Malaysiakini - Jui Meng stripped of Johor datuk-ship.
No reason has been given yet, though it's HRH's prerogative. But many speculate that it has to do with Chua Jui Meng’s crossover to PKR.
Unfortunately, ‘speculating’ is exactly what would happen in the absence of information.
Chua of course is no longer with MCA. But even if he is, he won’t be the first MCA bloke to have his datukship withdrawn. I have been informed that honour* belongs to Lee Kim Sai, former deputy chairman of MCA.
* today, can you blame anyone if they believe it's an honour rather than a stigma
To talk more on Lee, we need to return to 1987, when the infamous Ops Lalang had its genesis in the decision of an Education Minister (guess who - wakakaka) to appoint some 100 non-Mandarin educated senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools.
Chinese educationists were outraged and Chinese-based parties quickly fell into line to support them. Well, they had to because, as I have often remarked, ‘education’ is a central pillar of Chinese culture, and no pillar of such a culture would be stronger and more sacred than that of Chinese language education.
Well, those pollies could ignore the anger of the Chinese at the risk of losing their votes - such a delicate and sensitive issue was and still is something UMNO could never understand as it continuously undermine MCA and Gerakan standing in the Chinese community.
But it sure as hell didn’t look good when MCA, Gerakan, DAP and Dong Jiao Zong (Chinese educationists) banded together in a 2,000-strong gathering at the Hainanese Association Building beside the KL Thian Hou Temple.
Dr Mahathir was said to invoke the memory of Shaolin Temple which was renowned more for its opposition to authorities than martial arts. He said (words to the effect): We know what happened when Chinese gathered together in a temple to talk politics.
Guess he was advised by Chinese historical-cultural experts, unless he was a covert fan of Chinese martial arts films wakakaka.
Ops Lalang nabbed 106 of all races under ISA (including a few 'unwanted' UMNO personnel) whereafter they enjoyed free nasi curry at Hotel Kamunting - 2 years for some like Lim Kit Siang who I believe earned his law degree while residing there.
However, the two principal opponents in the Chinese educational imbroglio, a then young UMNO Youth chief, Najib, and Lee Kim Sai, were untouched by Ops Lalang, hence the term ‘Untouchables’ – of course, to Indians, ‘Untouchables’ are those of the pariah caste but that’s not exactly what I had in mind, though mind you, I won’t defend them if you apply the Indian meaning wakakaka.
Being UMNO and the son of the revered Tun Razak, Najib was naturally 100% teflon-ised while Lee was ‘coincidentally’ out of the country (in Australia) when Ops Lalang was launched. Even in such ‘untouchability’ there was a noticeable difference between UMNO and MCA, where one could repose in arrogant immunity while the other had to silently and sneakily scurry away ;-)
But apparently on the urging of a Najib-led UMNO Youth delegation to the former Sultan of Selangor, Lee Kim Sai had his datukship stripped.
I wonder whether his was restored after a period of political fallow. And if it was, I wonder whether he had the dignity to decline HRH's re-considered generosity.