Wednesday, 9 January 2013

If only MCA had endorsed my 2005 manifesto ...

If only MCA had endorsed my 2005 manifesto ...
By Chua Jui Meng

IT WAS most unfortunate that the majority of MCA central delegates rejected my vision for the party as outlined in my presidential election manifesto in 2005.
Most of my proposed reform policies were based on the dire need to revitalise the party.
Although Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led Barisan Nasional (BN) to its best ever electoral performance, sweeping about 90% of the 222 parliamentary seats up for grabs, I could still sense something was not right, after a year plus.
I felt an eerie and fast growing political disillusionment by the people who had returned the Abdullah-led BN with such a strong mandate.
Abdullah, who was then popularly referred to as Mr Clean, had taken over the premiership from Mahathir Mohamad, a dictator of 22 years.
Abdullah’s election promises of change and to fight corruption endeared Malaysians and it was no surprise that he did extremely well for BN and Umno.
However, into the second year of his reign, the people grew restless with the slow pace of reform and changes, if any.
It was still the same corrupt Umno-led BN. Abdullah only went after the ikan bilis (anchovies) but not the sharks in his crackdown on corruption.
The people quickly saw through Abdullah’s insincerity, with his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin and his 4th Floor boys in the Prime Minister’s Department calling most of the shots in government mega projects.
I had even raised my fear of a severe and crippling political backlash in the next 12th General Election to MCA central delegates.
I also proposed that we reform the party quickly to ensure MCA remained politically relevant to Malaysians.
However, the MCA central delegates did not take heed of my warnings and proposals.
Umno had secretly supported then MCA president Ong Ka Ting in the 2005 MCA presidential election.
Prior to my second bid for the MCA presidency in 2008 after the political tsunami, I suggested we demand that Umno change its bullying treatment of its coalition partners.
I also proposed that we should be prepared to leave the BN coalition if Umno does not stop corruption and the grand larceny of the national coffer.
The March 2008 political tsunami is ample proof of the accuracy and relevance of my warning to MCA in 2005.
When Ka Ting stepped down as party president to take the blame for MCA’s most disastrous electoral performance in history, I offered myself as president to reform and revitalise the party.
Again, the MCA delegates rejected me with help from Umno who did not want a reformist and fighter to lead MCA.
Umno leaders secretly and quietly encouraged Ong Tee Keat to contest the presidency against me, and with Ka Ting’s backing.
Umno feared that if Tee Keat and I teamed up, I would win the presidency.
Umno had also heard about my remarks to MCA central delegates and thus launched its usual scheming ways to ensure that I was defeated.
I lost the presidential election again but I secured about 45% of the votes. This showed that if Tee Keat had teamed up with me as my running mate, we would have won.
In the subsequent emergency party election in March 2010, the scandal-tainted Chua polled 901 votes to secure the presidency in a three-corner fight.
The incumbent president, Tee Keat, was humiliated, coming in last with only 578 ballots. Ka Ting, who tried to make a comeback, lost to Chua narrowly with 833 votes or a meagre 68-vote majority.
This affirms the fact that Tee Keat had beaten me not on his strength in the party but Ka Ting’s.
The MCA president has always been elected with the interference and influence of Umno which only wants a weak president so that he can be controlled or manipulated easily.
In short, the MCA president must be a “Yes Man” to be endorsed by Umno.
Tee Keat was easily toppled by Chua, Ka Ting and Umno because he naively and stubbornly fought with the players and forces behind the multi-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) financial scandal.
As a first-time minister, he had initially actually misjudged the scale of the PKFZ scandal and the trap set up for him.
Reproduced below is my MCA presidential election manifesto 2005 containing many relevant proposals that can help forward Malaysians and Malaysia, not necessary in the Chinese context:



On the 20th of August 2005, the issue of the entire national level leadership, including the office of the Presidency, will finally come to the hands of the Party’s Central Delegates in its General Assembly, the highest decision making body of the Party. It is historic not only because it will be the first elections of the 21st Century, but more crucially because it will determine the type of leadership and direction the Party needs. I appeal to all Central Delegates to vote wisely without fear or favour. The future of the Party and the Chinese Community lies in your hands. Vote in accordance with your wisdom and conscience; vote in such a way that it will strengthen the Party in the eyes of the Malaysian Chinese and the nation. I am serious when I tell you all that this election will determine the acceptability of our Party and its future in the decades ahead. Can we renew our beloved Party so that it can hold its head high in honour and esteem in the years to come? I believe that there will be more than enough of you to make the difference to make our Party better and more dynamic for all of us. I appeal to you to vote with the future of the Malaysian Chinese in mind!
I stand before you as a candidate for the Presidency of the Malaysian Chinese Association with a promise to set new directions for our community. I aim to have policies in the area of politics, economics, education and culture that will transform and impact our community for generations to come. I envision that in 2020 we will be a modern, vibrant and economically strong community. I stand before you with a manifesto that promises to restore, revitalise and renew our Party and community! A manifesto that will ensure that the voice and aspirations of the Malaysian Chinese community will always be heard in the corridors of power and that we will always be valued partners in the making of the Malaysian dream.
Elect me and I promise New Politics, New Vision and a New MCA!

