Preamble: Kajang by-election a referendum on MCA
Please look at the table below of the Kajang polling centres. It is a postmortem detailing how Chinese voters conclusively turned their back on the BN during the last general election. The trend will be identical for the by-election today.
Dear Tun Dr Mahathir,
My heart sank when I heard your call for Malaysians to welcome the MCA’s decision to rejoin the cabinet.
I hope through this open letter to bring to your attention the views of many Malaysians who do not want the MCA’s return. Please hear us out. We are the ones who marked Dacing on our ballot slip on 5 May 2013 when the MCA members themselves had ticked the Rocket symbol.
Bear with me please while I endeavour to explain why we object to the undignified scramble by MCA to acquire Ministerial positions.
Window dressing that will fool nobody
Dear Tun, you yourself have admitted: “Supporters of the MCA flocked to the opposition parties so that a Chinese DAP dominated Government would rule Malaysia”.
Yet here you urge us to share your optimism that the “MCA opting to rejoin the Government is a step in the right direction”.
No, it is not. Allowing MCA to rejoin the Government is a betrayal when MCA has clearly transmogrified into the DAP.
(I) MCA should keep their word
The MCA in its AGM on 2 Oct 2011 passed a resolution that the party would refuse any government posts should they perform badly in the following general election.
On 21 Oct 2012, the MCA general assembly reiterated its resolve of “declining all government positions if the party fails to achieve better results in the 13th General Election”.
On 20 Oct 2013, the majority of the MCA delegates voted to maintain the party’s earlier resolutions in 2011 and 2012 to turn down any cabinet posts.
For three consecutive years, it was the party delegates who declared that MCA politicians should not become Ministers if they cannot perform and do not enjoy the confidence of the Chinese public.
Well, not only have the MCA failed to deliver, they were wiped out by the Chinese tsunami. The voice of the Chinese community spoke loud and clear through the ballot box.
(II) Chinese voters had sent MCA packing
Our current political reality is that the Chinese have chosen the DAP – unequivocally – to be their representatives.
The BN leadership must listen to the Chinese ground. If the BN respects democracy, then it must respect the democratic wish of the Chinese grassroots that have rejected the MCA in no uncertain terms.
It cannot be said any plainer than this: MCA do not represent the Chinese. Today in the Kajang by-election you will again witness the Chinese voters throwing MCA vice president Chew Mei Fun out on her ear.
Her boss, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and his deputy Wee Ka Siong are hugely unpopular among the Chinese.
Wee was jeered by thousands when he attended the Dong Zong rally at the New Era College, Kajang on 25 March 2012. The rally participants, who were protesting the shortage of Chinese school teachers, threw mineral water bottles at Wee and one of them even tried to punch him in the face.
In comparison, Lim Guan Eng is so well-received by the Chinese masses that his minders need to form a human chain to protect the DAP sec-gen from being mobbed by his adoring, surging fans.
(III) ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu?’ Equality, they reply
Dear Tun, you mentioned that “the partnership between particularly Umno and MCA, the second biggest party, kept this country stable and able to develop for over half a century”.
It may have been so but still, sir, you used the past tense.
(i) MCA not second biggest BN party anymore
MCA has only seven Parliament seats — only half of the PBB’s haul of 14.
Even Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), which is a young party of a decade’s standing, has six Parliament seats. During GE13, PRS stood in six seats and won all six, achieving 100 percent success. MCA stood in 37 seats and won seven, a ‘success’ rate of 19 percent – Fail.
Not only that, six out of the MCA’s seven Parliament seats are Malay-majority constituencies. Thus it is not Chinese that sent the MCA to Parliament; it is the Malays.
Come GE14 however, the BN’s Malay supporters will not be as kind to MCA candidates. The beginnings of this trend were evident in GE13 when spoilers like Isma put up their flagbearers as third party candidates.
For example in Seremban, MCA fielded Dr Yeow Chai Thiam, DAP Anthony Loke and Isma Ustaz Abdul Halim Abdullah (standing on Berjasa ticket). Ustaz Halim obtained 6,866 votes to Dr Yeow’s 33,075. It is impressive of an NGO like Isma to be able to collect some 20 percent the number of votes that MCA got.
Furthermore, MCA Seremban division chief Datuk Peter Lai Yit Fei had lent assistance to the opposing candidate, causing the MCA disciplinary board to suspend his membership for a year.
(ii) Arrested development
Stability is helped by balance. The Selangor government is tripod that stands on three equal legs — DAP with 15 legislators in the state assembly, PAS 15 and PKR 14.
Umno has 12 state assemblymen in Selangor; MCA has zero and Gerakan zero, MIC zero. There is no Sino-Malay balance in the BN.
Within the BN, Umno has 88 Parliament seats, and MCA seven. Within Pakatan, DAP has 38 Parliament seats, and PAS 21. The Umno-MCA relationship is too lopsided.
The Chinese do not see MCA as having any influential role in the BN. MCA is not getting anywhere.
(IV) Pointless appealing to the past
Dear Tun, you urged that the Chinese “must support the MCA because they cannot deny the benefits they gained during the partnership between the MCA and Umno”.
You have many times lamented the “Melayu mudah lupa” syndrome. Similarly with the Chinese. They have forgotten the MCA’s efforts in facilitating almost one million Merdeka citizenships for the non-Malay immigrants. To them “pendatang” is a four-letter word meant to insult.
(i) Yet history repeats itself
Dear Tun, in your keynote addresses to the Umno general assembly as party president, you have repeatedly warned against the DAP’s chauvinism.
You had observed too in your 28 Oct 1987 statement to Parliament with regard to the ISA swoop that MCA was trying to prove itself more communalistic than the DAP in order to keep up with its arch rival.
