Senator Murugiah, formerly of PPP, now MIC by courtesy and love of Najib wakakaka, is no doubt crazy about the idea because it will keep him safe.
Liow Tiong Lai would probably support it; after all Najib is his ‘beloved PM’ and had together with Muhyiddin saved his MCA bacon wakakaka a couple of times. Yes, Liow is the deputy president of MCA but in actuality he's more or less in the same boat as Murugiah, very dependent on UMNO's protective blessings to survive.
Poor Ah Koon (Koh TK) may have mixed feelings; no doubt he will benefit from it as an UMNO fave but at the same time as the president of the Gerakan Party he may harbor some trepidations; anyway, as I often wrote about the once-(in 1969)-mighty Gerakan Party, it's so dead it's only respectful for me not to disturb the dearly departed.
Oh, what's all the above? I am of course referring to the UMNO-proposed Changes to BN's constitution (see Malaysiakini for more) which will transfer over to the BN chairman, effectively the head of UMNO, the hitherto-rights of the leaders of each BN component party to select their party candidates for the federal and state elections.
This is a far greater insult to the non-UMNO parties than what has been happening thus far in the BN process for selecting candidates for elections.
What’s the current process?
I wrote of this in many previous posts, of which the last was MIC fights back at UMNO, MCA ...? where I mentioned (extracts):
Basically all parties in an alliance or coalition [like the BN and Pakatan] are ‘equal’ though of course the bigger or more powerful party is accepted as the primus inter pares or ‘first among equals’ – note the term ‘among equals’.
… the federal and state seats are negotiated and then allocated – sure, there’s the usual pre-emptive strikes (like what PKR tried to do against DAP just before the 2008 general election), tradeoffs, stealing, cheating etc etc, but once a seat is allocated to Party X, Parties Y and Z have to butt out and mind their own business.
Unfortunately (for MCA, MIC, Gerakan – no point mentioning the mosquito parties) in BN, UMNO vets and approves the other parties’ candidates.
It’s such a shaemful indignity for MCA, MIC and Gerakan to submit themselves to this process where the UMNO chief has to give his nod. Look across to see how Pakatan manages it (mind you, not that Anwar wouldn’t love to exercise such control wakakaka).
A coalition is what it is, a grouping together of independent sovereign parties. For MCA, MIC and Gerakan to submit their nominated election candidates to the UMNO chief for his ‘yes’ indicates subservience. That’s why I have frequently pointed out that the BN is NOT a coalition but merely UMNO with several smaller branches having non-Malay members.
Now, as if that process was not enough, UMNO wants more. It doesn’t just want to okay the component parties’ choices but to select the candidates DIRECTLY.
As I mentioned above, the happiest bloke will be Murugiah because his recent acceptance as a MIC member (after being expelled from PPP) was only on the personal orders of Najib to Samy Vellu. Muruguah fears being left out by MIC in the party’s selection for the 13th GE. With Najib as UMNO chief and concurrently BN chief, Murugiah can be more assured of his nomination, if not as senator, then as a federal MIC (wakakaka) candidate.
Mind you, there’s precedence in UMNO directly picking a MIC candidate for an election. Remember the recent Hulu Selangor by-election where Muhyiddin directly picked Kamal (or Nathan, whichever name he prefers) over MIC’s choice of Palanivel as its candidate?
Then, the spokesman for Selangor MIC divisions, A Saktivel, bravely stated:
“It has never happened in history that a candidate not chosen by the party president is fielded. We don't want a candidate who is allowed to contest for the seat through the back door. This is about party dignity.”
"If MIC has no say in the choice of candidate, there's no point having MIC around. We will lose our face. We won't be able to face grassroots members."
Some lower echelon MIC leaders like K Alloo Pillai also warned that if Palanivel was not chosen as the BN candidate, fundamentally a blatant show of disrespect to MIC and its leadership, they would not go out to vote but instead boycott the by-election. Hulu Selangor MIC information chief Raily Muniandy threatened that all the party branches in the constituency will be closed.
I then wrote: Even though MIC is an @r$eh*le party he’s right. […] Accepting this as an UMNO prerogative would be the most shameful indignity that MIC will have to suffer in its 50 over years of history.
But in the end, what happened? MIC capitulated. That Kamal (or Nathan) won the by-election was not the point. The point is MIC was humiliated kau kau but, unlike Zaid Ibrahim, rolled over and quietly took the UMNO hefty kick to its party dignity and so-called sovereignty … proving the MIC is just a minor subordinate, not a coalition partner, of UMNO.
[Hmmm, I was wondering whether I should borrow Uthayakumar's most biadap word to describe MIC in its relationshp with UMNO?].
Anway, I had then suggested to Chua Soi Lek that the occasion (where UMNO usurped MIC's sovereign rights) should be an opportunity for MCA to demonstrate it has balls by showing solidarity with MIC and say, words to the effect, “If MIC’s preference is not respected, MCA will not support the BN candidate.”
I warned: Dei Chua, today it’s MIC, tomorrow it may well be MCA, and by the way, have a read of my other but related posts below - wakakaka!
(1) Liow Tiong Lai's godfather coming to save him?
(2) Najib and Muhyiddin fighting for Liow Tiong Lai
Well, it is about to happen to MCA too with the new BN proposed constitution.
A Malaysiakini source in BN (not UMNO of course wakakaka) lamented: "What's the use of being a party president then? It doesn't make sense. In that case, the president should just dissolve all the component parties and make BN one party.”
"The existing practice is for the party presidents to suggest their candidates, although the final decision is with the BN chief. But now this right is being taken away and all the power is given to one person."
Not just ‘one person’ but an UMNO person.
There are two sayings I wish to mention here as my ‘I told you so’:
“A stitch in time saves nine”, and
“Give him an inch [or centimetre] and he'll take a mile [kilometre]”.
and perhaps the famous statement by Pastor Martin Niemöller:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.