The Malaysian Insider headline cheekily suggests Zaid could pave way for MCA defections to PKR. Leslie lau is the news portal's consultant editor who penned the provocative article.
It alludes to potential MCA defectors scrambling over to PKR as they see Zaid Ibrahim as a moderate Malay leader in that party, in contrast to some UMNO ultras. What is kaytee's take on Leslie's suggestion?
I wouldn't be surprised by a few MCA members defecting to PKR, but to visualize mass droves of MCA appartchiks joining Anwar Ibrahim's party is a wee too radical a possibility, let alone being a probability.
On the likelihood, well it's true that 75% of MCA members are by now pretty pissed off with the selfish leadership of UMNO, and why would anyone be surprised by that given UMNO's treatment of the Chinese based party ... though I doubt there'll be any mass defections.
For the last 40 years, since MCA was almost wiped out in 1969 by the loose pact of DAP-Gerakan-Seenivasegam Brother's PPP (and even PAS), UMNO has viewed MCA as a necessary hanger on - its usefulness being a combination of multi-cultural window dressing and a canvasser for some Chinese votes ... notwithstanding MCA's role in 1999 ... a case perhaps of Dr M's oft-stated Melayu mudah lupa?
Of course UMNO had been at the same time actively undermining MCA through a combination of ketuanan Melayu policies (which have invariably driven Chinese voters into the arms of DAP) and the insidious use of Gerakan as a divide & conquer strategy to split pro-BN Chinese support. Penang State was a classic example of how UMNO had de facto ruled the State through the puppet Gerakan CM.
On MCA's side, while the party accepts that UMNO is the primus inter pares (first among equals) in BN, it seems to them that UMNO has always been all primus but failed abysmally to remember MCA should be one of the pares in BN.
But ... the current political landscape has turned Chinese voters into the deciding factor in a number of heartland federal constituencies, eg. Bukit Gantang. I read that Bukit Gantang is typical of some 30 other federal seats. Imagine PAS gaining another 30 seats in 2013 with Chinese support - Inshaallah!
This political evolution has actually escalated MCA's chargrin because where it could be playing an important, nay, vital role for the BN, it now lacks the ability and political credibility to do so due to the Chinese disdain for its 'yes man' image vis-à-vis UMNO. Where it used to command around 30% of Chinese voters, it would now be hard put to gardner even 15%.
Yet we see UMNO on a seemingly endless (and apparently suicidal) crusade to demonise or threaten Chinese through a campaign which included:
... stirring up ethnic suspicion and even hatred in the anti Chin Peng return, a basically anti Chinese stirring which Anwar Ibrahim has cleverly exploited for PKR's political gain to UMNO's loss,
... the inexplicable resurrection (coming out of the f* left field) by Rais Yatim of a possible prosecution against Namawee, a case long closed and deeply buried after MCA had organized a public apology by the Chinese rapper for his negarakuku song,
... and if I may be so bold as to suggest, HRH warning non-Malays against questioning scholarships for Malays, when what had actually happened had been Chinese asking scholarships for their children rather than questioning scholarships for Malay students.
Yes, even after Tuan Primus had repetitively kicked MCA in the groin, can you blame the Chinese-based party for still wanting to squeeze its own balls?
Anyway, I suspect the public publishing on Ong TK's website of the statistical demand by MCA members for the party to leave BN could well be the party's strategy of reminding UMNO that the time has come for Tai Koh not to take MCA for granted.
Besides, based on the Chinese winning factor in the Bukit Gantang by-election (UMNO obtained 53 to 54% of Malay votes yet PAS won by a significant majority due to Chinese votes), the Chinese showed they have been so pissed off with UMNO that they preferred to cast their lot with PAS (admittedly a fantastic candidate in PAS pinup boy Nizar but I suspect they would have still done the same for any PAS candidate), ...
... showing that UMNO's disrespect, disregard and disdain for Chinese interests (and thus the political future of MCA) could be suicidal for UMNO in those federal seats where Malay votes are split 50-50 between UMNO and PAS, and the preference of the Chinese electorate becomes the deciding factor ...
... unless of course PAS and its 'unity talks' comes to the rescue - incidentally Anwar hasn't denied it though he has hastily adopted a belated damage-control spin by Pak Haji Hadi Awang on conditions for such talks, that UMNO “stops all the cruelty, reforms the judiciary and the Election Commission". Hadi Awang must have realized his 30 seats in 2013 may be f* up by his ethno-centric proclivity wakakaka.
In reality, while Zaid's joining of PKR is a coup for PKR (and hardly a surprise), he was hardly a big personality when in UMNO (unlike say, the Big Kahuna himself, Dr M) and thus unlikely to be an inspirational mover for MCA members to emulate politically.
Secondly, MCA has always been about MCA, and a defection to PKR can only put them at the bottom of the heap. If MCA does defect to PKR I suspect it will undoubtedly turn out be a case of déjà vu wakakaka ...
... therefore, why bother when they are now No 2 in BN, yes ... a small No 2 but nonetheless No 2.
And finally, PAS has shown that while it may be an important element for Pakatan, it could well turn out to be a liability instead.
To be continued ...