Monday January 21, 2013
Vote for Barisan and make the country’s future brighter, says Soi Lek
By FOONG PEK YEE
KOTA KINABALU: The people will be the ones who would decide on the direction the country's economy will take when they vote in the upcoming general election.
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the economic transformation programmes (ETP) under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak could ensure growth of between 5% and 5.5% this year and create 300,000 jobs annually.
“The ETP is already a success,” the MCA president pointed out. “But the Government needs the people's strong support to make sure it continues to do even better.”
Dr Chua, who is also a member of the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by the Prime Minister, said that while the country's unemployment rate was slightly below 4%, the situation in other countries, including the advanced countries, was worrying.
Citing examples, Dr Chua said that in Portugal, the unemployment rate was 45%, in Spain, 25%, the United States (9%) and Britain (10%).
“When Barisan Nasional talks about change, we are changing the economy for the better,” he said.
“Under Najib, Barisan has a clear direction and workable plans,” he said when opening MCA's 64th anniversary celebration here on Saturday.
Dr Chua said governing a country was more than just mere talk, unlike what the Pakatan Rakyat was doing.
“Pakatan is only good at dishing out populist policies from abolition of tolls, free education at all levels for everybody to RM4,000 monthly income for every household.”
These promises, if implemented, would cost the country RM200bil a year, he said. “It would bankrupt the country in two years.
“Pakatan is an expert at making empty promises; they are only interested in misleading the people into putting them in power,” Dr Chua said, noting that DAP, PAS and PKR were also in constant conflict with each other.
“When PAS is bent on imposing its Islamic values on non-Muslims, DAP, which claims to champion democracy, justice and fairness, is mum,” he said, pointing to how the non-Muslims in PAS-led Kelantan and Kedah had Islamic values imposed on them.
The latest, he added, was the Kedah Government's warning that it could and would stop Chinese New Year performances on the spot if the artistes and organisers were not “conservatively attired”.
The attire, the state government said, should not expose the chest, armpits and thighs, and the songs or music should not be “too hot”, he added.
Dr Chua said the parties in Pakatan were also openly fighting for the prime minister's post.
Dr Chua said what was happening currently in the country, especially after the last general election and the external economic situation, should serve as an eye-opener for the people before they make their decisions at the ballot box.
On the MCA in Sabah, Dr Chua said the party had put in a request to the Barisan leadership to contest in another two state seats and one Parliament seat in the state. “This is in addition to defending its Kepayan state seat,” he added.
“After more than 20 years in Sabah and with a membership of over 40,000, MCA is ready to expand its services in the state and help to strengthen Barisan's presence.”