Policies set by the ruling Barisan Nasional government have helped to ensure the Chinese community's success in Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
While acknowledging that the community's drive, industriousness and entrepreneurial skills have contributed to the country's development all these years, Najib said BN’s policies had contributed to peace and harmony that enabled them to flourish.
"But we have to admit that BN's policies ensure peace and harmony here, ensure a fair share of opportunities in the country that led to most Chinese being relatively successful here," he said in his speech at MCA's “Stronger Together” campaign aimed at reviving the fortunes and uniting the senior BN party after its dismal performance in the 13th general election last year.
MCA only won seven parliamentary and 11 state seats in GE13, leading to its decision to turn down government positions at all levels.
But the decision was overturned earlier this year by members via an extraordinary general meeting.
In citing education as an example of a sector close to the community's hearts and which the national policies had benefitted the Chinese, Najib said no country outside of China and Taiwan have incorporated Chinese education as part of the national education system.
"Our forefathers chose integration and not assimilation like Thailand or Indonesia. Because of that, we can see the number of Chinese and Chinese independent schools in Malaysia," said the BN chairman.
He said when he was the education minister, he took a "political risk" in doing away with Section 21 (2) of the Education Act, which empowered the minister to change the status of Chinese schools to national schools.
In welcoming the Chinese party's decision to return to government, Najib said MCA could not stay outside.
"They have to be part and parcel of the BN government because to be stronger together, they have to be inside the government so that together, we can chart the nation's future and devise policies that are fair to all.
"If the Chinese need us to look at some policies and if their requests are fair, we'll certainly give it serious consideration.”
Najib said MCA's protracted leadership battles had contributed to its weakening and called for it to unite internally if it wanted to revive.
"We can't afford for MCA to plunge further, we want MCA to go up.
"MCA, like any other party, has to manage its own internal problems but if we all show a new spirit and the determination to change, we can do it," he said.
He also asked the party to go to the ground to ensure each member's commitment towards MCA and start preparations to identify potential candidates for the 14th general election. – May 3, 2014.