Dato’ Chua Jui Meng
MCA Presidential Candidate 2005

Creating a distinct Malaysian Chinese Culture

Whilst the strength of a people lies in their economic and political development, their greatness lies in their CULTURE.
The Malaysian Chinese have shown remarkable ability in developing a unique cultural form blended from our Chinese ancestors and the many cultures that exist in Malaysia. We will have to promote this ability and together with the existing Malaysian Chinese cultural organisations, the best minds and practitioners to develop a Master Plan that will allow us to protect and grow this unique essence of our community.
Cultural Masterplan for the Chinese Community toward 2020 and Beyond
The culture of our community is founded on the remarkable spirit of creativity and flexibility. This Master Plan must capture and continue to nurture this spirit of ours.
The following are some of the points and ideas that this Master Plan will consider.
• Establishment of the Malaysian Chinese Culture and Arts Academy
Our people will benefit from the establishment of a Culture and Arts Academy. This institution will be entrusted with the task of promoting and growing the culture of our community. It will undertake research, training and development of talents.
Amongst other things, I envision the Academy engaged in the following activities:
o Holding exhibitions for our artists
o Publishing the literature and poetry of our writers and poets
o Holding movie festivals to display the works of our local actors and directors
o Hosting theatre performances
The main goals of these activities will be to promote awareness, arouse interest and instil pride among the Malaysian Chinese in our rich cultural heritage.

• Establishment of a National Malaysian Chinese Performing Arts Company
The Culture and Arts Academy will establish a National Malaysian Chinese Performing Arts Company whose members will comprise of outstanding cultural performers and practitioners in music, dance, theatre, acrobatics and poetry. This Company will show off the rich heritage of the Malaysian Chinese that has evolved over the centuries.
We will recruit the members of the Company through competitions at the District and State level of the country.
I picture this Company travelling around Malaysia and other countries performing at cultural centres that will promote our own unique form of culture.
• Developing New Village Culture
The Academy will help develop distinct New Village cultures that may differ from region to region, or even from village to village. This will provide a rich lifestyle for our New Villagers and could potentially become attractive tourist destinations.

We are the proud heirs of a rich culture, gifts from the creative and adaptive spirit of our forefathers.
Give me the Presidency and let me put in place the structures that will protect, promote and cultivate our community’s culture!

Harnessing the Wealth of Our Community
Economics is without a doubt one of the areas closest to the heart of the Malaysian Chinese, and rightfully so, because it is the engine that drives every other sphere in society. It is to the credit and foresight of our past and present Prime Ministers that we have attained a measure of success in balancing economic priorities with the realities attached to governing a multi-ethnic nation like Malaysia allowing the community to develop quickly and maintain racial unity.
However, there are still many challenges that the Malaysian Chinese community will face in the coming decades.
• Absence of a Social Safety Net
One that looms large is the absence of a social safety net for our people especially as many of them reach retirement age. The Malaysian Chinese working class depends primarily on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to provide for their retirement years. However, a study by the EPF estimates that the lifetime savings on retirement at 55 years can only provide sustenance for a period of 4 - 5 years on average. We must recognise that the Chinese Community is ageing fast and the birth-rate is steadily declining resulting in fewer children within the family that can support elderly parents and grandparents. Statistically, we also have the longest lifespan amongst the various races in the country. Today, Malaysian Chinese men have an average life span of 76 years and our women live to an average of 78 years, a phenomenon called the silvering of society. New problems will arise as it has in other ageing countries such as Japan and the USA. The older we get the more illnesses we suffer from. It is estimated that in the USA half of a person’s lifetime medical expenditure is spent in the last two years of life.
How do we sustain an ageing population with good health services and standards of living in the estimated 20 or so remaining years after retirement?
Unless this is addressed many of our working class retirees will income-wise be living in near poverty unless there is family support. For the Bumiputeras there are mechanisms in place in addition to the EPF. For Government pensioners there is a lifetime pension and healthcare scheme for them and their dependents. Secondly, there are institutions like the Amanah Saham Negara and the Amanah Saham Bumiputera that provides much higher dividends than that of the EPF.
We will need to formulate new solutions and introduce new investment schemes that will allow us to build a more reliable SOCIAL SAFETY NET for our people! This safety net will provide the enhanced sense of financial security necessary to free up and encourage our people to venture into more high risk-return and entrepreneurial pursuits.
• Rapid Changes in the Global Economy
Globalisation and the rise of emerging and high growth markets the likes of China, India, and Vietnam; coupled with new and rapidly changing face of technology have resulted have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for us to take. Globalisation has also resulted in changes in the competitive advantages of different countries and the industries within them relative to each other.
How do we compete effectively in an environment where cost effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and quality concerns make all the difference between success and failure?
How do we create a new breed of pioneering entrepreneurs that are willing to venture into high growth industries of the future like the biotechnology sector?
Globalisation has also resulted in the high geographical mobility that characterises today’s labour/ human resource market. We find a rapidly rising number of Malaysians choosing to work abroad because of higher pay and better prospects.
How do we prevent the outflow of our best and brightest talents?
How do we adapt (and change) age-old traditional mindsets such as the preference for family owned and controlled business structures amongst the Chinese to face the challenges of globalisation?
•Realising the Potential of our SMI/SME
I must admit that this is one area which is especially close to my heart. This is in no small part due to the fact that by far, a large proportion of the Chinese community is engaged one way or another, in this area of the economy. It is a vibrant sector with its own unique set of opportunities and challenges. Access to funding and finance, limited scope for operational expansion, inability to attract quality professional expertise, lack of resources to compete with bigger players coupled with limitations in networking are some of the areas that have posed problems for the sector. Yet at the same time, its potential to flourish and prosper is limitless with the right policies, programmes and incentives in place.
Economic Master Plan for The Chinese Community Towards 2020 and Beyond
I believe that the challenges outlined previously can only be addressed by the formulation of a comprehensive Economic Masterplan for our community within the wider aspirations and goals of Vision 2020 - a vision that will propel our country to developed nation status. We as a Party must believe and support this vision by working towards its realisation. In this we must learn from our Bumiputera brothers. They have the New Economic Policy, an economic blueprint and other policies for their community that supports and complements Vision 2020. Currently, some say the Party adopts an ad hoc approach because it lacks a uniform and systematic plan in addressing the areas and issues faced by the community. Such a patchwork approach can never provide any meaningful directions let alone harness the true potential of the resources, both human and capital, at our disposal. This Master Plan can only be produced after much careful study, consultation and dialogue with the different segments of the community; locally and internationally.
I intend to formulate this Masterplan that will serve the Party and the community within 1 year of being elected to the Presidency. I will formulate and plan this together with the community, NGOs and the best and brightest of our people from within the country and abroad.
Some of the contents and issues that the Master Plan will have to address are:
• Measures to Enhance Social Security
The MCA must look to alternate source of funds that will help to build this Social Safety Net. As mentioned, our Bumiputera brothers have institutions that alleviate the dependence of their community upon the EPF alone. The Malaysian Chinese must look towards emulating these institutions if we are to undertake this massive project of providing for the welfare of our community.
• Positioning and Supporting Local Businesses to Capitalise on Global Opportunities

