Chinese voters demand fair policy implementation

05 Oct 2022 10:00am
Tan Tai Kim (left) and James Chin (right) - FILE PIX
Tan Tai Kim (left) and James Chin (right) - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - The Chinese voters in the country are still demanding for emphasis on education, recognition of the Chinese culture, opposition to corruption and a clean government.

Political analyst and director of the Asia Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania James Chin said the Chinese have been asking for fair treatment since the 1970s.

However, he said young Chinese voters may have a different focus where they stress more on business opportunities rather than rights and privileges.

Chin said he also thought that the Chinese have been seeking for a change of government except for one or two occasions where they supported the opposition in elections.

He said they understood that in order to receive fair treatment, they needed to stick with DAP since Barisan Nasional (BN) or Umno focused on the rights of the Malays.

Apart from buying homes, he said many Chinese families began to face problems in the 1970s when their children were rejected by local universities forcing them to spend more for their children's education.

"This generation of Chinese feel that they have not been given fair treatment.

“This is something that those aged 35 and below are unable to understand," he said in a special interview.

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He said the Chinese hoped that the country was in a stable state so that it will be able to achieve a better economic result.

“The Chinese need to earn a living. They need a stable country. For the very least, the country is governed by the rule of law,” he said.

"The Chinese often feel that the election is unfair as 70 to 80 seats in rural areas plus seats in Sabah and Sarawak are sufficient to form a government," he said.

He said during the Covid-19 pandemic, the small and medium industries were severely affected and former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s budget did not aid the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operated by the Chinese.

The Chinese businessmen also viewed DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng as a stingy person who ignored the Chinese SMEs when he was the finance minister.

He also said the rural Malays were badly affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic such as the slowdown in economy and the drop in palm oil price which have affected their income.

He said they believed that Umno was able to offer political stability and this was proven by the fact that Malaysia has changed three governments in three years.

Chin said the rural Malays do not care about what happened to sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and whether former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in corruption which was proven in the Melaka and Johor state elections.

“Only the Chinese think that wiping out corruption is important.

"Chinese place emphasis on the outcome of anti-corruption and good governance," he said.

He said the Chinese thought that the government would be able to carry out reforms after the change of administration, but it had never occurred.

For example, he said in the Johor state election, unlike Chinese voters in other states, Singapore has a profound impact on those in Johor and their businesses were badly affected as no Singaporeans were able to spend in Johor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the Chinese in the state also reacted strongly on the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).

"When Pakatan Harapan (PH) was the ruling government, Eddin Khoo was appointed to head the UEC Task Force (PPDUEC).

“It said the report suggested to recognise UEC but the proposal was never raised in the cabinet because (then prime minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had rejected it," he said.

He said the Chinese especially those in Johor were angry with both the UEC issue and the economic impact due to the pandemic.

Hence, he said some Chinese voters opted for MCA in the state election because they had no other options.

On whether many Chinese were disappointed with DAP after PH becomes the ruling government, Chin said in fact Chinese were still supportive of DAP and its ideology

The possible dissatisfaction centred on some of its leaders such as Damansara MP Tony Pua and Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming, he added.

He said they were unhappy with these leaders as they have pushed for DAP to collaborate with Dr Mahathir who was seen as a Malay extremist in the Chinese community.

“In addition, these DAP leaders also attempted to convince the Chinese community to accept the memorandum of understanding with the government.

"The Chinese community see this as allowing a backdoor government to continue to rule,’’ Chin said.

Meanwhile, United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) president Tan Tai Kim suggested for the implementation of fair policy to develop all streams of schools in the country.

He said he hoped that the new government will implement fair policy in education, rectify biases by adopting an inclusive approach to embrace differences for racial integration.

He said allocation of resources and funding to all stream of schools should be institutionalised.

Schools and education institutions managed by non-profit organisations should also be exempted from contributing to the Human Resources Development Fund and proposed that the government exempt taxed for the contributions made to support Chinese school.

Despite grooming talents for the country for many years, he said institutions of higher learning such as the Southern University College, New Era University College, Han Chiang University of Communications and Vtar Institute have been receiving funds on irregular basis.

"We hope the government will institutionalise allocations for these institutions of higher learning," he said.

He said the number of pupils in the Chinese primary schools should be taken into consideration for upgrades and maintenance work of the school adding that schools should receive allocations within a short period of time using a timeline to track the process of releasing allocations.

On allocation for Chinese independent schools, Tan said in the past, such schools received special allocations from Finance Ministry.

He also said that schools are to be built based on community needs and that the school environment and quality of teachers should be given emphasis to.