace everyone as well as erase policies and laws which are unjustified and considered stumbling blocks.
“The time to act is now. The New Deal should give every Malaysian, their children and grandchildren confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia,” Dr Chua said at the opening of the MCA's 58th annual general assembly at Wisma MCA here yesterday.
Urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was present, to take a giant leap forward and offer Malaysians a New Deal for the future, Dr Chua said Barisan Nasional should not allow “the baggage of the past to be a millstone around the necks of our children and grandchildren”.
“Malaysians need a New Deal that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians to address today's concerns of the young and future generation. It should encompass political, social, economic and educational issues and epitomise the very core expectations and aspirations of the people at large.”
He noted that the aspirations of the younger generation might not be the same as that of the older generation.
He added that the Government and leaders must tailor their policies and programmes to the young.
“They must have faith that their aspirations can be met, and that we (Barisan) will facilitate those aspirations and not be a hindrance to them,” Dr Chua said.
The MCA president said there was a need for Barisan to sit down and work out the New Deal, stressing that such efforts must not be seen as an attempt to completely rewrite the so-called Merdeka social contract.
“I know there will be groups who will attack me for even suggesting it.
“But let us be bold and brave enough to rework it to make it more suitable for the times and meet the aspirations of all Malaysians.”
Dr Chua said the policies formulated immediately after 1969 must change with the times, pointing out that the world had changed.
“The new leadership of the MCA wants the New Deal to also embrace a government that is constructive and which can unite all races.
“We must always pursue the middle path, reaching out to a younger generation who may feel alienated.
“We want a nation that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians.”
Dr Chua said the Government should listen more to concerned Malaysians who were now more vocal, active and politically-conscious than before.
“As leaders, we must always be ready to listen. Politicians should never pretend to know everything,” he stressed.
He said a caring government would take care of everyone's needs and expectations, from education and employment to security and law and order, as well as the impact of inflation.
“The Government's duty is to reassure all Malaysians that they have a rightful place in the country. All Malaysians will benefit as the country develops to become a high-income nation by the year 2020. The expanding economic cake should be shared fairly and equitably by all Malaysians.
“Bumiputras should not be jealous of the success of non-bumis, and non-bumis should also not be jealous of the progress of bumiputras. We are 1Malaysia.”
MCA AGM: Full text of Dr Chua Soi Lek's speech
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