MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has shown his strong grasp of economic issues in his speech at the party’s 63rd anniversary celebration.
In his presentation he analysed and compared the economic policies of the government with the policies proposed by the Opposition coalition.
Dr Chua said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) does not have a viable economic model to offer the country, and said the opposition coalition would bankrupt Malaysia within two years if it took power in GE13.
“What they have are only populist policies, giving money here and there, but not addressing the underlying economic structural issues in Malaysia,” the MCA president told party delegates.
Dr Chua said if PR implemented the economic policies outlined in the Opposition manifesto Buku Jingga, Malaysia would become “the Greece of ASEAN in two years.”
“For example, to abolish tolls it will cost RM50-100 billion; to absorb all the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans, it will cost RM40 billion,” he explained.
He also showed how the PR’s populism would destroy the country’s balance sheet: “A total of RM93.9 billion annually would need to be paid out to the 3.8 million households to ensure their income is guaranteed at RM4,000 per month.”
This is economic common sense – clearly Dr Chua knows his numbers and has a solid grasp of economic policy.
It is important for the nation that the 65-year old has exposed the absence of substance in PR’s economic strategy. For voters to come to an informed decision, they need to be told of the Opposition’s lack of policy, lack of clear manifesto and its lack of a shadow cabinet, clear shortcomings that could impact the country’s development.
Dr Chua is a rarity among politicians – a man who is ready to call a spade a spade, regardless of the consequences. In 2008, when a sex video emerged of him with a young woman, did he choose to deny the genuineness of the video clip, like others? No, Dr Chua chose to bite the bullet and face the consequences of his actions.
He admitted that it was indeed him featured in the video, and resigned from his position as Minister of Health. He willingly gave up his senior position in government, taking full responsibility for the incident. This is a fresh change from other politicians who prefer to hold on to their posts, even when the time for them to leave has long past.
Dr Chua had to then wait in the political wilderness, but he re-emerged as President of MCA and spent the last few years rebuilding his party. He successfully ended the infighting that plagued it, and has now taken the fight to the Opposition.
His warning of economic mismanagement under the PR is a timely one. After all, the coming election could decide the future direction that our country takes, and the electorate need to choose between these two competing visions: between development and multi-racial progress on the one hand, and poor economic planning and infighting on the other.
In fact, The Choice thinks Dr Chua has what it takes to serve in a new role. Perhaps he would make a good chief of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in future. He has the right qualifications for the job: a strong understanding of economic policies, as well as a frankness that is necessary to clear away the bureaucratic cobwebs.