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Chinese votes matter in next election

Making a stand: Liow receiving a memorandum against RUU 355 from Federation of Hokkien of Malaysia president Tan Sri Khoo Chai Kaa at his Transport Ministry office in Putrajaya on Aug 16, 2016.
THERE was disappointment when news broke that the Prime Minister was unable to open the 71st annual general meeting of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) in Ipoh on July 28.
Apart from hoping to see the PM brightening up the event, Perak Chinese chamber chief Datuk Liew Siew Yee was eager to welcome him at WEIL, his new hotel in Ipoh where the AGM was held.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had to chair the weekly Cabinet meeting in Kuala Lumpur then.
Though this reason was acceptable to outsiders as federal matters must be given priority, it could not placate ACCCIM officials who had spent months in preparing the welcome of this VVIP guest.
But this was not the first time Najib’s speech was read out by a representative at an ACCCIM AGM. Hence, national leaders of this influential umbrella organisation of Chinese businesses took it in good stride. Still, there was speculation. The most interesting was that the last-minute cancellation by the PM implied that he was “writing off” Chinese support for Barisan Nasional in the next general election (GE14).
A former ACCCIM president tells Sunday Star that “as a policy, we don’t talk about politics at ACCCIM meetings. But personally, I think it is wrong to read the PM’s absence in this way. Chinese votes do matter to all political parties”.
An official in the Prime Minister’s Department says: “The only indicator that the PM is giving up on Chinese votes is if he decides to forgo the AGM of MCA.

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