MCA: Do not sideline any ethnic group

BATU PAHAT - Any initiative or policy in a multiracial country should be based on the needs of the rakyat and not along ethnic lines, the MCA said.

Any form of educational and economic racial divide, which widens the gap further, will not be healthy, said party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek in responding to the series of measures announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to strengthen bumiputra participation in the country's economic development.

"While the bumiputras have not achieved their 30 per cent equity of the economic cake, it cannot be denied they had achieved remarkable success in the human resource or manpower sector.

"Before the New Economic Policy was implemented, most of the professionals and skilled workers were from the non-bumiputras.

"From less than 30 per cent some 30 years back, today, they (bumiputras) constitute more than half of all professionals and skilled workers in this country," he told a press conference at the MCA office here yesterday.

Dr Chua added it would be politically more difficult for the Barisan Nasional to get support from the non-bumiputras if government policies sidelined any particular group.

He said the matter would be exploited by the Opposition, particularly the DAP.

Dr Chua said that during his recent meeting with Najib, the prime minister had given an assurance that the Barisan policies would be inclusive and there was no attempt to sideline or punish the non-bumiputras.

"However, Najib also stressed the need to take care of the bumiputras who had strongly supported the Barisan government in the last general election," he said, adding that Najib had reiterated he had initiated a lot of policy changes that benefited the non-bumiputras and he was often criticised by the bumiputras.

These included policies pertaining to mother tongue education and the economy.