It was reported last Sunday that Muhyiddin Yassin had fingered MCA for failing to understand the sentiments of the Chinese.
The BN deputy chairman is right. MCA has lost the plot.
Muhyiddin was quoted as questioning:
“Are the Chinese really that complicated? Can their attitudes not be comprehended?”
The problem is not that Chinese are either complicated or too difficult to understand but rather MCA changed its direction post-2008. Now the party is beginning to talk and behave as if it’s a DAP clone.
Take this immediate response by MCA deputy president Liow Tiong Lai.
According to Oriental Daily (via Malaysian Digest), Liow replied:
“In my opinion, the deputy prime minister must understand the voice of all Malaysians and not just listen to Malays.”
“He cannot just look after the needs of the Malays, but must look after the needs of all Malaysians. If he understood that, he would not have made those comments.”
Liow Tiong Lai’s words sound like they came from Lim Guan Eng’s mouth.
It is a mistake for MCA to try to outDAP the DAP.
Liow’s statement strays into the Guan Eng blame-game terrain. Instead of setting its own terms of engagement, MCA is wading into DAP territory defined by confrontation, incessant negativity and a nothing-is-negotiable approach.
MCA becoming Christianized too?
Since Tan Sri Muhyiddin is a Johorean, he may recall a seminar not too long ago co-organized by the state education department together with the Johor Mufti office on helping teachers address the “threat of Christianization” among their students.
It is not only Malays who are experiencing discomfort at the evangelists’ increasing foray and takeover of public space. Some Buddhist Chinese and the Hindu Indians feel the same.
The Tan Sri is correct to chide the MCA for losing touch with Chinese sentiments because the MCA seems to be only catering to the demography residing in Damansara Utama and attending the Methodist Church (DUMC) or the Subang Jaya middle-class attending the City Harvest Church.
Speaking for myself as a Chinese living on the edge of a New Village, and as a one brought up in a Buddhist household, and whose parents spoke Chinese at home, and was not myself conversant with the English language as a child, I wish to inform Tan Sri Muhyiddin that indeed the MCA of today alienates.
This feeling of disconnect is compounded by The Star‘s promotion of the Anglophile-Christian worldview.
It is to my dismay that I see MCA succumbing to the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” credo. Since MCA is not abreast of DAP in determining the tenor of the public narrative, it then decides to jump too on the Malaysian First bandwagon propelled by the Anglophile and Christian twin engines.
MCA fails to influence public opinion
Monogamy is a Christian tradition.
The hail of stones being cast at Dr Chua Soi Lek for adultery – not only by DAP followers but by their party leaders themselves such as Lim Guan Eng, who twice invoked Dr Chua’s “pornographic video” in recent press statements, and by Guan Eng’s understudy Hannah Yeoh at the party annual confab 2012 – illustrates that it is DAP which is in control of the public mood and censorious tone.
Castigating sin is a major preoccupation of the Christians. Buddhist Chinese are not similarly obsessed with branding other people sinful or wicked and destining them to hell (a place reserved for BN supporters).
It’s already been 5 years since Dr Chua’s video was leaked. Refusal to let go of the episode is sheer vindictiveness and flagellation.
Why is it that the Christians are commanding the bully pulpit to continue making an issue out of Dr Chua’s escapade when non-Christians like me much prefer that the holier-than-thou taunters keep their self-righteousness to themselves?
There are many more numbers of Chinese who are not Christians yet the Christians are such a loud, aggressive and influential minority that in the preceding sentence, I’ve had to frame those who do not taunt Dr Chua as “non-Christians”.
The default label in a binary always refers the stronger of the pair, e.g. the question is typically asked: How tall are you? Five foot two … not ‘How short are you?
The default for Malaysians viz. religious affiliation is Muslim and the other half of the binary, ‘non-Muslim’. The default term for Chinese Malaysians has now apparently become ‘Christians’ and its complement, non-Christians.
That this minority dominance has happened in recent years implies that the MCA-BN consociationalism model has lost out to the DAP Christian religious thrust. (A parallel example is the PAS political Islam vocabulary vs the Umno Malay nationalist idiom).
MCA, which has ‘Chinese’ in its party name, should be the one the embodying the Chinese soul like how Umno projects itself as guardian of the Malay spirit.
It is evident MCA has failed to represent Chinese sentiments. It is DAP that is today defining the Chinese.
MCA can’t even control its paper
Two months back, The Star-National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chairman publicly tweeted his ridicule of the MCA bevy of ministers. He even alluded to Rosmah Mansor as “Oi Big Mama” in his Twitter conversation with a DAP assemblyman.
And the mockery does not come from him alone but other of the paper’s reporters as well. The undercurrent of contempt that The Star holds for BN did not escape the notice of regular readers of this blog whom have called it “The Rocket‘s sister publication” and a “Fifth Column“.
BN should be very worried if The Star’s behaviour is reflective of its owner the MCA.
In which case, the question to fret BN is this — Will MCA allow its overiding profit-motive to sabotage the BN election campaign?
Just see how money-minded The Star is.
On the day of Dr Chua’s 2.0 debate, The Star had splashed over several pages (including front page and editorial) many articles on the rape of Penang hills by developers.
Yet in the week immediately following, it raked in the revenue from a big Star Property Fair hosted for the very same developers. The Star wished to have its cake and to eat it too.
MCA is behaving in a similar Profit-seeking First way. It wants to be given seats to contest but not pulling its weight. The media is part of any election machinery but the MCA paper cannot be relied on by BN.
The ‘Allah’ controversy is one example how The Star failed Umno.
Western media painted a picture that the Muslims were bullying the Christians over the ‘Allah’ contestation. The other side of the story, which is that the Muslims were responding to a situation rather than being the ones to initiate the conflict, was left untold in The Star‘s main narrative.
Foreign correspondents covering the Allah story were largely Westeners who do not read the Chinese, Tamil or Malay local press.
Thus they would only have gotten some of their ideas and impressions of the unfolding situation from English media, one of them The Star.
Another example of shaping public perception is that Malays are depicted as being irrationally apprehensive of Christians due to the Umno power craziness.
In reality there are Chinese like me, and there are my Indian Hindu friends who are uncomfortable as well with the evangelist trend. So how come English media portrays the scenario as if it is only the Malay-Muslims who are over-reacting to a fear of Christians after being brainwashed by Umno?
Why hasn’t The Star gotten the message across that it takes two hands to clap, and if there is a collision course with the Malay-Muslim polity, it’s also because the Christian bullet train is hurtling from the opposite direction?
Despite the MCA’s jeopardy, its own paper is still continuing with their unabashed promotion of the DAP personality cult as well as giving undue prominence to biased views slanted to favour the evangelical Christians.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin is right to demand that the MCA shape up.
However, it remains hard for me to be convinced that MCA will be able to get its act together unless the party is first willing to rein in its internal saboteur The Star.