In an era where information has never been so crucial to economic and business success, people need to be informed and educated of the importance of areas like the necessity for knowledge based society and economy (K-Economy) if they are to successfully compete in the global arena. MCA must take the lead in creating education resources for our local businesses that will allow them to further build and grow. We must create a Global Information Database that will network our businesses with businesses in other countries. I have over the years been in touch with different countries and they are prepared to share their databases with us. The latest is FICCI and CII of India, two national Chambers of Commerce representing 250,000 organisations and members. Others are Taiwan, Hong Kong, China. I will capitalise on these connections in order to support our local businesses.
• Harnessing the Potential of the Small Medium Enterprises / Industries (SME / SMI) Sector
The SMI Bureau of the MCA must be at the forefront of coordinating our efforts in this area. I will personally look towards heading more trade delegations to other countries with the purpose of promoting our SME/SMIs. I believe that coordinated effort with current Government initiatives will allow these companies to compete globally.
• The role that MCA’s Economic Entity (Huaren Holdings) can play in this Master Plan
I believe that the Economic Entity of MCA, Huaren Holdings, can play a very strategic role in the Master Plan for the Chinese community. Managed well, with the proper constitutional structures in place that will make it openly accountable, Huaren Holdings can help fund many of the social projects that the MCA will undertake to increase the wellbeing of the Malaysian Chinese.
A Strong Economic Entity to Support the Malaysian Chinese Community
The Party has come a long way since the collapse of its ambitious corporatisation drive in the late 80’s through the MPHB saga. Today, that economic legacy continues through Huaren Holdings, the Party’s official investment arm. It controls the highly profitable Star Publications Bhd., the nation’s largest circulating newspaper. Since the sale of MPHB, Star Publications remains the only truly profitable entity in the MCA’s small stable of companies.
I believe that we need to move beyond the stigma of past failure if we are to harness the true potential of our economic entity. Instead we ought to learn from the mistakes of the past and reposition the Party and Community for the future. Much has changed since the 70’s and 80’s. As mentioned earlier, the often tense communal politics of the yesteryears are today largely a relic of the past. We are the proud beneficiaries of a political system that places unshakeable emphasis on national unity, prosperity and economic opportunity for all communities. We are the Wawasan 2020 generation! Therefore, we need to reposition our future business and investment endeavours in the true spirit of goodwill, brotherhood and nation building. We need to go back to the original objectives of community welfare set by the founding fathers of the Party. We need to change the image and perception of Huaren Holdings from that of an ethnically backed and motivated economic entity into a truly modern corporate star performer that will benefit not just the Chinese community, but the nation as a whole!
Operationally and strategically, this Economic Entity will be modelled after reputable, well run and proven Government-linked corporations (GLC’s) like Temasek and PNB. It shall possess, at the very minimum, the following characteristics:
• All entities in the grouping are to be run and managed exclusively by professionally employed corporate executives recruited from the best of our people here and abroad. There will be a general policy of political non-interference in management decisions. The Board of Directors will comprise of business people and other personalities held in high public esteem.
• Measures will be introduced to enhance corporate transparency and accountability in all areas of business. For example, an across-the-board open tender system for the award of contracts must be instituted with processes that safeguard the interests of investors. There must be clear built-in safeguards to ensure that no person or group however powerful can misuse the assets of this Economic Entity for their own personal benefits.
• Profit and performance oriented.
There will be a proper system of business portfolio management which entails:
1. Investing in profitable and high-growth potential business concerns whether listed or private, local or foreign;
2. Unlocking value of profitable companies through listing etc;
3. Involvement in the regional market of China, ASEAN and India
• Substantial portion of non-reinvestment profits generated shall be used for BENEVOLENT PURPOSES and are to be channelled back to fund community projects approved under the various Master Plans. These include areas such as support for SJKCs, Independent Chinese Schools, training programs, scholarships and bursaries for the poorer and especially outstanding students, supporting the poor, elderly, disabled, orphans, single mothers and the sick who have no support.
• Party leaders especially Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and State Excos through their influence in Government will have to contribute to the growth and success of this economic entity.
• We will have to consider giving recognition to Party leaders on retirement who have contributed substantially during their political tenures. For example when they retire from active politics they may receive benefits like gratuities and lifetime healthcare benefits.
While not exhaustive, these are issues and areas where I know the MCA can provide proactive and meaningful direction and leadership for the betterment of the people we represent.
I stand as a candidate for the Presidency of MCA with a vision to overcome these challenges. I believe my almost one decade experience at the helm of the Health Ministry and prior to that as Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry will stand me in good stead to serve the community in this crucial area.

