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