DAP to MCA: Contracts given on merit, not race
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal July 30, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — DAP rapped MCA today for accusing the Penang government of sidelining the Chinese community in the award of contracts, stressing that the state administration’s criteria was strictly merit-based.
In a strongly-worded reply, DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua charged that Barisan Nasional (BN) parties like MCA were stuck with “archaic” policies where they were only interested in attracting votes from the “respective races” they claimed to represent.
“They fail to recognise their own chauvinism and their total disconnect from ordinary citizens today who are increasingly seeing themselves as Malaysians first,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.
MCA had accused Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng of awarding all of the state’s Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) contracts to Malays, Bumiputeras and Indian Muslims, leaving the Chinese community out in the cold.
Penang Wanita MCA chairman Tan Cheng Liang claimed yesterday this was likely because the chief minister was “currying favour” with the non-Chinese community as, according to her, the DAP has realised that it could not rely on support from the Chinese forever.
Tan was referring to a statement Lim purportedly made on Wednesday that the contractors in all five districts in Penang for DID contracts are Malays, Bumiputeras and Indian Muslims, with women accounting for 20 per cent.
In response, Pua today said DAP and Pakatan Rakyat (PR)’s policies were specifically designed from a “merit and needs-based perspective.”
“Unlike MCA and BN’s model, we are race-blind. If one is poor, he or she will deserve assistance, regardless of race, religion or creed.
“If one is competent and cost-efficient, they will be awarded government contracts and projects irrespective of company ownership,” he added.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said that since majority of Malaysians below the poverty line in the country were Malays, PR states would therefore ensure that they were ones mainly benefitting from financial assistance.
“Similarly, if the best contractors happen to be Bumiputera companies, there’s no reason why they should be penalised just because of their skin colour.
“First Umno calls us anti-Malay. MIC says DAP ignores the plight of Indians, and now MCA says we are anti-Chinese? That doesn’t make much sense, does it?” Pua asked.
The Penang administration under Lim’s rule has regularly been accused by Umno, MCA’s senior partner in the ruling BN coalition, of being racist for allegedly discriminating against the Malay community.