Malaysian PM steps up effort to lure Chinese community

15:59, August 15, 2010      

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has tried to win back support of the Chinese community for his ruling coalition.

Speaking to the audience at the Malaysian Chinese Economic Congress on Saturday, Najib said that he had recognized the contribution made by the Chinese community in nation building, without which Malaysia would not have attained what it was enjoying.

Najib also said that his administration would be committed to further liberalizing the country's economy by doing away with the equity quota that has been widely condemned by investors, especially the foreign ones.

Apparently, Najib wants to reaffirm his government's commitment to elevate the country's competitiveness, and to win the hearts of the Chinese community that have mostly abandoned the ruling coalition of the federal government.

In fact, Najib said he was worried about Chinese voters' interest in voting for the opposition party.

Malaysia is made up of three main races, namely Malay, Chinese and Indian, where Chinese accounts for about 25 percent of the country's total 27 million population.

During the 2008 general election, Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition that forms the country's federal government, suffered massive defeat, losing the two-thirds majority for the first time since the country gained independence in 1957.

The analysis of election results reveals that most of the Chinese voters have cast their ballots to the opposition, and the similar situation occurred over and over again in the 11 by- elections after the general election.

Najib, wanting to recapture Chinese voters' support, has visited China Town in Kuala Lumpur thrice since he took office in April 2009, while touring Chinese new villages and attending a Chinese wedding to listen to the community.

Although certain political analysts believe that Najib's administration can still rely on the 60 percent Malay population to sustain BN's power but doing so is nothing but contradicting to what Najib has been preaching.

Najib has been advocating for the creation of "1Malaysia", where all Malaysians, regardless of races and background, will unite together, embracing the diversity of culture, religion and thoughts.

To walk his talk, Najib, who also claims himself the prime minister of all Malaysians, must preserve the power sharing tradition in BN, instead of marginalizing parties that have better representation of races other than Malay.

BN consists of several political parties that share the same ideology in building and developing the country.

The three main component parties of BN are race-based, representing the Malays, Chinese and Indians in the country respectively.

Earlier, Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin made frequent visits to the states of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia, resulting in the speculation that the state assembly of Sarawak is to be dissolved to pave the way for a state election soon.

The Sarawak State government's term will end in July 2011 but the opposition camp has predicted that an election will be called as soon as September this year.

The state's election results may serve as an indicator whether a snap general election should be held to seek new mandate from the voters.

Some even subscribe to the view that Najib will call a general election concurrently when the Sarawak State runs its election.

It is therefore not surprising that at this time, Najib hastens his steps to reinforce BN's ties with the Chinese community.

Moving forward, Najib has to take more bold actions to address the Chinese community's concerns including education, economy and good governance.

As the voters are now more sophisticated and demanding, verbal promises that deliver nothing tangible will be perceived as rhetoric statements.

To convince the voters, implementing practical transformation and carrying out remedial actions to eradicate poor and unfair governance is necessary.

Source: Xinhua


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