Posted in Gunting Dalam Lipatan

Dr M: Many Malays viewed that MCA should not be in govt (1969)

When you’re almost 90 years old, it’s quite forgivable that you don’t have fingertip recall of every momentous event.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself admits that “with age our memory fails on details” and additionally reveals he cannot even remember the date he was married, much to Siti Hasmah’s chagrin.

He says, “If you ask me what did I do on 12th August 1982, or on any other day, I would not be able to tell you.”

This is more so if you’d been a Prime Minister of  22 years, meaning that you would have been a very busy man with a daily jam-packed schedule.

Hence when Dr M, at age 89, has on occasion to say that he doesn’t remember (but promises that he’ll check the records to verify), I don’t see why the Dapsters should go ballistic.

As for me, I’m willing to accept that, yeah, sometimes some things just slip the ex-premier’s mind. One of these is the fact of how the MCA traitorously failed the Alliance.

The passage of time – and Dr M’s companionable relationship with fellow doctor Ling Liong Sik, the (former) MCA president – has softened his recollection of the MCA’s role in the May 1969 general election disastrous outcome.


Luckily we have Dr Mahathir’s book The Way Forward that records for posterity his take on the 10 May 1969 election repercussions and ramifications.

The Way Forward was published in 1998 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (The Orion Publishing Group Ltd), London.

On page 47 of the book, Dr M wrote: “The Chinese in the MCA quite openly showed their desire not to support the Alliance candidates, whether Chinese or Malay. So their participation in the Alliance campaign was nominal.”

He added, “Of course, the non-MCA Chinese made no attempt to hide their anti-Malay sentiments” (page 47).

On page 48, Dr M wrote:

“When all the results were in, the Alliance majority had been greatly reduced. The MCA had done particularly badly, indicating a major swing away from the Alliance amongst the whole Chinese community.

“In a calculated gamble, the Chinese had opted for tactical voting in the Malay majority seats [giving their votes to PAS]. But then the Chinese are inveterate risk takers.”

On page 49, Dr M wrote:

“The Alliance was unable to form governments in Perak and Selangor, where it failed to win a clear majority of seats. The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) tried to form a coalition with PMIP in Perak, but this failed. Negotiations went on in Selangor to try and for a coalition between the Alliance and one of the minority opposition parties.”

On page 50, Dr M wrote:

“As peace was re-established, a debate arose as to the future of politics in Malaysia. Was the Alliance, which had actually won the election, albeit with a reduced majority, the right coalition to form the Government? The MCA had done badly in the 1969 elections, and had obviously lost the support of the majority of the Chinese. Should it continue to represent the Chinese in the Alliance coalition? A fierce debate raged in the press over this question. Many Malays expressed the view that the MCA had failed the Alliance and should not be represented in the Government.

On page 51, Dr M wrote:

“Clearly, the trend was towards a break-up of the Alliance Chinese, Malay and Indian parties, and towards racial confrontation rather than co-operation.”


To retread the eerily identical ground:

The MCA had done badly in the 2008 and 2013 elections, and had obviously lost the support of the majority of the Chinese.

Should it continue to represent the Chinese in the BN coalition?

A fierce debate raged in the social and new media over this question. Many Malays expressed the view that the MCA had failed the BN and should not be represented in the Government.

(620 words)



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13 thoughts on “Dr M: Many Malays viewed that MCA should not be in govt (1969)

  1. MCA and DAP both playing “good cop, bad cop” wth the malays. End game is the same — political supremacy in malaysia via clueless malay supporters who refuse to see the subterfuge even if it spat them in the eye!

    1. re: “malay supporters who refuse to see the subterfuge even if it spat them in the eye!”


      Which one is the evangelista munafik?

      1. The evangelista munafik…….

        Jerusubang is so outdated. Subang Jaya is Hannah Jaya. That’s right. Hannah Jaya, because under her stewardship the place is a ‘red light’ location for evangelical movements. l o l !!!

  2. Helen,

    Very sharp observation & research! Alas, history & Malays will repeat themselves… and it gets worse after each rerun!

