Oct 27, 2006

MCA Denies Dr Mahathir's Allegations Over Chinese Support

Always quick to show their support when you need them. MCA!

MUAR, Oct 26 (Bernama) -- The MCA Thursday denied allegations by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Chinese businessmen in the country did not support the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

MCA Vice-President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that, on the contrary, Chinese businessmen had described Abdullah as a leader who was democratic and transparent in administering the country.

"They say the prime minister is a leader who is willing to listen to whatever grievances and appeals the people have. I am confident Abdullah's leadership will convince Chinese businessmen to continue to support the Barisan Nasional (BN) government led by him," he said.

Dr Chua, who is also Health Minister, was asked to comment on the matter by reporters at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house of Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman in Sungai Mati, here.

He said that based on the feedback received following the setting up of MCA's Malaysian Corporate Council recently, Chinese businessmen's support for the government had grown stronger.

"As a result of the meeting between the council and the prime minister, which we arranged recently, Datuk Seri Abdullah personally pledged to solve the problems that they had been raised in stages," he said.

According to Dr Chua, the business community worldwide and not only in Malaysia is facing the pressures of competition as a result of globalisation and trade in a borderless world.

In Malaysia, he said, companies faced the problem of a labour shortage which caused the cost of doing business to rise.

"But to say that they do not support the government as alleged by Tun Dr Mahathir, it is not true," he said, adding that the Chinese businessmen in fact welcomed having dialogue with the prime minister from time to time to resolve issues, including those that had been brought to the attention of the prime minister much earlier.

In KEPALA BATAS, Gerakan deputy president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon also denied that Chinese businessmen were running away and investing in China.

Dr Koh, who is also Penang Chief Minister, said the claims made by Dr Mahathir were not true as many businessmen had actually expanded their wings by investing overseas.

"Since the early '90s, local Chinese businessman had expanded to China at the urging of Dr Mahathir himself for Malaysians to get involved in projects abroad," he told reporters after attending Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hari Raya open house here.

He said the same thing was happening to Malay and Indian businessmen who had gone on to invest in India and other countries in Africa, which only proved that Dr Mahathir's claims were not accurate.

Dr Koh also said that the Penang BN would continue supporting Abdullah in leading the nation and to achieve the national mission.

"We are deeply saddened and regret the remarks by Dr Mahathir," he said.


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