Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RTM should revert the Mandarin news to 8.00 p.m.

MCA Spokesperson Sdr Lee Wei Kiat today criticized the announcement made by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture over the rescheduling of the Mandarin news time slot from 8:00 p.m. to 6.30p.m. “The revised time slot for the Mandarin news has inconvenienced viewers who tune into the Mandarin news and also affected the viewership ratings and image of RTM. The Information Ministry should revert the Mandarin news time slot to its previous prime time of 8 p.m.”

Wei Kiat who is also the MCA Information and Communications Bureau Chairman pointed out that the former to the current Ministers tasked with the Information Ministry, have made many schedule changes to the Mandarin news time slot which included the latest, slotting the Mandarin news to RTM 2 from RTM 1 at the new time of 12 noon till 12.30 pm for the afternoon edition and evening edition from 6.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. He also said that, “the latest changes in the time slot will confuse the viewers and make it difficult for them to get used to.”

“Furthermore, 6.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. is the time when working adults are on their way home while the housewives are busy preparing dinner for their families. If we were to broadcast Mandarin news at this time, it will only cause inconvenience and much unhappiness to the viewers who will not be in time to watch the news which will result in a plunge in viewership ratings. It will also affect the image and good name of the RTM. Thus, RTM should shift the Mandarin news time back to its former prime time slot of 8.00 pm,” he emphasized.

The MCA spokesperson also urged government departments to think twice before making any decisions especially on the broadcast of Mandarin news through the television stations.

“Mandarin news is the main source of information for the public and watching the news has become part of their daily activities. As a solution, the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture should decide on a time that is most suitable the public in order to not only achieve its viewership target, but to generate a bigger audience.”






Wednesday, April 15, 2009








MCA takes exception to remarks that the drop in Chinese support for BN is due to the Chinese being unappreciative

While welcoming YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the new Deputy Prime Minster of Malaysia, MCA takes exception to his remarks during an interview in Utusan Malaysia published on 10 April 2009 that “(sokongan kaum Cina) mencatatkan penurunan, macam tidak ada penghargaan terhadap apa yang kita lakukan (the drop in Chinese support is like as if there is no appreciation towards what we (BN) are doing).”

Malay votes also didn’t pull BN through

Both Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau are Malay majority constituencies with Malay voters comprising 63.5% and 50.2% respectively. Although the Malay votes in these voting streams picked up, they were insufficient for BN to emerge victorious although both BN candidates hailed from UMNO. This does suggest that non-Malay votes are needed by BN should BN want to win the seats.

Local issues

Local issues also caused the Chinese support to plummet. Fishermen in Kuala Sepetang also were dissatisfied over issues relating to their livelihoods, e.g. diesel subsidies, bureaucracy involved in licensing or seemingly selective enforcement by marine police just days prior to voting.

Land title issues – the uncertainty of land ownership where applications for renewal of leasehold land for a 30 or 60 or 99-year tenure have not been settled raises resentment. On the other hand, insecurity whether a villager could continue living on TOL land arose as for generations many villagers have also lived and toiled on TOL land but still cannot claim ownership to the land title.

While aid in any form to any community is always most welcome, voters would like to see consistency in government allocation and distribution rather than peaking only at by-elections. E.g. Chinese and Tamil primary schools which usually encounter difficulty in accessing government funding would only see a jump in government grants during campaign period.

National issues

It is not the mere allocation of RM 1 million during the campaign period that the Chinese are thence expected to be indebted to BN and therefore vote BN. Non-Malays do not like to be treated as beggars where only at by-elections, more road upgrading works are performed, allocations to schools, NGOs and charities pick up.

There are “troubling” issues on the implementation and existing government policies which caused the Malay and non-Malay votes alike to swing against BN. Misimplementation of the NEP, lop-sided civil service where the intake and promotion of non-Malays is grossly lower compared to Malays, selective enforcement by the police and FRU against civil liberties and candle light vigils while insufficient action or no action taken against mat rempits, misuse of the ISA, mob rule causing aborting of civilized discourse and forums add to the inexhaustible list of frustration by Malays and non-Malays against BN.

