Published: Sunday February 10, 2013 MYT 4:34:00 PM
Overwhelming turn out at MCA open house, says Dr Chua
By MARTIN CARVALHO and FLORENCE A.SAMY
KUALA LUMPUR: The overwhelming response to MCA's first ever Chinese New Year open house outside Wisma MCA is a good indication of acceptance of Barisan Nasional's 1Malaysia spirit of putting the rakyat first, said its president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
“This is the first time in MCA's 64 year history that the Chinese New Year celebration is held outside Wisma MCA.
“The overwhelming response is a good indication as it showed that the local community took time off to join in the celebrations with us,” he told reporters this after hosting the celebrations at the Sri Johor Flats in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras on Sunday.
He said the decision for the change in venue was to allow the local Chinese community to better appreciate their cultural identity while showcasing racial unity with their fellow Malaysians.
Besides getting closer to the people, he added the reason for the change in venue was because Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had more time this year mingle with the rakyat during the celebration following Gerakan's decision not to hold their open-house festivities.
Asked if the location for the celebration and positive turnout augured well for Barisan's chances of winning the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat in the coming polls, Dr Chua said that it was held without any political slant but merely to promote racial and religious harmony including stability for the nation.
“It was done without thinking of winning seats,” he said, although adding that he was optimistic.
Dr Chua's new year's wish was that it would usher in harmony, peace, stability and prosperity for the nation and the rakyat.
“The key to our nation's success lies in its racial and religious harmony and understanding,” he added.
On a lighter side, Chua said he was glad that preparations were made to cater for a 30,000 crowd as there was sufficient food for the large turnout.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he was pleased with the good response from the people both near and far.
“It is a fantastic response and can see that people are very happy.
“People go for stability and want to see transformation in the country to continue.
“We hope under a very harmonious and united community, the country will continue to progress and transform into a developed nation,” said Liow who is also the Health Minister.
MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief and Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said he was encouraged by the response, adding that many had come early to join in the celebrations.
“I am very encouraged by the turnout.”
Many also rushed to the Prime Minister to greet him during the walkabout.
MCA vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen also expressed hope for peace, stability and harmony for the nation.
Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon lauded MCA's idea to hold the Chinese New Year open house outside its party headquarters and suggested it be continued every year.