Today we cannot tell the MCA and DAP apart.
(ii) Gunting dalam Lipatan
If you read The Star, you’d be hard-pressed to think the editors and reporters were seconded from The Rocket.
The MCA newspaper is a nest of evangelistas. It is steering the Christians on a collision course with the Muslims. If previously social confrontations in Malaysia were on account of Race, the next one will be sparked by Religion.
Dear Tun, you have cautioned before that a religious conflict might soon break out in our country. If this were to happen, you can be sure that The Star would have contributed significantly to its outbreak. The Star was deemed a threat to national security under Ops Lalang and its publishing permit suspended.
This harimau bintang is a leopard that has not changed its tompok-tompok and continues to incite. MCA must be viewed as complicit in the actions of its Star Media Group. This makes MCA api dalam sekam.
So why in the world do you want to bring such backstabbers to Putrajaya?
(V) BN spirit dead and buried
Dear Tun, you opined that “The best that can happen is a sharing of political and economic power with one race dominant in one field and another in the other”.
I respectfully beg to differ. This neat split, with Malays in politics and Chinese in business, is quite outdated.
(i) BN past its shelf life
The colonial legacy whereby Chinese surpassed the Malays in the economic field has already been reversed largely thanks to the NEP. Aside from SMEs and neighbourhood retail outlets, the big companies nowadays are controlled by GLCs. Take Proton, for example. Its bosses are Malay.
If the Chinese really dominated the economy, this would mean that Tun Razak’s social engineering to uplift Malay society had failed. This would mean that your administration, Tun, has failed also. I would rather credit your success and hence cannot in good conscience accept the Alliance formulation that power-sharing entails Malays controlling politics and Chinese controlling business.
The Alliance power-sharing concept broke down in May 1969 when the Malays wanted in on business too.
Meanwhile, the BN formula expired in March 2008 when the Chinese decided they needed more political clout after losing their economic dominance.
(ii) From kingmaker to king
Dear Tun, permit me to reference a recent passage where you wrote: “Today the Malays are divided into three parties. For any party to win, Chinese support is essential. The Malay parties have become dependent on Chinese votes to win. The DAP sees this as an opportunity to choose which Malay party should win.”
Please do not say that the “DAP” saw an opportunity. It is really the “Chinese”. (DAP card-carrying members are only around 150,000 people.)
It is the Chinese who bought wholesale into “Ini kali lah”, “wu yue wu huan zheng fu” (5 May, change government), “ubah” and “kuburkan Umno”.
(VI) Why is BN rewarding treachery?
Mollycoddling the MCA with cabinet chairs is a slap in the face for those of us – the 10 percent Chinese – who have had to swim hard against the current. We voted BN when MCA people took the ABU route, riding along with the Chinese tidal wave.
We defended BN when the MCA media machinery was cheerleading their favourite DAP evangelistas and covertly, and overtly, campaigning for Pakatan.
The amalan setiakawan BN was made a mockery of when Umno boys and girls were left to man the MCA pondok panas because MCA did not even bother to campaign in their own areas. Pro-establishment Malays voted BN Chinese candidates only to see the MCA people ushering in the opposition (memenangkan pembangkang).
(i) A syok sendiri exercise
Appointing Liow Tiong Lai, Wee Ka Siong and their associates as Ministers will not legitimize the BN as a multiracial coalition in the eyes of the Chinese.
Dear Tun, please accept that the MCA you once knew no longer exists. You will not be able to recognise anymore the MCA which has turned into a different creature altogether.
Taking the current MCA slate into cabinet will be committing as big a mistake as Khairy Jamaluddin taking on board his Dapster-Scissorati secretary.
(ii) Mission Impossible
Dear Tun, you have conceded: “The MCA leaders will have a tough time persuading the Chinese to once again reject the idea of Chinese dominance and go back to sharing Malaysia fairly between the three major racial groups …”.
Nope, not “a tough time”. Impossible, more like.
Chinese political allegiance has come down the wire to an all-or-nothing gamble. With 90 percent of the Chinese votes going to Pakatan, there can be no doubt as to which party the Chinese are betting on.
To secure our future under the Malaysian sun with the BN, the Chinese remnants will need to renegotiate the social compact. The MCA leadership is not up to this task. Personally I prefer maverick outsiders like Wee Choo Keong to assume the mantle.
(VII) BN must bite the bullet
MCA buat masa ini hidup segan, mati tak mahu. Nonetheless come GE14, I guarantee that Liow Tiong Lai will lose his Bentong seat and Wee Ka Siong his Ayer Hitam seat and the rest of their colleagues as well. They are fat cats, not fighters.
Dear Tun, we deserve better from the BN. By ‘we’, I’m referring to those of us Chinese in the trenches — the battle-scarred soldiers who have been taking the bullets from the Bintang Lima. To reinstate the backstabbing MCA in cabinet is nothing short of a betrayal!
And it will remain that BN is merely propping up the illusion of Chinese political inclusion when in truth, the MCA has become a hollow shell. Liow and Wee wearing Minister titles have absolutely no impact on the Chinese, whether those in Pakatan or those who are anti-Pakatan.
MCA have done precious little to contain the DAP juggernaut. They are only paving the DAP’s path to Putrajaya. The BN would be betraying us by electing to give MCA any cabinet portfolios.
Liow and his gang are actually a hindrance to any future return of the Chinese to the BN fold. The MCA’s continued presence in the BN will only serve to block other avenues for a Chinese revival which must necessarily be created under a new (non-MCA) leadership.
MCA is simply tired, ineffective, directionless and disloyal.
What the Chinese voters decide in Kajang today will just reinforce all that I’ve said above.
Thank you very much for your time in reading, Dr M.