Come Up With More Open Economic Policies
KUALA LUMPUR — Dr Chua Soi Lek has called on the government to come up with more open economic policies, especially in the service sector.
The MCA president said the party supported Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Economic Transformation Programme to ensure Malaysia achieved high income status by 2020, but felt there should be more open economic policies.
“We welcome the initiative but we still think that the government should continue to liberalise more, like the oil and gas, as well as the telecommunications sector; widen the loan accessibility to SMEs,” he said while tabling the party leadership’s report card to the delegates during the MCA 63rd anniversary celebrations here on Sunday.
He said the government should not just focus on attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) alone, but also domestic investment.
“Some incentives that have been given to foreign investors should also be enjoyed by domestic investors like training grants, tax incentives, pioneer status and loan facilities,” added Dr Chua.
He said the party had called on the government to implement a minimum wage system and set up the National Consultative Wage Council.
“We are glad that all these are already in various stages of implementation. MCA also has its representatives in the council.”
Apart from that, Dr Chua said, MCA had also succeeded in objecting to the amendments to the Income Tax Act (to include Section 107D and amendment to Section 81).
“This is because, we found that these laws were not fair to taxpayers as they gave too much discretionary powers to the Director-General of the Inland Revenue Board,” he said.
He also said MCA had objected and succeeded in postponing the passing of the Computing Professionals Bill 2011 as the party felt, in the area of Information Technology, it should not be based on academic qualification alone but on a person’s creativity and innovativeness.
In terms of education, Dr Chua said MCA had managed to get government support to upgrade Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (KTAR) to university college status.
KTAR has trained 175,000 students, with the main campus in Setapak and its five branch campuses nationwide, with a student population of 24,000.
He also said the party would pay more attention to vocational education as it managed to get the Taiwanese Education Ministry’s undertaking to sponsor 300 Malaysian students to undergo vocational training annually.
“Last year, we sent the first batch of 160 students to Taiwan and this year, we have 357 students registered for the vocational course intake which is awaiting approval from the Taiwan Education Ministry,” he said.
Apart from that, Dr Chua also announced that MCA had begun planning to have its own vocational college.
MCA, according to the party president, had also managed to achieve the Malaysia-China mutual recognition of academic certificates, as well as achieve the Malaysia-Taiwan mutual recognition of academic certificates.
On the Chinese Primary School (SJKC), he said partially government-aided SJKC would receive RM100 million while the government also agreed to allocate RM95 million for the relocation of 13 schools, the setting up of seven new schools and the expansion and reconstruction of eight others.
“Allocations are deposited directly into the school board’s account and such a privilege is not enjoyed by other schools. The Ministry of Education has allowed SJKCs to be built on national school reserve lands, even in Selangor.”
On the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), he said MCA’s stand was that the SJKC should be allowed to teach the subjects in the mother tongue, and secondary school students should be given a choice to choose the language for the subjects.
“We also hope the education ministry will works towards making English a compulsory pass subject in the SPM examination and also make English literature a compulsory subject in school,” he said.