Dr Mahathir has been leveling various accusations, it seems, every other day. His latest one earned a top story placing in The J-Star – see below.
According to the EvangeliSTAR report, Tun’s most recent allegation is that Deputy Agriculture Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has “the backing of the whole government” to bait the Chinese.
During a press conference yesterday, Tun attributed the Umno Pasir Salak division chairman’s daring “to say such silly things” as orang Cina “nak kena lempang” to the tacit support Tajuddin is receiving from his higher ups.
“He wants to slap? Slap lah!”, Tun dared Tajuddin.
The ex-premier’s challenge also comes at the same time that his ally Tun Ling Liong Sik called for Najib Razak to step down. “I went to the Bersih demonstration in Perth. My aim is to call for a vote of no-confidence against Najib,” Dr Ling explained (video here).
The MCA past president also said that Tajuddin is “kurang ajar”.
Over the last couple of days, the Deputy Agriculture Minister has come under intense fire from the MCA’s top guns.
MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong took a hard line saying that “it does not matter if Tajuddin said it jokingly or otherwise”, his party-owned newspaper reported.
“The party views this episode very seriously and will not allow it to slip off just like that,” said Wee.
MCA sec-gen Ong Ka Chuan demanded an apology despite Tajuddin’s afterthought clarification that his remarks were directed at “Cina DAP”. Ong slammed the Umno man as having “seriously offended and insulted all Malaysian Chinese as a whole”.
Ong also rebutted Tajuddin’s assumption that Malaysian Chinese had complained to China and other foreign countries and thus prompting ambassador Huang Huikang’s contentious visit to Chinatown.
He added that “Tajuddin’s scolding is uncalled for and totally unreasonable” because the Chinese minority “are not outsiders who pluck the fruits of others’ labour”.
Yesterday also MCA Publicity Bureau chairman Chai Kim Sen said in a press statement that “there is no necessity for [BN sec-gen] Tengku Adnan to come to the Pasir Salak MP’s defence”.
Chai refuted Tajuddin’s belief that local Chinese had “appealed for China’s intervention”, insisting that “Malaysian Chinese are Malaysian citizens first and foremost”. He views Tajuddin’s remark as incitement to “exhort violence on fellow Malaysian citizens”.
MCA Youth chief Chong Sin Woon who is Deputy Education Minister, told his fellow Deputy Minister to swallow his pride and apologize like his Umno colleagues have done.
MCA Public Services and Complaint Bureau chairman Jason Teoh said “Tajuddin has displayed a ‘lower-class’ mentality by issuing such threats”.
Teoh said MCA urged Umno to take action on its supreme council member. He also demanded that “Tajuddin must retract and apologize his slap threat!”
Echoing the demand for an apology is MCA exco Senator Koh Chin Han. Asking for an immediate retraction, Koh said Tajuddin is a “racist” and “extremist” who had slandered the Chinese who “are all born and raised here”.
“Tajuddin must immediately retract his statement and apologize to the Chinese community. If he ever dares to slap any Chinese, MCA will not sit still,” Koh warned.
Tajuddin, an outspoken Umno hawk, is no stranger to controversy. Barely two weeks ago, he was one of the very few senior leaders from his party to make an appearance at the Himpunan Merah.
He also courted the MCA president’s ire when he reminded Liow Tiong Lai of his status as a “menteri tumpang”.
“Saya mahu mengingatkan pemimpin MCA dan Gerakan, ini ialah peluang terakhir yang mereka ada. Kita perlu menunjukan realiti sebenar kepada mereka yang mereka tidak boleh ‘tumpang’. Jangan ambil mudah semua perkara,” Tajuddin was earlier quoted as saying by The Ant Daily.
If you believe Tun Mahathir, the Deputy Agriculture Minister has “the backing of the whole government” to indirectly take the MCA to task.
On the other hand, the MCA is unanimous in its demand for an apology from Tajuddin.
Meanwhile, Zainuddin Maidin – who is “bukan kawan” Mahathir (title of his book, right) but nonetheless generally seen as a staunch ally of Tun – weighed in with the advice that there is no need for Tajuddin to apologize.
There is no love lost between the former Information Minister and the BN Chinese party as Zam had previously asked MCA to “pergi mampus” and take DAP along with it.
So how now? What if Tajuddin chooses to follow Zam’s recommendation and refuse to say sorry?
MCA has already stacked all its chips on getting the apology in order to tebus maruah masyarakat Cina yang telah diaibkan oleh ketua bahagian Umno Pasir Salak itu. If Tajuddin does not apologize, this means the dignity of the Chinese – represented by the MCA – is in tatters.
It is not tenable for MCA to remain in BN under the armpit of Big Brother if a ‘mere’ Umno supreme councilor is able to give the coalition’s second senior-most component a tight slap on the face without any repercussions.
MCA has the support of its Chinese brethren DAP in this detente over the half-jokey “lempang” threat. Going further than requiring an apology, the DAP wants to see Tajuddin suspended or sacked from his deputy ministerial portfolio.
Malays “have gone down so low” is it, Chun Wai?
Of late the DAP and MCA have been standing together in solidarity on a shared platform railing against Perkasa, Isma, the Islamic departments, Muslim NGOs and at Umno too.
MCA mouthpiece The J-Star has been blacking out news after news after any piece of news that might possibly cast the DAP in a negative light.
In his column today, J-Star CEO Wong Chun Wai griped that “[f]rom raising racial slurs to bullying small-time traders trying to eke out a living in Petaling Street, and threatening to slap people, we are all left wondering why we have gone down so low”.
Chun Wai decried the “precious time and resources are spent dealing with the pathetic racist and thuggish behaviour of our lower level leaders”.
He lamented that “[m]ore regretfully, they have not been reprimanded by their superiors, which gives rise to speculation that their behaviour is endorsed”.
What Chun Wai is saying resonates with Tun’s inference that Tajuddin has “the backing of the whole government”.
Just as I had proposed Umno should own Himpunan Merah, likewise I feel that MCA ought to just own up as to where its true allegiance really lies.
Then its conflicted leaders can openly and proudly wear their yellow T-shirt just like their former president Ling Liong Sik did in Perth during the Global Bersih 4.0 rally.
Hence if Tajuddin still fails to apologize, I suggest that MCA quit BN and apply to become a member Pakatan Harapan.