Educating our community for the 21st Century

Malaysia is one of the most successful amongst developing nations in the provision and development of education at all levels. For example, we now have as many universities as Australia and certainly many more colleges. Education is increasingly universal, as a result of which there has been a rapid expansion in the number of our middle class. We recognise the huge resources the government has invested into this sector and the Party should continue to support the efforts of the Prime Minister and both the Minister of Education and the Minister of Higher Education.
However there is a saying "Do not make the good the enemy of the Best". In short, we need to continually strive for excellence.
Set out below are some of my thoughts on the subject of education for our community.
Education for the Knowledge Economy
For the Malaysian Chinese, the importance of educational and academic excellence has always been one of the hallmark traits of our culture and community. However, the challenges presented by the new millennium necessitate a re-thinking of the way we view and educate our children. Today’s global knowledge economy requires the creation of a knowledge-based society. The workforce of today is no longer just ‘manual or physical’ labour working at the behest of the greater mind of the employer. They ARE the MINDS of the business, ‘selling’ their knowledge to the companies and organisations that hire them. Therefore it is no longer sufficient for our children to know ‘how things operate’; they must now be trained to think on ‘how to operate things better’. Their minds must be trained to explore, to adapt and be creative, as well as to continually learn and grow in a dynamic global environment of continuous and rapid change. As it is there are certain areas of concern that we, as a community, must address before the vision of a knowledge based society can be realised.
Transforming Our Mindset

I believe that what the Malaysian Chinese community critically needs today is a changing of mindsets towards the way we view and think about the education system in our community. We cannot afford to look at education solely through the narrow lenses of our community in isolation, but through those of the broader world perspective. We must recognise that the current methods of education employed today may be insufficient to equip our children to meet the challenges of the future. There must be a renewal of ideas and teaching methods in the Chinese medium education system. For instance, we need to be sensitive to the fact that academic intelligence is only one form of human intelligence. Psychologists have identified at least some 7 more forms of intelligence such as emotional intelligence, creative intelligence, artistic intelligence etc. Each one is important to the renewal and reinvigoration of our society. Not every one is academically strong nor should those that are sound academically deny themselves the fullest use of the other faculties of intelligence. For if nurtured, it will create an all-rounded community of poets, writers, scientists, engineers, painters, architects, dancers, athletes, musicians, teachers, philosophers, ecologists, craftsmen, skilled technicians and many other professions that make our world more vibrant. In short, our educational system should be one that capitalises on the diversities of intelligences that make each and every one of us unique individuals.
Harnessing the Power of Languages
I also believe in harnessing the power of our spoken and written languages. Language is the medium in which the knowledge of the world is acquired. As Malaysian Chinese we are uniquely poised to capitalise on the economic emergence of China as well as the booming overseas Chinese economies and networks through the usage of Mandarin. At the same time we must also acknowledge the very real importance of English as the single most important language for international communications and acquiring knowledge today. Our government has recognised that we are in general producing students that are mediocre in languages.
Educational Funding

Another vital area is the issue of educational funding for students and schools. MCA-owned institutions of higher learning like TAR College, KOJADI College of Technology and UTAR have served an important role in addressing some of these problems. However, much more can be done to ensure that our children have access to the very best education possible. Not all of our families can afford to let their children have a good education. This is where I believe a strong economic arm can play a crucial role in generating the resources necessary to fund our community’s educational needs. We should also look at ways to improve and upgrade our own centres of learning so that we can begin to match the standards of the world’s best educational institutions.

Secondary School Dropouts
Finally, we must also acknowledge that we are seeing a significant and increasing number of high-school dropouts from our community. These students are primarily from the vernacular Chinese schools who encounter difficulty coping with the change in language medium when they move on to national secondary schools. Unable to understand what they are being taught, they become demoralised and disillusioned when it shows in their poor results. We cannot afford to lose our youth. As every seed has the potential to grow and become a flourishing plant, so every one of our children has the potential to become a valued member of society. Therefore we as a community and the MCA as its representative Party must strive to improve the educational system of this nation so that not one of our children gets left behind.
Education Master plan for the Chinese Community Towards 2020 and Beyond
Give me two years to produce an Education Master Plan for the Chinese Community. In drawing up this master plan, we will take a holistic approach drawing on the collective wisdom and ideas of a wide segment of our community, as well as ideas and inspirations from abroad. We will work together with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education during this process.
The following are some of the areas we should address and potential solutions which we can adopt as part of this Master Plan.

• Strengthening the Teaching of Mandarin
The Party must continue to improve and encourage the study and usage of Mandarin in our schools. We will undertake greater cooperation with the authorities and academics in China to help us in this endeavour. Malaysia and China’s bilateral relations have developed at a remarkable speed. Good Mandarin speaking Malaysians including amongst the Bumiputeras will further strengthen the communications between our nations and industries.

• Safeguarding the Right to Mother Tongue Education
We have to safeguard the right to mother tongue education in line with one of the founding goals of our Party. We will continue striving in the sphere of BN, to relocate, expand and increase the number of Chinese primary schools. We will persevere and lobby for more government grants for these schools. We will also be steadfast in our goal to see that these schools are staffed with sufficient numbers of qualified teachers.

