Sunday, March 4, 2018

Chinese and China unfriendly Mahathir, Muhyiddin more acceptable?

Najib is willing but the Chinese are cold?

Prime Minister Najib has in many occasions praised and thanked the Chinese community for their immense contribution in nation building since independence. Besides praising contributions by the Chinese, Najib is also the first prime minister who has stated that the Chinese are citizens of this country born and bred on this land. In doing so he rejected the view of many extremists that the Chinese are “pendatang”.

When the Chinese almost rejected Barisan Nasional, there had been suggestion that Barisan should give up on Chinese votes. But this was rejected by Najib as he insisted not to give up Chinese votes. Even though Najib knows that most Chinese support the opposition, he still sticks to his policy of being friendly to China. He has not stopped the development of Chinese schools just because the Chinese support the opposition.

During the Chinese New Year, Najib is always seen in traditional Chinese garb wishing the Chinese prosperity with sincerity. The relationship between Najib and MCA is better than that between Tun Mahathir and Tun Lee San Choon and Tun Ling Liong Sik. Lee San Choon quit abruptly when MCA was at its peak while Ling Liong Sik often went on overseas holidays because Tun Mahathir did not give them enough space to resolve issues faced by the Chinese community. Tan Koon Swan was jailed when Tun Mah was in power. Henceforth, MCA’s fortune has fallen and has not been able to fight for Chinese interest.

During Tun Mahathir’s time, MCA was stronger than DAP. But it was a lame duck and failed to resolve many Chinese issues. The party was held in check by Tun Mahathir and could not play its political role in full. As such, MCA was mocked by DAP for being in the government but powerless.

During Tun Mahathir’s era, it was near impossible to develop Chinese schools. Even during Pak Lah’s time, there had not been any major policy change towards Chinese education. It is only in Najib’s time that MCA and Gerakan could announce to the Chinese community that approval has been given for the building of 10 new Chinese primary schools and relocation of six others.

Many opposition leaders thought how the Government could be so kind to Chinese schools. Even Dong Jiao Zong leaders are adopting a wait and see attitude. But this is real and a pleasant surprise. It is our dream that Chinese schools have been given more space to develop and at a time when MCA and Gerakan are at their weakest moment. This is not the result of MCA and Gerakan flexing their political muscle. This is due to Najib’s liberal policy towards Chinese schools.

Najib has also played a role in the approval of the Kuantan Chinese independent secondary school. However, it was the then Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin who amended the approval letter and changed the characteristics of the Kuantan independent secondary school. Regardless, the Kuantan school could still pass off as an independent secondary school and continue to progress while its students can also sit for the Unified Examinations Certificate. It satisfies the aspiration of Pahang students to continue their studies in an independent secondary school.

In addition, Najib has also approved the second campus of Foon Yew High School in 2013. It was reported a certain person had tried to block it causing the delay. But it looks like Najib’s sincere efforts in resolving issues relating to Chinese schools have not been totally accepted by the Chinese community.

In the sphere of economy, Najib has adopted a China-friendly policy and participated in the Belt and Road Initiative which provides business opportunities for the Chinese. These are policies absolutely in favour of the Chinese. Tun Mahathir has been consistently critical of Najib’s pro-China policy and accused him of cheap selling Malaysia to China. But Najib’s pro-China policy is said to be hugely supported by Chinese businessmen. Many of them are happy with the government policy and believe that such a policy could bring them greater business development.

We can see many Facebook posts praising Najib but they have been obscured by those critical of him. We can observe that there are many Chinese who support Najib and we can gauge their level of support. However, their praises have been obscured by overwhelming criticism of opposition supporters against Najib. Najib has continued to show his goodwill to the Chinese and part of the Chinese community has felt it. However, because they are afraid of being cursed by other party supporters, they don’t want trouble and stay quiet.

Of course, Najib has his weaknesses but he has never failed the Chinese community. It is Najib’s government which pay the utilities bill of Chinese primary schools and provide an annual allocation of RM50 million for the development of Chinese schools.

Some Chinese youngsters are over emotional and refuse to accept the goodwill of the government. However, there seems to be some changes in their voting tendency now. They still refuse to endorse Najib’s leadership for not being clean enough but they also feel that the opposition camp led by Tun Mahathir is such a mixed team that it could not transform Malaysia’s political environment.

They choose to stand on the sideline and refuse to support either side. Whether such a tendency would mean an end to Pakatan Harapan depends on the next move by Najib’s government in wooing the young voters.

Will the Chinese accept Najib’s repeated goodwill gestures? After going through the last two elections, many youngsters have become die-hard supporters of the opposition parties and it is impossible that they will support Najib. However, some of them may consider supporting Najib because of Tun Mahathir’s comeback. The stronger the Chinese support of Najib would mean the lesser seats for Pakatan. Najib should continue to woo this group of voters who may support the government. The Chinese would be touched and give Najib greater support if he could treasure this group of potential government supporters and give them more preferences.

Original Source: 纳吉有意,华人无情?