Review all forms of affirmative action
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong reiterates the urgent need to review comprehensively all forms of affirmative action that has been instituted in Malaysia.
Dr Tan comments on the controversy arising from the Reuters report on 15 September, 2006, about Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s remark on the Chinese in the neighbouring countries.
Kuan Yew has been reported as saying: “Singapore’s neighbours have problems with their Chinese communities because they are successful and hardworking and therefore they are systemically marginalized.”
This arouses the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, retorting that such comment is not ‘appreciated’.
Gerakan president Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik feels that the statement was wrong and uncalled for. Kuan Yew does not have to worry about rural areas.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says that Singapore should look at how the Malays in the republic are being marginalized before criticizing Malaysia’s treatment of its ethnic Chinese.
MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting tells Malaysians to remain united and not fall into the trap of getting worked up over the remark.
“As a former prime minister, he should know this kind of remarks could have a negative impact on neighbouring countries,” he added.
Replying to questions from Berita Harian and TV3 yesterday, I said that I would like to have the full text of Kuan Yew’s speech. Talking on race and religion evokes sensitivities.
My stand is that we should have policies based on merits and needs, helping those who are weak and oppressed irrespective of race, religion or region. Once a person can stand on his or her own feet, he or she should no longer get the assistance. Let other qualified people have a chance.
This morning I received an SMS: This is a message from a supporter---‘I just listened to tv3’s night line. Come on, Kuan Yew spoke the heartfelt feelings of chinese here, yet u guys (by tan seng giaw) join the bn clowns in condemning him. I am very disappointed.’
I replied with an SMS: “I’ve no control of the media. I’ve asked for the full text of Kuan Yew’s speech. Why should I support the abuse of the affirmative action under which I’ve been a victim? Tan Seng Giaw.”
That person sent another SMS message: ‘ I’ll convey the message to the supporter. I didn’t watch TV news, so I can’t comment his views.’
So much for modern information technology.
Nevertheless, I have reiterated that The Government must review comprehensively all forms of affirmative action including those under the New Economic Policy to ascertain as much as possible those who have succeeded and those who have suffered as well as to recommend ways and means of helping only qualified people.