• Helping to Upgrade the 60 Independent Secondary Chinese Schools
We have to work together with the Chinese educationists to strengthen the system of education in the 60 secondary Independent Chinese schools and to provide the support to them in expanding networks in countries like China and India to make available affordable higher education for these students. Particular attention must be paid to establishing stronger links with more premier Chinese and Indian universities to take in the best of our students in fields in which these universities excel in.
• A Programme to Upgrade English in Chinese Schools
To enable the transition into the knowledge-based society and economy, we will have to upgrade the spoken and written skills of our students in the English language. The English language is undeniably the single most important language of communication and knowledge in the world. As an example the Life College of which I am Chairman of the Board, a not for profit college, has sent its CEO to China to study a program for the teaching of English outside of the normal school curriculum. This program was developed by a group of dedicated academics and social workers, many trained in the West, who drew up this program to help their youth upgrade their command of the English language. Over the last few years it has produced thousands of teachers from rural and urban schools trained in this method. Their success has been convincing and I have already spoken with their leaders and they are prepared to share their expertise with us. We can source this program to help our SJKC’s and Independent Chinese schools in SJK schools.
• Vocation Specific Schools and Colleges
Our newly revamped economic arm can invest in private institutions of learning such as private colleges which are vocation specific such as Nursing and allied health colleges, Design and Arts colleges, Business Schools (offering post-graduate courses like MBA, Masters of Finance etc) and other similar institutions. Such institutions will complement our existing institutions like TAR College and UTAR by offering courses at subsidised fees. This is why an economically strong business arm for the Party is so important. Furthermore, with a strong profitable economic arm we can significantly increase the number of scholarships or bursaries available to students that will enable them to study at renowned institutions worldwide.
• Developing Creative and Lateral Thinkers

We will work with the Education Ministry for the introduction and inclusion of modules within and outside the school curriculum that will help and encourage students to become analytical, critical, creative and innovative lateral thinkers. The Chinese word for learning "xue wen" literally means, "Learn" and "Ask". Our students must never be afraid to ask questions and always be actively seeking answers. As it is we are producing students who depend too much on rote learning and memory skills.
• Training the Trainers
We will need to develop a comprehensive program to train and equip our educators i.e. teachers, PIBG, and School Boards. It is vitally important that the people responsible for our children’s education are themselves thoroughly equipped and able to provide the very best ideas and values to their teaching methods.
• Arresting the Dropout Rate
We have to formulate measures to remedy the unacceptably high level of dropout rates of our schools. If left unaddressed, this can contribute to the growth of social ills within our community - gangsterism, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, prostitution, etc. We have to help our youths overcome the present weaknesses within our system. We also need to be sensitive to the fact that academic intelligence is only one form of human intelligence. We have to train our teachers to be sensitive to the other forms of intelligence that our youths possess.
• New Areas of Knowledge
We must formulate policies to encourage our students to venture into new and emerging areas of study like biotechnology, biosciences, agro-technology, and ICT instead of over-focussing on disciplines popular in the past and present like law, medicine and engineering.
• Promoting Postgraduate Studies
We need to produce more postgraduates i.e. Masters and PhD holders, especially in the fields directly related to the knowledge economy such as the Sciences and Technology. As a political Party we will have to convince the government that more funds be provided for post-graduate education especially in good universities in the world for all races if we are to achieve our aspiration to develop a truly knowledge based economy.
• Learning from the Best
We must recognise that China has been transforming its education system from bottom to top over the last ten years with many successes. We have to learn from the best in the world, including China, and supplement the many efforts and resources our Government has invested into the education of our youth.
• Identifying and Nurturing Creativity
We need to give a fair amount of attention to the development of our children’s creative and artistic intelligences. In order to encourage this aspect of our youth’s development, I will propose to the community the idea of setting up a Malaysian Chinese Culture and Arts Academy. The Academy will draw our most talented and creative individuals to express their ideas visually, literally and artistically in a conducive environment.
• Character Building
Education must provide for character building. Our students will become future members and leaders of the community. We need to inculcate in them values of integrity and honesty so that in future our partners in the rest of the world will say that it is good to deal with the Malaysian Chinese because they are men of character!


It is my sincerest hope that I will be given the privilege and opportunity, as President of the MCA, to help bring about the reforms necessary to raise the educational standards of the Chinese community to be on par with the best of the world!

MCA - Politically Relevent in the 21st Century

Demographically in 2004 the Malaysian Chinese only make up 25.4% of the population compared to 28.1% in 1991, whilst the Bumiputeras are 65.7% in 2004 compared to 60.6% in 1991. In a period of 13 years the Bumiputera population increased by about 5.0% while the Malaysian Chinese population decreased by 2.7%. If this trend continues and bearing in mind that the Bumiputera annual population growth rate is much higher than the Chinese it would not be surprising that by 2020 the Bumiputera community will increase to well over 70% or more and the Chinese will decline to about 20%. A significant percentage in our population’s decline is due to the large number of our families emigrating overseas. We have to stop the outward migration of the Chinese community started in the `70s. The vast majority of these families emigrate because they feel that their economic and children’s educational opportunities lie overseas. The Economic and Education blueprints must address these issues. Furthermore as the representative Party we must assure them that we do indeed hear their voices and they are truly equal and valued citizens of this country.
We as a Party must also ask ourselves - does the Chinese Community support us because they honour and respect us as their Party and their leaders, or do they vote for us because we come under the banner of the BN? As long as the BN Government promote policies that are seen to be fair and liberal they will support the BN. Can we develop the Party to that level where they will support us throughout the country on our own rights and merit? If we can do this then our members can live within the community with their heads held high. We can then expect more widespread support for our candidates in every General Election. We will win not only because of the BN but also because of our own merit! Then the Party will be able to contribute in a more meaningful and positive way to the continued victory of the BN.
Political Master Plan for The Chinese Community Towards 2020 and Beyond
I propose to establish a high powered committee on Political Renewal for the MCA which will draw from the ranks of our political elders, Party leaders and political scientists to advise the Party on a new political culture and direction for the 21st century. The Party is now 56 years old. In the past 20 years alone the world has undergone great changes. Many political parties in the world have disappeared while others have begun to change, to reorientate, to propose new political direction and goals to accommodate these changes. MCA must do the same lest we become irrelevant.

