Monday, October 11, 2010

Najib urges MCA to serve all races

BY Hemananthani Sivanandam

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10, 2010): The MCA serve not just the needs of the Chinese community but also that of all Malaysians, said the prime minister.
"Don’t just serve the Chinese (community) only, serve the Malays and the Indians. If you see a poor Malay or Indian, go and help," said Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today.
"Don’t just serve the Chinese in your area. I encourage Umno (leaders) to do it," he said when addressing the MCA’s 57th annual general assembly.
Responding to MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek's remarks earlier, he advocated that apart from being the voice of the Chinese community, the MCA should urdergo structural change to regain its position of trust from the Chinese community
"Endear yourself to the people; don’t be far away. Don’t be too aloof or arrogant even though you are wealthy. Do not be arrogant with the people," he said.
"Leaders have to work for the party, be loyal and committed. If they are not loyal, please leave the party. Make way for others who believe in our cause," said Najib, who is Barisan Nasional chairman.
In his presidential address, Chua said the party had to work hard to change the perception among the Chinese that the party was unable to voice the aspirations of the community. He said tackling this perception problem, along with restoring party unity, was MCA’s main focus in the preparation for the next general election.
In his 50-minute speech, he also warned party leaders not to merely rely on allocations from the Federal government for projects as a means to gain the people's support. "Don’t expect the federal government to solve all your problems when in fact you have not been working. You think if you bring in big projects, the people will support you because you give them money?" he asked.
Najib also said the government did not condone racist remarks, but the people must sometimes understand the cultural setting of such remarks.
"We have to be realistic ... an officer makes a slip, a racist remark, we take action because we don’t condone racism. But proper investigation must be done.
"In those days pun ada orang (there were people) who made such remarks but sometimes you must understand the cultural settings. I am not defending it," said Najib referring to several incidents of racial remarks being made by several people in recent times.
"(For example) if you are a Northern Malay, you describe another Malay who is a little dark as 'tohyu' -- which means 'kicap'. If you are from Kedah you know that. It is not seen a derogatory remark in that cultural context, but of course if it is applied in the context of Malaysian Indians, it is considered derogatory.
"I agree, I wouldn’t use that to describe my friends in MIC as 'kicap'. I don’t think they will appreciate it," he said, adding that " it is also wrong for people to brand the Chinese community as 'pendatang'."
"Yes, you came here at one time, but that was many generations ago but now you are loyal citizens of Malaysia," he said to a thunderous applause from 1,764 delegates.
Najib urged the people to "leave behind" such negative sentiments and move forward to become a progressive nation and find ways to create a fair society.
"What is a fair society? Even that can also be a huge polemic. If you talk to a Malay leader, his definition of fair might be different from yours but eventually we need to converge in our thinking," he said.
"Let’s try to look for a fine balance because the Malays have the aspiration and fear and other communities (have) their wishes as well, even the orang asli have asked for more," he said.
Najib also spoke on the need for give and take and considering the national interest when making demands of the government.
"Everyone can make demands. I go to MCA, they demand. I go to Gerakan, they demand. I go to MIC, they demand. I go to Sabah and Sarawak, they demand. I go to the Telegu community, too, they demand.
"This is a normal process but you need to put in the national perspective, not only just for your own community. Sometimes, we have to have the spirit of give and take.
"That is what makes Malaysia so special; we have the spirit of give and take for the sake of national interest. You look after me, I look after you," concluded Najib. -- theSun

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