Dr M: What the Chinese really want

12 Jun 2014 / 20:49 H.

    PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad feels that Chinese voters are concerned only about whether the government provides them with a conducive business environment and not how many minister posts are given to Chinese-based political parties.
    He said no Chinese really care how many minister and deputy minister posts MCA will eventually get.
    Mahathir said that when he was the premier, although the Chinese regarded him as a "Malay extremist", he ultimately had the support of the Chinese voters.
    "I was able to get the support of Chinese voters mainly because they felt that I treated all races fairly," Mahathir was quoted as saying in an interview with Nanyang Siang Pau today.
    Asked how many Cabinet posts he thinks MCA should be allocated, the former premier said "two".
    "MCA won only seven parliamentary seats. As such, it couldn't possibly get the number of minister's posts it has requested.
    "However, I have no comment if the government decides to increase the number of Cabinet posts (for MCA)."
    Mahathir said he personally does not believe in enlarging the Cabinet to "create job opportunities", given that the current line-up is already bigger than it was during his time.
    On remarks by former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin that the prime minister already has too much on his plate to also be holding the finance minister's post,
    \Mahathir opined that the premier should, and is duty-bound to, take charge of the Home Ministry, where real powers lie, instead of the Finance Ministry.
    He said when he was at the helm, he chose to also hold the home minister's post, keeping his hands off the finance portfolio.
    "I only took over the Finance Ministry once, because of (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim). I believe the finance minister's post should be held by another person."
    Below are some of the views he also expressed during the interview:
    – hudud is not suitable to be implemented in Malaysia;
    – power-sharing and helping the economically weaker groups is still the best policy for Malaysia;
    – meritocracy will put the Chinese at a greater advantage;
    – racial disparity will lead to tensions and violence;
    – give the Chinese business opportunities but do not neglect the Malays;
    – Chinese voters still play crucial roles in elections;
    – Anwar helped Umno in the 13th general election by talking too much; and
    – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is not firm enough in running the country.
    Meanwhile, Bernama quoted MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai as anticipating Najib to have a cabinet reshuffle soon.
    "I wish to say 'thank you' to the prime minister, who will have a cabinet reshuffle but we do not know when. I am confident it (cabinet reshuffle) is the prime minister's wish," he told Bernama at the Parliament lobby today.
    He said it is vital for Barisan Nasional component parties to rejoin the cabinet to help Najib implement his national transformation plans.


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