PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are capable of having a rational discussion on politics without beating the racial war drum, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said.
He said today’s socio-economic conditions were totally different from that in 1969.
The party, he said, was disappointed with Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for raising the spectre of the May 13 incident.
Dr Chua said the MCA was just asking for a fair share and the party had no intention to deprive other communities of what was rightly theirs.
“The MCA is sensitive to its role in Barisan Nasional but as a Chinese-based party it has its role to play to continue to be relevant,” he said.
“At no time did we talk about the special rights of the Malay community. We re-affirm that affirmative action should be based on need and merit, and be market-friendly.”
The MCA’s loyalty to Barisan should not be questioned as the coalition had been through good and bad times, Dr Chua said in a statement yesterday.
On Monday, Muhyiddin said the MCA should be sensitive to the needs of other races in the country when it fights for the Chinese community.
The Umno deputy president also reminded the MCA that the unfair distribution of wealth had resulted in the 1969 race riots.
Stressing that growth should not be a zero-sum game, Dr Chua noted that the country would be trapped as a middle-income country if it failed to liberalise its economy and boost investments. This, in fact, should be the country’s worry, he added.
Dr Chua said Malaysia must be able to attract domestic and foreign investments to achieve the target of a high-income nation by 2020 under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) and the New Economic Model.
This, he added, could be achieved only by liberalising sectors such as oil and gas as well as telecommunications, rationalising subsidies and opening tenders with a price preference for bumiputras.
Dr Chua said the MCA had advocated that bumiputras be given a price preference in certain economic sectors when the economy is liberalised for open tender. To enable bumiputras to compete on a more equitable basis, he said the MCA had proposed a gradual reduction of the 30% bumiputra equity and the introduction of a price preference.
Dr Chua pointed out that only a “competitive and vibrant economy” could attract RM115bil of private investments a year under the 10MP.