The following are some of the contents that the committee will address as part of this political blueprint for this century.
• Defining Core Values for MCA
A political Party must have clear, unequivocal core values and direction. Without them it will not be able to focus and consolidate its strengths and efficiently direct them towards the achievement of stated goals. Under these circumstances, destructive factional fights quickly spreads, and if violence and coercion also become involved, the Party can be eventually destroyed. Some of the necessary values for a political Party to possess are: love and care for their people, fairness, justice, integrity, discipline, courage in their convictions and tolerance for different opinions.
• Clean, Committed and Capable Leadership
Our Prime Minister has provided strategies and policies that are truly people-centered. The MCA must stand together with him on this call. Our people have every right to demand the highest integrity from their political leaders. The Malaysian Chinese community will respect and support us as a Party when they see us as possessing the 3 Cs - Clean, Committed and Capable.
• MCA and the Community, Fish and Water: Leadership through Vision
To overcome our community’s disinterest and disenchantment with the political process we must begin to transform our Party increasingly and clearly to a nation and community-centered system. We must never forget that the MCA is to the Malaysian Chinese community and the nation as the fish is to the water. The fish cannot exist without the water, but the water can exist without the fish. The people’s welfare must truly come first and our words, programmes and actions must never be merely symbolic but always serving the greater interests of our nation. The Party must be seen to be leaders of the community through clear vision presented by Master Plans for Politics, Education, Economics and Culture.
• Engaging Our Youth
With an ageing trend in our Party, we must question our relevance to the youths of our community. If we do not engage the youth we will find that the MCA will lose its influence within the community in the future. We must begin to understand them better and ask about the ideals that they hold. They are the key to our country’s future. Our Party must tap into their hopes and dreams so that we will be better able to provide a political foundation for them that they will be willing to contribute towards. They will be a key voice that I will seek in the creation of our Economic, Education and Political Master Plan.
• Integrity of the Party Membership List
Measures will need to be taken to ensure the integrity of the Party’s membership list.
• A New Disciplinary Committee
Here we will have to emulate UMNO. Members of the Disciplinary Committee will be appointed from the ranks of our party elders who are no longer in active politics and will therefore have no conflict of interest.
• Harvesting the Ideas and Experience of our Seniors
We will invoke the provisions of Article 50 of the Party’s Constitution and establish the MCA’s Council of Elders. I strongly believe that our seniors who are no longer in active politics will be able to help and advise the President and the Party on the new Master Plans and projects that we will undertake.

MCA needs to build a new vision, new goals and to formulate plans to achieve them. These plans must be based on clear core values in order to win Party members’ and the public’s support.
The Party must be respected and be driven by high ideals and objectives if we are to become relevant to the increasing numbers of Malaysian Chinese middle class. They are increasingly affluent, educated and critical. If we are to reenergize and catalyse our Party in the 21st century then we need to be transformed into a Party that has dignity, ideals and high ambitions for the people. In short a Party that can be respected.
I stand before you as a Presidential candidate with a promise to transform us into a Party that will always have a strong and influential voice in the halls of power long after we are gone!
For the sake of our children and grandchildren we need to undergo this process of dynamic change. Are we prepared to do so? You decide!

Executive Summary

I stand before you as a candidate for the Presidency of the Malaysian Chinese Association with a vision to set new directions for our community within the wider aspirations and goals of Vision 2020, a Vision for a developed Malaysian Nation that I fully support. In fact I shall call for a National Conference for the community, the theme being "Vision 2020 - The Contribution of the Malaysian Chinese". I will hold a nationwide dialogue with our people as I create Master Plans that will impact our policies in areas of politics, economics, education and culture.
These Master Plans will secure the future of our community for decades to come ensuring that the voice of the Malaysian Chinese Community will always be heard in the corridors of power and that we will always be valued partners in the making of the Malaysian dream.
Outlined below are the platforms that I stand on as I present my case for the Presidency.
New Politics
It is my intention to breathe new life and fresh ideas that will rejuvenate the party, ideas that will continue to make our party relevant and therefore electable in the 21st century.
The Political Master Plan for the Malaysian Chinese Community
will encompass the following:
• Defining the Core Values for MCA
• Raising up Clean, Committed and Capable Leaders
• Maintaining Leadership of the Malaysian Chinese Community
• Engaging the Youth of our Community
• Ensuring the Integrity of the Party Membership List
• Restructuring the Disciplinary Committee
• Harvesting the Ideas and Experience of our Seniors
This Master Plan will define us as a party and give succeeding generations of leaders a foundation to build upon.
Elect me to the Presidency and I will develop this Master Plan in 1 year that will chart the political future of the MCA!

