Monday, August 20, 2007

MCA or DAP - the Chinese dilemma

Late last year I posted Unaccountable UMNO un-votable! where I wrote:

Each time UMNO has internal problems, it would resort to its usual formula of kicking Chinese Malaysians about like a punching bag, including and especially its so-called partner MCA. They followed Joseph Goebbels dictum that "propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred."

Observe the Negarakuku saga. I also penned:

Remember the world's most famous SIL who used a racist attack against Chinese Malaysians to disguise his 9.2 million reasons? And of course UMNO leaders would never ever apologise to lesser beings.

Chinese Malaysians are not only convenient but natural 'targets' for UMNO leaders because they have already indoctrinated their members to be suspicious of those greedy rapacious Chinese, whom only UMNO leaders could keep in check!

And every time UMNO bashed Chinese Malaysians for its own interest, the DAP would benefit at the MCA’s expense. UMNO didn't and wouldn't gave a damn about pulling the rug from under the feet of its so-called ally! Besides, it'd teach those MCA blokes to know their place if a few of them were to lose their seats.

UMNO doesn’t want a strong MCA – see how it has effectively split the Chinese Penangites by use of Raja Bodek and his bodek-ites.

But as I have posted often, MCA’s greatest foe (in terms of undermining its political credibility) has been UMNO and not the DAP. And UMNO wants it that way too, to keep a MCA nicely bonsai-ed. Its bonsai-ing tools are in fact the DAP and the Gerakan Party. The Chinese community has unwittingly contributed to the bonsai-ing.

… which is why I wrote that UMNO is the MCA’s greatest political enemy and by default the DAP's best friend - see my previous posting
Collaterally damaged MCA in damage control and SUPP & MCA - Mutes stung by hornets.

Therefore voting against the MCA … wouldn't worry UMNO.

Today, in malaysiakini, reporting on the MCA annual general meet, we hear the
MCA appeal to the Chinese community.

MCA president Ong KT told the Chinese to be united in supporting the BN through the MCA so that the Chinese voice can be heard in cabinet. Ong contrasted the MCA’s bargaining power within the cabinet post-1969 (leading to May 13) and post-1999 (following the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim from UMNO and the deep division within the Malays).

The former (1969) saw the near annihilation of the MCA which had the late Tun Dr Ismail speaking of the Chinese-based party as ‘mati ta’mahu, hidup pun segan’ (loosely translated as ‘neither dead nor alive), while the latter saw a more grateful Dr Mahathir who retained government with a strong majority with the strong support of the Chinese votes.

I have to agree somewhat with what Ong say, that one of the reasons why the MCA been viewed as gutless and pathetic by the Chinese is its poor bargaining power in the government. In many ways, it survives for years as a political entity only because UMNO saw some use for the MCA.

And guess who is to blame for the MCA’s weak position?

Yes, the Chinese themselves!

The Chinese may argue that the MCA is corrupt – and that’s a valid point.

The MCA would counter argue that, notwithstanding the public perception of some of its members being corrupt (and which party in power does not have corrupt members?), the MCA has done many good for the Chinese community.

Unfortunately, in political life, the voters very seldom remember the good but usually the bad ;-) and that’s a fact of life, so the MCA just have to get use to that. And who better to prove that point than the DAP – remember 1999?

Ong accused the DAP of only capable of causing ‘racial tension’, and if the Chinese community votes in a powerful DAP, it will put the Malays in the ruling coalition and Chinese in opposition, a very nasty confrontational stuation.

Obviously Ong has been mindful of the Merdeka Centre survey which shows that 2 out of 3 Chinese will vote for the opposition (though this wasn’t evident in Machap and Ijok) and the recent ascendency of the DAP in Kuching at the expense of the SUPP.

Additionally, the recent antics of UMNO (at UMNO general assembly, Zainuddin Maidin’s attack against a Chinese war memorial, SIL and Hishamuddin rants, corruption allegations, toll fee hike, Negarakuku, etc) have humiliated and hurt the Chinese.

And the Chinese convenient punching bag, as usual, has been the MCA.

The last time the MCA had some backbone and openly voiced its opposition to an UMNO policy was in 1987, when it joined the Gerakan Party and the DAP to object to the Education Ministry appointing 100 non-Mandarin educated senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools. The Education Minister was a bloke by the name of, would you believe, Anwar Ibrahim.

Following the MCA-Gerakan-DAP nexus of 'rebellion' a la Shaolin Temple, and UMNO Youth's threatened intemperate response, the government launched Operation Lalang, not unlike the preemptive razing of Shaolin Temple by Manchu troops as happened in Chinese history.

Well, come the next election, it’s not only a MCA dilemma but the Chinese community’s as well - should it vote for a trusted but confrontational DAP or a distrusted but inside-the-government MCA. I am talking about the federal level so the usual Penang formula of 'sending DAP to KL to make noise, but keeping BN at home for local development' won't answer this issue.

Stung by hornet, mute as only MCA can be


  1. MCA did do good for the chinese community in the past - that is without a doubt. But I felt that their time is up. As a party their influence power on the general policy in the country has dwindled and the downward spiraling is continuing.

    If what they proclaim is true (that MCA is no "ma-chai" to other parties) then that only high-lite their impotence in fighting for the chinese rights in the face of the time and again racist innuendos issued by UMNO.

