Don't derail M'sia growth momentum: party leader

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Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - Rely on facts, a proven track record and workable policies instead of fallacies and empty promises when casting votes during the general election, urged Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Dr Chua Soi Lek.

In his Chinese New Year message, Dr Chua advised the Chinese community to continue to work alongside the government to ensure the country enjoyed continued growth and progress.

"It is not the time to experiment when even developed nations are battling the onslaught of uncertain economic conditions.

"We need a ship that is intact, with an experienced crew to steer us through the stormy economic turbulence confronting nations globally."

Any wrong turn at this crucial time, he said, could cause the country's economy to falter and derail Malaysia's pursuit of becoming a high-income nation by 2020.

The Chinese community has played an integral part in nation-building and it is without doubt that they have been key players of the country's economic growth and strength.

"We cannot afford a political paralysis at this moment as it would freeze all initiatives that we have laid the ground work for," he said.

Referring to the recent ban on women performers at Chinese New Year functions in Kedah and the ban on female hairstylists from tending to male customers and vice-versa in Kelantan, Dr Chua said the community must reject the Opposition's brand of politics which was against the 1Malaysia concept of inclusiveness and fairness to all.

"Slowly but surely, we see the freedom of the Chinese eroding and the community subjected to rigid illogical rulings which clearly ridicule their intelligence and freedom of association," he said.

He said Malaysia's economy had grown by leaps and bounds over the last 50 years with the country's foreign reserves hitting a record US$139.7 billion at the end of last year and the momentum was expected to continue into 2013.

"It is the result of the conscientious effort coupled with the right policies put in place," he said, adding that it was crucial for the country to stay on course to ensure the people benefited from all the Government's initiatives.

"We should look forward to 2013 with much vigour, enthusiasm and hope.

"MCA wishes all Chinese in the country a happy, prosperous and joyous Chinese New Year."

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