The MCA president and DAP secretary-general clash over the policies of their respective parties in round two of their debate.
PETALING JAYA: MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng locked horns today in a second debate, with both sides taking potshots at each other over the policies of their respective parties.
Lim fired the first salvo with his remark that the debate should have been between Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
“Unfortunately Najib declines. Maybe he fears that people would decide Anwar is a better candidate,” he told a crowd of 1,500 comprising DAP and MCA supporters.
The debate was organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) at the Sunway Convention Centre here.
He also said that MCA was not qualified to debate on government policies “because MCA does not decide, it is Umno that decides”.
“MCA claims to speak only for the Chinese, and yet only the Chinese in the Peninsula, and not the Chinese in Sabah and Sarawak.
“This is different from the DAP that wants to speak for all Malaysians,” he said, continuing the tone of political propaganda as was seen in the first debate.
He blamed the Barisan Nasional of not fighting the menace of corruption.
“BN has never spoken truthfully to the Malaysian people. Let us speak truthfully now. If we can unite as Malaysians and not allow BN and Umno to divide us, and discuss our problems together, I am convinced that we will succeed in overcoming them,” he said.
“The DAP believes that the policies of our party and Pakatan Rakyat represent the future for our children, whereas the policies of the MCA and BN represent the past,” he added.
He said that the Pakatan rule of the federal government will see the abolition of the North-South Expressway tolls and the removal of subsidies to the independent power producers.
He added that Pakatan will also ensure that abuse of power that has led to Malaysians dying in custody does not recur.
He said the crime index would be brought down, and objected again to the setting up of the Lynas rare earth plant in Kuantan.
“We will stop the building of nuclear reactors as proposed by BN, and no longer should Sabahans be strangers in their own land with illegal immigrants getting citizenship,” he added.
DAP a Chinese chauvinist party
In response, Chua said that Najib need not have a debate with Anwar because “he is the prime minister”.
He said Najib has also proven his capability via his various transformation programmes.
“Pakatan is full of rhetoric, no specifics, and short on delivery.”
He added that Najib’s administration was not making empty promises like those from Pakatan Rakyat.
“The promises were fulfilled. These three years, the rakyat has gotten what was promsied under the leadership of Najib.”
“Anwar is full of rhetoric, no specific, short on delivery. He has to convince us to translate this rhetoric into what we call delivery.
“MCA has been involved in nation-building from day one. We were the one involved in the fight against the communist insurgency, the resettlement of the Chinese in new villages, the fight for independence, the right of citizenship after independence. That’s why citizens like LGE [Lim Guan Eng] are citizens of the country,” he added.
He said the on the contrary it was the DAP which had not played a role.
“What has Pakatan done for us? No clear direction. Look at the four Pakatan states, 95% of the promise is janji janji kosong [empty promises].
“Everyday [you] tell the whole world you give hundred of dollars to the old people, RM200 to the newborn and they must be voters. We give RM200 to our newborn babies.
“DAP has only one thing to show. They collect a lot of money from the rakyat. Despite calls of accountability, transparency – nothing to show.
“Where has the money collected gone to? DAP is a camoflauge for Chinese chauvinist party,” he said.
Lim also took a dig at the Penang Port privatisation exercise, saying it was more a “piratisation” move.
Chua is the Penang Port chairman.
“He [Chua] is the only port chairman who doesn’t dare come to Penang. Come to my office and explain to the stakeholders.
“Penang Port belongs to the people,” said Lim.
Chua, however, said privatisation was necessary.
On the call for unity, Lim took a dig at 1Malaysia, saying, “it is not 1Malaysia. It is Sapu Malysia.
“They say 1Malaysia, nak tipu siapa? [Who are they lying to?] They want to divide us to sapu Malaysia [sweep Malaysia], ” Lim said to applause from DAP supporters.
“BN will keep using the race issue to scare us because they have run out of other issues,” he said.
To this, Chua pointed out that DAP does not have Malays and Indians as state chairman.
Lim also did not spare the BN-friendly media. “Come Wong Chun Wai [Star editor-in-chief] and have a direct dialogue with me.”
“I’ll wait for you,” said Lim over Star’s coverage of hillside development in Penang.
On the whole, Lim was satisfied with the debate whereas Chua was unhappy.
“I am happy because I had more time. It allowed me to elaborate on some points,” said Lim.
Chua was unhappy over Lim for hitting out at Housing and Local Government Minister Chor Chee Heung on the issue of local government election.
“He should answer me, not hit out at a MCA minister who doesn’t have a chance to counter his statements,” said Chua.
Both also said that there would not be a third debate.
The debate went on despite calls from DAP national chairman Karpal Singh for Lim to call it off because Chua is a dishonourable man who acted in a pornographic video.
A delayed telecast of the debate will be aired at 11pm tonight on Astro AEC with a Bahasa Malaysia translation on Astro Awani.
Today’s debate is the second time Chua and Lim squared off. The last debate in February had begun with Chua slamming his opponents in his opening speech. It descended into a political “ceramah” instead of a debate when supporters turned rowdy.