    I guess the Malays will have to wait for a really critical stage before they would unite and act (just like the time of the call for Malayan Union?)… but this time, it would be too late for them.., then their next generations will have to pay for this tidak apa attitude of their parents now… as Tun M rightly observed, Melayu mudah lupa..

    BUT Melayu jugalah yang melenting bila kena batang hidung sendiri… seems that its very difficult for many of them to learn from history… maybe its something to do with the “jom heboh” mentality?

  3. The Malays are lazy, The Chinese ungrateful and greedy and the Indians still proud of the kasta. Without UMNO, the wealth of Malaysia will fully control by the Chinese. The Chinese wants the 30 percents from the Bumiputera. The Chinese already taking the Non Halal business but still so greedy.

    Most rich Indians won’t help the poor Indians due to the kasta. Only a few rich Indian will help such as Ananda Krishnan. Same goes the Malays, only the zakats control the malays wealth, so they won’t be so greedy.

    Now days, for Chinese the religion more to cultural not worship/spiritual. Money are more important. They willing to give bride but later blame the governments.

    The Chinese are too proud until they prefer their own vernacular school. The Malays prefer to have religious school together with the government school. For me, there are no compromise for educations given to all races. All races should go to one national school than from small they learn how to appreciate good relation between all races and respect other races religious or cultural.

    On MCA, I do agree that MCA never fully assist the Chinese community, lately MCA do only quarrel among them, they thinking only the MCA President post. Maybe being the President, you can make a lot of money. From my eye, the Chinese are envy with the Malays because UMNO have given a lot of business opportunity to improve their economy but the Malays are still lazy and take things so easy.

    If the malay become rich, the main intention for the male is to full the quota (married) but luckily the malay womens are hard working especially the widow categories. But overall, this is just my point of views. I hope Malaysian can be a good example for the world especially we are living in difference races, religion and cultural.

    Respect to each other is the most important things.

    1. we have to thank anwar for the islamification of the national schools, mahathir must also be blamed for this although i have respect for him.

    2. The malays are lazy.
      p-[wah senangnye generalise. Do u know how hard we work. Do u know how hard pakcik n makcik yg meniaga tu keje. Yg meniaga kedai mkn, pasar mlm, gerai. Do u know how tiring that kind of job is. We r honest n hardworking. My 2 sisters, insurans agents, work day n night 24/7, my husband is still in office now at 10.30 pm. I’m a stay at home mom but i have 2 home based businesses to manage. My father was a lorry driver. Do u know how hard he works??? Outstation n all, long hours.

      Umno give lots of business opportunities to the chinese ya. Thats why 8 out of 10 of the richest man in msia are chinese. Gomen contracts n all they give to chinese companies ya.

      Malays take things easy…ye ker??? U sure?? We r busting our assess here Senang2 u nak generalise. Keje dua tiga job nak survive n raise our kids to get the best education u tau tak!!!

  4. Time fast but not rather late a statesman like YM TAR and Dr M are both loyal citizen and so are we never betrayed each other what had been said and done by them is the best for this country

    I remember when Tengku said I will continue to lead this country even though with one Chinese and so Dr M when facing the deportment of DSAI the Chinese gave him overwhelming support what happen now the Chinese overturned Najib so for me let’s Najib continued what left unchecked in helping the Malay’s irrespective of of other races too.

    For me and you out there we know the best of this country. Let’s byegone be byegone

  5. Gerakan was once in the Opposition. Possible for the DAP to be co-opted in a similar fashion?

    Since we’re talking about history repeating itself. …

    1. Gerakan was led by Lim Chong Eu who was a one-time MCA president.

      DAP has been oppo all the way.

      I think it is more likely and more comfortable for the Umno constituency if it were PAS that were to be co-opted.

  6. Ms H. The MCA was in the dog house and side-lined after 13 May 1969 for the outrageious behaviour of its leadership. From this point onwards, it was down a political slippery slope for them until they went into making money from 1974 ot 1985 when the leadership was caught with its pants down and had to be bailed out by UMNO.

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