An Economic Vision for the Malaysian Chinese Community
The Malaysian Chinese Community needs a Social Safety Net that will give them access to a higher quality of life. This can only occur in the presence of a strong economy and well-funded institutions.
It is my vision that the MCA, as the representative party of the Malaysian Chinese, will take steps to ensure that our Community plays an influential role in the growth of our nation’s economy that will then allow us to fund our social security projects.
The Economic Master Plan for the Malaysian Chinese Community will seek to provide the following:
• Measures to Enhance Social Security for the Malaysian Chinese
• Positioning and Supporting Local Businesses to Capitalise on Global Opportunities
• Harnessing the Potential of the Small Medium Enterprises / Industries ( SME / SMI ) Sector
• The role that MCA’s Economic Entity (Huaren Holdings) can play in this Master Plan
I also envision the creation of a strong economic entity that the MCA can use as a vehicle to support our projects within the Malaysian Chinese Community. We have in Huaren Holdings the seed for that economic entity.
Though linked to the MCA, measures and principles will be put in place that will guarantee the corporate transparency and accountability of this entity. It will be primarily profit and performance oriented as every successful company must be. However, a substantial portion of its profits will be channeled back into the community via the funding of social projects like the supporting of SJKCs, Independent Chinese Schools, scholarships and aid for the less fortunate.
Entrust me with the Presidency and I will formulate the Economic Master Plan in 1 year that will help to secure the economic future of the Malaysian Chinese!
A Vision of Educational Excellence for our Youth
Malaysia’s education system is good; we can make it better.
I believe that in the presence of the new global economy and the rapid breakthroughs in science and technology we as a community must transform the methods we have in educating and preparing our young for the future.

The Education Master Plan will address the following issues:
• Strengthening the Teaching of Mandarin
• Safeguarding the Right to Mother Tongue Education
• Helping to Upgrade the 60 Independent Secondary Chinese Schools
• Upgrading the Level of English in Chinese Schools
• Creation of Vocation Specific Schools and Colleges
• Developing Creative and Lateral Thinkers
• Training Programs for our Educators
• Arresting the Increasing Drop Out Rate of our Children
• Accessing New Areas of Knowledge
• Learning to Educate from the Best
• Identifying and Nurturing Creativity
• Character Building
I envisage an education system that will equip our children with the necessary skills to be major players and contributors in the development of ideas and innovations throughout the world. I aim to take MCA, as the guardian of the Malaysian Chinese Community, to the forefront of this challenge. Grant me the authority of the Presidency and I will create an Education Master Plan for the Malaysian Chinese Community in 2 years that will provide a strategic future for our children!
A Cultural Vision for the Malaysian Chinese Community
I strongly believe that the culture that defines our community is both unique and remarkable. It is therefore my objective that our rich cultural heritage be preserved and continually nurtured.
The Cultural Master Plan will consider the following points and ideas:
• Establishment of the Malaysian Chinese Culture and Arts and Academy
• Establishment of a National Malaysian Chinese Performing Arts Company
• Developing New Village Culture
It is my plan to make the MCA the catalyst of the cultural identity of our community.
Bestow me the office of President of the MCA and I will create a Cultural Master Plan within 2 years which will ensure that our culture will remain strong and influential for generations to come!

One Footstep, One Footprint

May 13th in London. Immediate impact. CJM (Chua Jui Meng) decided to enter politics to

help bring unity to the races of Malaysia.

Elected President of the Malaysian & Singaporean Law Society in U.K. and Eire.

Editor in Chief of the Federation of the UK and Eire Malaysian and Singaporean

Students Organisation.

Called to the British Bar as Barrister-at-Law having worked my way to support

my legal studies.

Joined MCA.

Participated and lost in Branch elections in Muar.

Elected Chairman of Tanjung Branch, Muar Division.

Chairman of the Muar MCA Save the Party Committee.

Contested and lost Muar MCA Division elections.

Elected MP for Bakri with majority of 1,105

Elected Chairman of the Bakri MCA Division.

2 hour speech in Parliament on the MALAYSIAN CHINESE DILEMMA as a result of the

deviations and misimplementation of the New Economic Policy. As a result of this speech,
Government responded quickly and sensitively by calling for the 1st National Economic
Consultative Council in 1989 -1990 of 150 representatives, half Bumiputras and half
non Bumiputras. The fruit of the deliberations behind closed doors was the replacement of
the NEP with the National Development Policy 1990 -2000 -an era of liberalisation in economies, education and culture. Chinese voter sentiment changed in 1995, 1999 and 2004
from pro Opposition to pro Barisan Nasional.

Appointed member of the 1st NECC.

Appointed Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Health.

Elected 2nd VP of MCA.

Reelected as MP for Bakri. Majority increased to 3,111.

DAP opponent: Lee Wan Chien

1990 - 1995
Appointed Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry.

Main focus to promote and develop the SMIs. Organised many workshops, seminars and

national conferences on the SMIs, providing necessary information to them on Government policies, incentives, loan schemes and on how to develop their enterprises. Worked closely
with the Associations representing the SMIs.

Led a delegation with journalists to China visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou,

Guangzhou. At that time there was little publicity on China and the Western news continued to portray China as a backward communist country behind the Bamboo Curtain. Returned home with positive reports on China urging Malaysians to engage China especially in people to people relationship and for tourism, investment and trade. Since then our bilateral trade and
investments and the people to people including Government to Government relationship has developed by leaps and bounds.

