Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MCA revamp - give us 'values' and not just 'faces'

Duke Ai: "May I ask what is the art of government?" Confucius: "The art of government simply consists in making things right, or putting things in their right places. When the ruler himself is 'right,' then the people naturally follow him in his right course."

- Confucius, Book of Ritual 27

In its news item, MCA on makeover mission before election, malaysiakini discussed the internal problem of the Barisan Nasional's Chinese-based party playing ‘musical chair’.

When Ong Ka Ting took over as president 5 years ago, he set a two-term policy as public office holders for MCA representatives to prevent monopolisation of the ministerial jobs by only a few incumbents. This seems encouraging though kaytee believes merely replacing old for new may in some ways be counterproductive to a political party building up a pool of ministerial or parliamentary experience.

The better aim should be to remove deadwood rather than replant a growing tree, unless of course the entire tree is already deadwood ;-)

Ong’s overt aim has been publicised as bringing in new blood to rejuvenate the party. The other possible and related aim could be to motivate new talents into the party, by holding out the prospects of ministerial positions for new and successful candidates. Afterall which bright spark wants to join a party to be just political secretary or economic advisor to a deadwood?

In the malaysiakini article about the MCA in serious overhaul mode, as demonstrated by the recent
recruitment of new political (hi-profile) faces plus Ong’s latest speech touching on ‘retiring with honour’, the veterans have obviously been the targets of Ong’s renewal policy.

While his hint of ‘retiring with honour’ may have been meant as a polite warning to veterans to voluntarily retire or be axed as election candidates, the veterans may not be so accommodating as olde mangy lions still have some teeth left – ‘tis the old story of numero uno. People are reluctant to surrender their hold on power, and the accompanying benefits.

But I believe the more important issue for the MCA, a party both despised and (yet) needed by the Chinese Malaysian community, is not so much changing faces, but changing values.

The MCA leadership should set the correct example (perhaps even indirectly to their more aggressive and avaricious UMNO partners), for a return to Confucian values of propriety, integrity, honour and true public service – ideal goalposts, but nonetheless necessary in a Malaysia currently suffering from the serious affliction of rampant and uncontrollable corruption.

Once we heard of 'leadership by example' – which reminds me of a story told by my uncle, who was in the armed forces. According to unc's tale, one senior officer believed that ‘leadership by example’ consisted wholly of wearing nicely ironed uniform, short haircut and well polished shoes, but who indulged in disgraceful behaviour unbecoming of an officer, committing acts that by universal military standards should have seen him court martialled and cashiered, meaning dishonourably discharged.

Indeed the ideals of 'leadership by example' are not merely cosmetic but of proper behaviour and conduct which meet expectations of Confucian dimension.

Mind you, Confucian values do not prevent a man from accumulating honest wealth – oh, did you catch the key word in that statement?

When a leader lives beyond known means and in highly ostentatious style, it’s provoking to the people at the lower rungs. If a senior elected representative lives a life style like a pre Independence Indian maharajah, when everyone knows he was just a former junior public servant, how would that then (negatively) 'motivate' the ordinary policeman, immigration, custom or public service officers?

Hey, what’s good for the kepala (head) surely must be also good for the ekor (tail)!

And worse, how can the kepala now moralise to the ekor not to be corrupt?

The MCA may not be able to convince or influence its other BN partners, but if it wants to regain the respect of the Chinese Malaysian community, the party has to adopt those ancient Confucian values - rather than just fiddle around with faces.

Hmmm, am I p*ssing in the wind?


  1. Kaytee,
    Are you pissing in the wind?
    Well, if your astute observation is not heeded by OKT and his kakis, it would be better if it pissing into their faces.

  2. Confucius also said of the second prerequisite of rule by virtue by putting into important positions only virtuous and talented people.

    Quote): Text-Duke Ai asked, "What must I do to make the people believe in me?

    Confucius answered, "Choose upright men and put them above the crooked, and the people will believe in you: choose crooked men and put them above the upright, and the people will not (believe in you)."

    On another occcasions Confucius talked about how good people could be discovered: mainly studying public opinion. He said a man disliked by many should be investigated, so should a man liked by many (15.28) Quote

    So in the first place, OKT should be investigated as to why so many people dislike the party. Is it him or the party at fault? Search history factually and find how did OKT occupy the post as successor to Ling.

  3. I'm about to puke in the wind.

    The latest Port Klang Free Zone fiasco looks like an MCA get-into-bed with UMNO attempt to make mega billions.


    If we carry on like this we'll end up somewhere at the level of Zimbabwe.

  4. dream on. Why is MCA known as MOST CORRUPTED ASSOCIATION. The PKA fiasco led by UMNO/MCA is not the first and will not be the last. That I am very certain.