KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 ― MCA should consider shutting down as a political party, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said it was clear that the public have rejected the Chinese component of the Barisan Nasional (BN).
“I think it is best it closes down, just like how Umno was destroyed by two former prime ministers, MCA has also been destroyed.
“Because MCA in its early days, would not only represent the big bosses, they were once accepted by the majority of the Chinese.
“But now, Chinese bosses, even those who are not bosses, have all rejected (supporting) MCA, because they only think for themselves,” he was quoted saying by local daily Sin Chew Daily.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman was also dismissive of MCA’s claim that equality did not exist within the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, of which his party is a member.
“That is MCA's (view). MCA does not exist,” he was quoted saying when asked.
MCA had previously described PPBM as the “big brother” and fellow PH ally DAP the “younger” sibling to illustrate the power relations within PH.
Dr Mahathir was reported saying MCA is free to voice its views, but he believed it is wasting time as the party is no longer representative of any group after having been rejected by voters in the elections.
In contrast, Dr Mahathir said the ruling PH coalition where no one single party dominates is able to formulate its policies based on majority support.
Dr Mahathir also explained why he picked former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng to be the economic affairs minister and finance minister respectively.
“If all (finance and economic affairs) are given to Guan Eng, Malays will be unhappy, but if Azmin is in charge of everything, Guan Eng will be unhappy,” he was quoted saying.
“My appointment of Guan Eng as finance minister has broken a tradition for many years, the last one was Tun Tan Siew Sin. There was no other Chinese finance ministers after Siew Sin.
“But I chose to give Guan Eng, partly it's because he had good performance in Penang. To achieve balance, I have to give the economic affairs portfolio to Azmin,” he added.
Dr Mahathir, who returned as PM last year under the PH coalition, had a positive view of the performances of the two first-term ministers despite the current administration's inheriting huge debts from the previous BN government.
“Considering the (country's) situation, I think they did quite well.
“We initially expected (Budget 2019) to have a very big fiscal deficit, but it was not as big as expected,” he was quoted saying.
He added that PH has done what it could to shave the nation's debts since taking over government in May 2018.