Religious issues e.g. without consulting the non-converting family members, when religious authorities impose action on an individual e.g. body snatches, inheritance claims, determining faith and custody of a minor child whose religious identity is disputed only serve to alienate the non-Muslim community.

Non-Malays are unhappy when tenders for major government projects, licensing of any type, issuance for the lucrative Approve Permits, lower prices when purchasing a luxury house, quota equity when public listing a company seem to favour one community.

Education grievances

Award of PSD scholarships or entry into local institutions of higher education do not seem favourable to non-Malays. While most non-Malays have to sit STPM to qualify for local universities, there is the perception that the 1-year Matriculations course which most Malays undertake is easier which explains why Malay entry into local universities is higher.

The imbalanced syllabus and contents of the current history textbooks which give scant mention to the contributions of the non-Malay communities towards nation building while containing erroneous facts e.g. vernacular education would become national schools thus contravening the Education Act 1996 guaranteeing vernacular schools results in the loss of confidence by the Chinese against BN.

UMNO’s arrogance

The image of the keris brandishing amidst talks of ‘bathing in blood’ which alluded to a civil war against a conjured enemy of another community still remains unforgivable. Moreover, convenient amnesia at the recently concluded UMNO general assembly where an UMNO supreme council leader obliterated the contributions of non-Malays towards independence asserting that Merdeka was forged by UMNO and the Malay Rulers and nobody else fueled dissatisfaction among the loyal non-Malay communities.

Racist slants by UMNO Bukit Bendera division chief Dato’ Ahmad Ismail that Chinese are “pendatang and don’t deserve equal treatment” and rife talks of “ketuanan Melayu” or Malay supremacy which even decent Malays alongside the non-Malay communities find offensive.

Consistent loyalty of the Chinese community to Malaya/Malaysia

The Chinese have always been loyal citizens to Malaya and thence Malaysia. Countless Malayan Chinese and Indians were tortured to death in their resistance against atrocities committed during the Japanese Occupation.

When funds were needed for the London trip to negotiate Malayan independence with the British, MCA leaders and other Chinese community leaders selflessly contributed generously to the London delegation.

From the 1940s up till the late 1970s, many Chinese police officers upheld their duties as Special Branch officers when wiping out the tide of communism.
In the mid 1960s, when Indonesia launched Konfrontasi against Malaysia with the objective of establishing Gagasan Indonesia Raya, many Chinese donned a soldier’s uniform against the Indonesians.

In 1995, Chinese voters placed confidence with BN in view of the ideals of Bangsa Malaysia and Wawasan 2020 espoused by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Muhammad.
In 1999, when sacked Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was at the peak of the Reformasi movement, MCA and the Chinese community remained steadfast with BN.
In 2004, the Chinese overwhelmingly rejected PAS’s Islamist agenda of a theocratic state based on hudud and qisas which wreaked of amputating limbs, public lashing and requiring 4 men of good conduct to witness a rape before an alleged rapist was found guilty and gave the mandate to BN.

In 2008, owing to excesses of mega projects while fellow Malaysian citizens particularly the indigenous communities in the village fringes of the peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak lived in poverty, hunger without national identity doubts bred against BN. Corruption, cronyism, perceived judicial biases, racial and religious discrimination and intolerance led the multiracial rakyat particularly those on the peninsular favouring the opposition.

Therefore, to win back the support of the Chinese community, BN has to do much more than just contributing the RM 1 million at a by-election. An entire overhaul in the drafting and implementation of government policies is needed where every Malaysian citizen is accorded equality as guaranteed under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution. Malaysian citizens have the right to a decent life, free of bigotry, adoption of meritocracy, full and even access to equal development where aid is delivered on a need basis and not racial hegemony.










Monday, April 13, 2009