The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) has urged former Malacca menteri besar Mohd Ali Rustam not to blame the Chinese for his defeat in the last general election.

In a press release today, ACCCIM president Lim Kok Cheong pointed out that the Bukit Katil parliamentary seat, where Mohd Ali lost to PKR's Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, was a Malay-majority seat.

"(His) defeat should not be deliberately blamed on the Chinese voters, as he contested in a Malay majority constituency," said Lim.

Lim reminded Mohd Ali that the Chinese voters had backed BN during the 1995, 1999 and 2004 general election but swung away from BN precisely because of "frequent negative remarks and actions by some ultra-rightists in Umno.

The Bukit Katil seat has 99,438 voters, of which 53 percent are Malays followed by Chinese (41 percent) and Indians (6 percent). Shamsul Iskandar, who is also the PKR Youth chief, won with a 5,447 majority, by securing 52.5 percent of the total votes cast. 

Lim was commenting on Mohd Ali's speech during a forum on Monday in Kuala Lumpur, organised by Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB), which the latter chairs.

Don't blame Chinese alone for crime

During his speech, Mohd Ali also claimed that the Chinese community were able to do better in business because they can dabble in "illegal businesses" such as gambling industry, number betting industry, lottery industry, massage parlour industry and illegal money lending.

He added that PUNB's job was ensure that the whole chain of a businesses - from suppliers to retailing - were all done by Malays.

Responding to this, Lim said it was wrong to single out the Chinese community for being involved in criminal activities.

"(Crime) is the dark side of society  transcending all ethnic groups, just like anywhere else in the world," said Lim.

He  said that the Chinese community in legitimate businesses have contributed significantly to the national economy and also to the development of Malacca, particularly in industrial growth.

He added that gambling activities cited by Mohd Ali are all legal as long as the businesses are licenced. 

Don't spoil BN's chances
Lim said the country's leaders should not expect unquestioning obedience from society as the country evolves into a more democratic and advanced society.

"What the society needs now is a better government which can effectively overcome current social and economic problems, and lead the people of all races towards fulfilling the vision of a high income society. 

"BN stands a good chance to win back the hearts of the voters who did not vote for its candidates in the 13th general election, if the political leaders in it speak and act positively to grip the chance. Negative words and actions would only spoil the chance," he said.

Meanwhile, MCA publicity chief Heng Seai Kie said Mohd Ali was not worth of being dubbed a national leader since he is willing to jeapordise national unity for political expediency.

"During the recent state visit by the President of China Xi Jinping to Malaysia, both our Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and President Xi agreed that the Malaysian Chinese community had contributed to much of Malaysia’s achievements today, yet Mohd has openly contradicted the prime minister.

"In fact, these are the leaders who have angered and driven away many of our traditional BN supporters irrespective of ethnic background in the 12th and 13th General Elections.

"We are concerned that such invalid accusations and racial bigotry will similarly affect BN’s performance at the ballot box in future," she said.-malaysiakini