KUALA LUMPUR: Former MCA vice-president Ti Lian Ker has urged the unity government to discontinue the Bumiputera economic congress, which has scheduled its next meeting for January.
However, Ti stressed that he was not negating Malay rights, or even the implementation of the congress, saying he only sought for the congress to no longer be taken advantage of by “opportunists for political brownie points”.
The senator and former deputy youth and sports minister said Malaysia would not progress so long as such congresses focus on Malay elites who abuse their power, influence and status to enrich themselves at the nation’s expense.
“In the end, it is the people, especially the Malays, who remain in shackles,” Ti said while debating Budget 2024 in the Dewan Negara today.
“It is time to save Malaysians and stop the seizure of the nation’s riches in the name of the Malay agenda. When more money and allocations are given, the greedier those in power will be.”
Ti said his concern was that the congress would only be a platform for such people to enrich themselves.
“The congress started when I was three years old. Today, I am over 60 years old. I hope that the coming Bumiputera economic congress will be the last, and that in the future, we can hold a national economic congress,” he said.
He also warned the unity government of attempting to be “more PAS than PAS”, saying that any attempt to flip the support to PAS supporters would only be in vain, and create a “PAS-friendly ecosystem”.
He noted that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his then deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, had adopted a similar approach in the 1980s, when PAS became more influential in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
“At that time, the government was eager to follow the demands of PAS supporters in the hope of winning their votes, but instead, it had the effect of fostering a greater market and culture for PAS’s political demands, empowering the party,” he said.
“The two leaders’ strategy of satisfying PAS supporters in the hope of gaining support was counterproductive in the long term. On the other hand, their actions made PAS’s political market bigger. Today, PAS has become the largest and strongest party in terms of seats in Parliament.
“You cannot win the war against PAS by creating a political ecosystem that is so PAS-friendly. Eventually, the green wave will definitely prevail.”