MCA must stay on, says Khairy

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Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar has urged the MCA to reconsider the decision to withdraw its participation in the government following the party's disastrous performance in the general election.

The Rembau MP also cautioned certain voices within the party to stop echoing calls for BN to form a government without representatives from the community since the voters have ceased supporting the party.

He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should also persuade them to remain in the government administration as part of his reconciliation plan to nurse the wound caused by the voters' decision to shun the party.

"I hope those saying just leave them and let's take care of our race will stop.

"It will be tragic if we do not have any Chinese participation as it will further aggravate the situation," he said in the Viewpoints programme aired live over NTV7 last night.

Dr Chandra Muzaffar (left) was the other panelist in the show.

Khairy said BN largely adopted a balanced approach when it came to issues like language and education which were embedded in the constitution, adding that our leaders should stick with those provisions.

"I hope the prime minister will continue to take this path and engage with the community. This is critical for the safety of the nation and also important for the realisation of his 1Malaysia vision.

"The only path is the middle path. If you succumb to the communal game, the reconciliation will not happen.

"I know the Chinese psyche. If you engage them sincerely, they will reciprocate. You have got to be sincere with them," he said.

'Time to move on and start reconciliation process'

The BN youth chief said he was surprised when the coalition named an ethnocentric candidate for a Malay-majority seat, adding that this should never happen.

"Yes, you win some Malay votes in the process but you will also lose the support of moderate Malays in the process.

This was what happened in the urban and suburban areas of Selangor where we lost Malay support," he added.

He was referring to Perkasa vice-president Zulkifli Noordin ( right ) who stood and lost in the parliamentary seat of Shah Alam under a BN ticket.

Elaborating, Khairy said these kinds of leaders exist on both sides of the divide and the leadership should censure such members, adding that Malaysians have been divided politically for far too long.

He said it was time for all to move on and start the reconciliation process.

To a question on the reasons for the massive Chinese swing, Chandra blamed the DAP for what he felt was the years of successful indoctrination of the sentiment on the community, that they had not been treated well and made to feel like second-class citizens.

He said he had told the leaders on many occasions that this was not the case and that BN ensures all rights that were enshrined in the federal constitution, but it was not being communicated to the people because of political reasons.

"The MCA lacks Chinese intellectual leaders who are able to convince the community that this was not the case and the interests of all are being taken care of," Chandra ( left ) said.

He said the Chinese citizens in Malaysia have the best deal compared to the Chinese in other countries.

On the other hand, Khairy conceded that a sizeable number of Chinese were feeling that they had been marginalised and had the feeling of deprivation and of being victimised.

"This cuts across the whole nation. This must be addressed and corrected," he said, adding that some of their feelings could be legitimate.

Dangerous racial profiling

Touching on the reconciliation process, Khairy urged both sides to be magnanimous as the country was split politically.

He said BN, being the bigger party, should offer its hand in bigger issues so that every single issue was not politicised.

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim ( right ), he said, must be magnanimous and accept the defeat gracefully.

"If you are not happy, go the courts with the evidence. Do not incite the public like his plan to call for a rally on Wednesday to protest against the result.

"I am extremely unhappy that he had taken this to the international level and caused tremendous uncertainty. We must move on," he said.

Chandra said the opposition supporters resorted to a dangerous way of racial profiling by stopping those looking like Bangladeshis.

"I am extremely disappointed with the international media for taking the claims of the opposition on this as the gospel truth.

"Why didn't they bother to investigate first before airing the news? It is amazing how the international media just swallows up these unverified accusations," he added.

"The opposition should not be trapped in this mindset. It should accept the defeat in grace and magnanimity," he added.

On why the voters increased their support for Pakatan in Selangor although the government did not fulfil all its 2008 election pledges, Khairy attributed this could be probably due to the trust issue.

He said the government did implement some of its plans, adding that the voters appear to trust the government and were willing to give it another term.

"Most importantly, Pakatan's MB candidate was clear while Barisan didn't project anyone as a possible MB. This could be another reason," he said.

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