Elected as 1st VP MCA - 2nd term.

Reelected as MP Bakri with majority increasing to 12,318.

Appointed Minister of Health and was by 2004 the longest serving

Minister of Health, Malaysia.

Elected as 1st VP MCA - 3rd term.

1995 - 2004
Record as Minister of Health.

Transformed the Ministry from a backwater Ministry into a Ministry that had a high public

profile and recognized for its openness to the people, for its dedication to the public and patients and for its caring culture.

Period of rapid expansion. Over 30 hospitals were built or upgraded during this period.

New modern community polyclinics were built. In the Klang Valley with a population of
over 4 million and growing, a network of new 21st Century fully electronic modern hospitals were built - Selayang, Serdang, Putrajaya, Sungai Buluh, Ampang each being the centre for specific super specialization e.g. Selayang for liver diseases and hand and micro surgery,
Serdang for heart diseases. New hospitals werebuilt throughout the country.

Expansion of the numbers of specialist hospitals to 42.

Establishing new heart centers or providing services in Johor Bahru, Penang, Kota Kinabalu

(Sabah Medical Centre), Kuching and Serdang. A new centre is being completed at the new Alor Setar General Hospital.

Establishing new cancer centres at the new Sultan Ismail Hospital, Pandan and through the

Sabah Medical Centre at Kota Kinabalu.

Change of attitudes and work culture in MOST hospitals and clinics through the introduction

and implementation through staff training of the MinistryÕs Corporate Culture which comprises of:-

a) caring in service b) working professionally c) working as a team.

The slogan of the campaign was "A smile is therapeutic". This resulted in transforming our services from one based on "Doctor Centered" to

The philosophy of the Ministry of Health became changed from a arrowupwhere the people and

patients formed the broad base of the pyramid with the health providers being the middle part of the pyramid and Ministry senior officials and the Minister at the apex to a arrowdownwhere the Minister, senior officials and the health providers exist to serve the people and patients.

Promotion and development of a Malaysian traditional and complementary medicine sector.

Incorporated umbrella bodies representing the Chinese, Malay and Indian complementary
medicine practitioners. Development of a council, policies drafting of a new Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill, obtaining approval for the establishment of a new division to
oversee the development of this sector.

Open door and transparency policy. Encouraging our staff to undertake continuous dialogue

with the NGOs, professional bodies and the business community. 9 annual dialogues with the business sector, NGOs and professional bodies. Policy of continuous dialogues by divisions and departments throughout the year as and when required.

Recognised Taiwan degrees in Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry from 7 Taiwanese


Allowed graduates from universities in China to sit for the final year medical examination in

Malaysia and on passing they would be eligible to practise medicine in this country.

Developed and promoted Malaysia as the most advanced country in establishing fully electronic

hospitals. Initiated telemedicine in our hospitals.

Fought 4 new disease outbreaks caused by "NEW VIRUSES"

The "Cocksackie Outbreak" which started in Sarawak and spreaded to the Peninsular.

Nipah/JE. The nipah was a new virus which started amongst pigs and then spread to humans

working in the pig industry. WHO praised Malaysia's efforts in fighting and stopping this disease.

The SARS epidemic again caused by a NEW VIRUS. The Ministry of Health committed

10,000 staff to contain this dreaded virus and successfully fought it so that there was not one single case of local transmission of the disease in Malaysia. At the request of Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi we convened the historic first ever Ministers of Health of Asean + 3 meeting on SARS in Kuala Lumpur within 5 days with the intention of coordinating regional efforts in fighting this epidemic which claimed 8,000 lives and brought tourism almost to a halt.
The WHO recognized Malaysia's efforts and held its Global Scientific Conference on SARS in Malaysia. This was WHO's first ever global conference on a disease outbreak.

As a result of our experiences we came up with a publication - an institutionalized memory of

Malaysia's method in fighting epidemics against invisible enemies - the viruses.
This publication will be the benchmark for fighting future epidemics.

Established a network of high level laboratories for the containment and identification of new

viruses and other microbes.

During the economic crisis our SMIs were facing a credit crunch. The Ministry of Finance

established an SMI Fund to help our SMIs. Chinese SMIs however faced was only for Bumiputras. CJM, then the Chairman of the MCA's Trade & Industry (including SMIs) Bureau, organized a meeting with the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM) and the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Hua Zhong) and organized a dialogue session within 5 days chaired by our Party's President, Dato' Seri Ling Leong Sik, with the then Minister of Finance, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 1,000 Chinese businessmen attended. The dialogue was a success because at the end of it the Minister announced that the SMI Fund was opened to all races and settled other problems
at the same time.

As a result of this cooperation NASMIC (National SMI Consultative Centre) was formed with

CJM as Chairman.

Since then it has organized numerous seminars, conferences and trade shows including the 1st,

2nd and 3rd Malaysia China Economic Conference, the Knowledge Economy Conference and the 1st Malaysia India Economic Conference. Each conference had a participation rate of 2,500.
The Conferences resulted in much greater interest on the part of Malaysian businessmen towards doing business with China and India, two of the world's biggest emerging consumer markets.

Reelected for the 4th term as MCA's 2nd VP.

Reelected as MP for Bakri with an increased majority of 13,360.

Peace Plan. 5th term as MCA VP.

Reelected as MP for Bakri with an increased majority of 19,059

Not recommended after the General Elections for ministership by the Party's President.

Began the 15 months period of SILENCE.

1/7/05 - Announced after careful consideration his candidature for the MCA's Presidency.