    And why are we still talking about race based parties in today age? Shouldn't we be Malaysians by now 50 years down the road?

    MCA is NOT relevant anymore. Their delusion that they hold economic power and UMNO hold political power as a means for JV is long shot to pieces during Dr M time. Today they have no bargaining power AT ALL. They still exist becos of human tendency for tradition. They still exist becos of the ruling power patronage. MCa has no new vision with which to reflect today politics. Their only assets is Michael Chong department. the party might as well morph into a big michael chong department.

    As a chinese I am in no dilemma on whether my choice is DAP or MCA. Even if i go with DAP it is not becos they are so branded as "chinese chauvinist" but becos of their continued metamorphosis to stay relevant.

    heck, i now even have PKR to consider and if PAS is able to articulate on how they can guarantee safe guarding the multi-ethic multi culturality face of Malaysia i dont even mind to give them my vote.

    All I ever wanted is good governance, the rule of law, freedom of speech and information, freedom to be a Malaysian and not a Chinese Malaysian or a bumi. All i wanted is fairness, a good economy, a good leader who believes in integrity and transparency.

    Can MCA delivers it? Can the present ruling regime delivers it?

  2. Agreed that MCA's biggest enemy is UMNO and not DAP. In fact UMNO is everyone's enemy.

    MCA can also play the same game as UMNO.

    What MCA should do is to help and support Keadilan and Anwar to weaken UMNO, i.e in mixed seats and those with small Malay majorities. In overwhelming Malay majority seats, MCA should support PAS against UMNO.

    MCA should begin in Penang where UMNO is the minority party. All UMNO seats in PW are challenged by Keadilan and PAS. MCA should support Keadilan and PAS and kick out UMNO in Penang first, followed by the other states one by one.

    It is high time MCA leaders adopt this strategy as it is the only way to defeat UMNO. and do so quickly

  3. I concur with your opinion on both MCA and DAP not being the best to maintain the rights of the Chinese, and still maintain integration with the Malays in peaceful and workable manner.

    I believe many would envision a formation of a new party that will encompass those goals. One in which the leading members of the party are of the brightest and highly educated among all races.
    I can only say that all parties are lacking in terms of such persons and talent. Some members from each present political party are worthy of being picked out to lead. But when we look at Malaysia compared to developed nations, we are so behind. In fact many of the brightest ones in fact reside overseas and some are no longer Malaysian citizens anymore. It would be great if some effort can be garnered to bring them back and grant them dual citizenship as an exception to what they can potentially contribute. I believe that there are many among them who are of the highest calibre. This is not a preference that anything overseas is good and local bad. But you know the difference when you go into their minds. We are still a young nation and to not acknowledge that other nations' longer history of development is like wanting to do develop the nation the long and hard way. We do need to catch up in terms of so many aspects in our country that racial politics has really taken its toll on our nation's rise.

  4. 'We should support MCA so that the Chinese Community does not loose it's voice'....

    Well, as a Malaysian Chinese, can I just say that that clearly looks like MCA is starting to play UMNO's game of Politics of Fear. Don't support MCA and the Malays will be too strong?

    I'm sorry, but I'm purely fed-up with all this Malay, Chinese, Indian whatver.

    I would like to support a political party that has an agenda that is not racially based. That will seek to work towards racial harmony and unity. That will work for any or all communities that require need.

    Racial harmony is not improved by everyone shouting about their rights and getting a closed door meeting to see which ones you can compromise on.

    Racial harmony is improved by not focussing on RACE and focussing on the Issues.

    In fact, we can only start to move forward when we can have leaders who focus more on the needs of OTHER races then their own.

  5. without going into the whys and whats and hows of the nitties and gritties of this most complex social human behavior we are now further clouded by complex discourses/analysis which in simple terms touches all the time on greed and selfishness of the individuals resulting in all the lies and deceits you see everywhere now !Suffice to say that the umnoputrarians are evil and corrupt while the MCArians are pragmatically selfish & corrupted while the MIC-ians drunk and corrupt. None...but the bad show goes on ...and on. sincerety and honesty will soon have to be deleted from the dictionary very soon

  6. If MCA didn't exist, UMNO would have to invent it. To serve as a communications conduit with the Chinese business community, to serve as a fig leaf for UMNO's race-supremacist policies.

    UMNO in theory could form a government on its own, but that would be the end of the Merdeka concensus, and I suspect the end of Malaysia as a nation would not be far behind.

    Anyway its likely to be a non-dillema for me. I live in a 50-50 Malay- non-Malay constituency, most likely a straight UMNO- Keadilan fight. Years ago it was a semi-rural Malay area, but it has steadily been enveloped by suburban housing estates, mostly heavily Chinese. MCA, as usual, does a heavy grass-roots campaign to get the support of the Chinese voters for BN.

    I'm voting Keadilan :-)

  7. What a great relieve to the chinese majority - BN denied a 2/3rd majority in the 12th GE. Defeat of "Great" actors in the BN camp reflects the greatness and maturity of the general on-the-street Malaysian Chinese, Indians and Bumis. Well Done!!
    For a better Malaysia, now let's all hope that the arrogance of the BN is and will be aiped out from the face of Malaysia (our beloved country).