Guan Eng credited for managing to recoup much of what the government lost.
Former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek paid his one-time political rival Lim Guan Eng a rare compliment by conceding that the DAP secretary-general’s performance in managing the government’s finances during this challenging economic downturn has been impressive.
Chua credited much of what the government has managed to recoup from its losses to Lim’s unrelenting attitude.
“Today, the DAP ministers are Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“Whether you agree with him or not, Lim knows how to spin the news. He knows what he is doing, when the country’s economy is on a downturn, he took the appropriate steps to increase income,” Chua said.
The former MCA president said both Loke and Gobind, too, were people who prefer to work rather than engage in rhetoric.
Lim had earlier announced that the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) is targetting to collect more than RM150 billion in taxes, even though the board was initially aiming for RM147 billion.
The finance minister, however, said this was because the IRB had collected RM147 billion in 2018, an increase of 7.3% compared to the previous year.
“This is unlike other (Pakatan Harapan) ministers, who are talking about flying cars, changing school shoes from white to black, diversifying crops to offset falling palm oil prices, they’ve become a laughing stock to the country,” Chua told The Malaysian Insight.
The former health minister said while the many U-turns in policies indicated that the government “have not thought things through”, it would be unrealistic to judge Pakatan on the short time span of a year.
“We need at least two or three years to rate them, but some ministers are definitely not performing,” he said.
Chua said that the DAP appeared to have lost its sense of principles since becoming the federal government, as the party has chosen to remain silent and toe the line when it comes to certain issues which they had previously fought for.
He said DAP had long accused MCA of being a corrupt and immoral party which was not an equal partner to Umno within Barisan Nasional.
“But now that DAP is in government, are they not doing the same? Are they not also blind and deaf and are just following (Prime Minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad? They have been quiet on critical issues.
“They were quite vocal on getting the United Examination Certificate (UEC) recognised, now they are barely talking about it, and what about the allocations to Chinese schools? When Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali announced a new Bumiputera-based economic policy, did DAP say anything?” said Chua.
On the recent string of by-election losses by Pakatan Harapan, Chua said it is expected that the Umno-PAS alliance would draw strong Malay support.
He said ethnic Chinese Malaysians were “naïve and idealistic” in calling for a society that was equal for all races, as the special position of the Malays and Bumiputera was enshrined within the constitution.
Chua said the call for an end to special privileges for the Malays was futile.
“They (the Chinese) can keep dreaming for a Malaysia where all races and religions are equal. Look at the ruling parties Bersatu and Amanah, both are race-based parties, only DAP is multiracial,” he said.
“Article 153 of the constitution guarantees the position of the Malays and Bumiputera, in matters of scholarship, university placings, the official language and the official religion of the country, and the Malay rulers are untouchable issues.
“Now that PAS and Umno are cooperating, they only need to hint at threats against the Malays and the Malays will respond. It seems the Chinese do not understand that.”