Monday, November 19, 2007

MCA & DAP attack on EC Commissioner inviting Ops Lallang II?

I believe the last time Chinese Malaysians got together ‘politically’ was just prior to Ops Lallang, and which event unfortunately led to that draconian ISA exercise.

And by getting together ‘politically', I meant a congregation of MCA, its real nemesis Gerakan, the opposition DAP and the Dong Jiao Zong {comprising the Federation of Malaysian Chinese School Boards Associations (Dong Zong) and the Federation of Malaysian Chinese School Teachers Associations (Jiao Zong)}. Thank goodness the SUPP was separated from the talk by the South China Sea or it would have been a humongous 'yellow wave'.

Nothing gets under the skin of a Chinese Malaysian more than education, which I had often termed as one of the central pillars of Chinese culture, especially more so when the education 'threatened' was Chinese language education.

Thanks then to a Minister of Education – aiyah, me no name him, OK? so no get mad with kaytee lah ;-) – the Chinese community (and that meant ‘votes’ to MCA, Gerakan and the DAP) was really annoyed, nay not just annoyed, but damn bloody furious with the minister's appointments of around a hundred senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools.

Now, what actually infuriated the Chinese community, raising a 'storm of protest’, was the fact that those appointed were not Mandarin language educated. The Chinese community saw that as a deliberate attempt by an UMNO minister ;-) to dilute the high standards of Chinese vernacular schools.

Ironically the Chinese vernacular schools in the late '50s and early '60s were almost driven into extinction by the lack of Chinese support. That, the diminishing need by the pragmatic Chinese community for vernacular Chinese education, would undoubtedly have occurred ..... except for the unpleasant fact - though turning out to be a fortuitous blessing in disguise for Chinese educationists - that successive UMNO Education ministers and wannabe Education ministers turned Malaya/Malaysia's once-famed education system into a dirty political football, as the 'nationalistic' soccer ball was wont to be, once kicked and thrashed around for grubby political interest.

For more on how UMNO Education ministers had ‘saved’ Chinese vernacular education from extinction read my letter to Malaysiakini titled Chinese educationists must thank UMNO. Now, don't get angry with me ;-) because that was written more than two years ago

I concluded that letter with “The truth has been out there all this while” meaning the Chinese Malaysian obsession with Chinese vernacular education had its Genesis, not so much in ethnocentric cultural parochialism but more in ensuring good solid educational standards for their children - which is why education has always been 'a central pillar of Chinese culture.'

Yes, UMNO's repetitive nationalistic kicking of the education football had ripped the guts out of our once-famed National education system until Chinese parents have come to see the vernacular education system as the remaining hope for their children. But from there, the Chinese vernacular system has incrementally metamorphosed from a purely issue of 'standards' into one of a cherished cultural identity, given the siege mentality the Chinese community has been indoctrinated with over the last 40 years.

The recent rejection of English as the language for Science and Maths has also been driven by a perception of fear and suspicion that the UMNO-led authority has planned to sabotage the high 'standards' of the Chinese vernacular system, espcially on the teaching of Science and Maths subjects. It doesn't help when virtually everyone knows Science and Maths aren't exactly the ideal correct vehicles for the learning of English language.

Anyway, back to 1987, those Chinese parents wanted some answers from the political parties which claimed to represent them, so I heard from an uncle those Chinese Malaysian pollies including the Dong Jiao Zong decided to get together to talk about a common strategy to overcome the Minister’s policy. They gathered at the Hainanese Association Building, beside the Thian Hou Temple in KL. Some of the speeches were unnecessarily provocative including calling for the sacking of the (then) Education Minister ;-)

The predictable tit for tat reaction from UMNO Youth a la 'keris dripped in Chinese blood' set the scenario for another probable racial riot. The police correctly launched Ops Lallang to neutralize the racially explosive situation, but incorrectly (the usual Malaysian twist) apprehended many opposition and NGO leaders (yes, including the odd UMNO 'dispensibles' for show of fairness) while allowing the principal culprits to remain free. Uncle Lim plus several others including Chandra Muzzafar were taken into custody and locked up for a couple of years.

(Then) PM Dr Mahathir said of the situation, well, words to that effect, that a lesson from Chinese history has been the unacceptability of Chinese (Malaysia) leaders of all political denominations meeting at a Chinese temple. He was obviously informed by his Chinese affairs advisor of the history of Shaolin, that hotbed of Han rebellion against the Manchus. He obviously alluded to the Chinese meeting as another hotbed of Han rebellion against the Manchus Malay (government).

OK, now back to the future, and what we have today is a semblance of another combined political Chinese Malaysian (note: not Chinese Malaysian political …) attack on the Head of the Election Commission Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman because of his boast that he knows when the general election would be held. Er... Gerakan couldn’t be seen anywhere ;-)

Malaysiakini informed us that Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek lambasted Abdul Rashid for daring to
claim he knew when the polls would be held though keeping mum about the date. Chua said it would be only PM AAB who knows.

In fact Chua was so outraged that he publicly called Abdul Rashid 'a liar'.

Hey, Abdul Rashid, how can you take this public insult lying down? Are you going to be just like Suhakam commissioner N Siva Subramaniam, whom DAP MP Teresa Kok has labelled as either completely incompetent or utterly dishonest?

Chua was unrepentant and added: “He (Rashid) is just looking for some exposure. You can write that. I stand by it.”

Meanwhile, as reported by Malaysiakini, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said Abdul Rashid should refrain from ‘teasing’, guess who ;-), the BN leaders like Dr Chua with claims of a definitive polls date.

Lim twisted the knife in deeper by saying: “(Instead) Rashid would have done a greater service to the nation and greater justice to his job as EC chief to put in place an electoral system which is clean, free and fair.”

Lim wants to see such measures as ‘cleaning up’ the electoral roll, ensuring a strict level-playing field for candidates and fair media coverage’.

Then Uncle Lim explained why Dr Chua was so pissed off and driven into hurling a humongous public insult at the EC Commissioner. Uncle Lim said Rashid’s comments have caught the MCA off-guard and exposing them as even unable to tell their supporters when the next general election would be held, while a ‘lowly government functionary’ like Rashid knew.

Lim said: “It must be a tremendous loss of face for MCA leaders to be caught on the wrong footing.”

I wonder whether Uncle Lim was adding salt to the MCA injury when he glibly commented that a ‘lowly government functionary’ like Rashid would be privy to such important information while MCA ministers were left in the dark.

By the way, Uncle Lim’s ‘salt’ was a double-barrelled shot, (1) Abdul Rashid as the so-called independent EC Commissioner was dismissed as a mere ‘lowly government functionary’ while (2) the MCA ministers were left in the dark - adoi and adoi again ;-)

In most democracies, an EC has the equivalent prestigious status of a Federal judge but in Malaysia, that may not be a desired comparison as our judges are currently in Dodgee Land. But then, our EC is also resident on the 'dark' side of the force.

Unfortunately for Abdul Rashid the PM pulled the rug from under his feet, well 'at least on the surface', saying that the power to dissolve Parliament is exclusively his (AAB’s).

As reported by the Star Online, he said in annoyance: “How would he know? I have yet to dissolve Parliament to pave the way for the elections. It's I who will decide when to have Parliament dissolved.”

But what I suspect is that the PM could have consulted or alerted Abdul Rashid on/to the most suitable date. Now, either Abdul Rashid has been one who couldn’t keep a secret (I doubt that), or it’s all staged by UMNO strategists, meaning ‘hey, pretend to boast and give a misleading date and we’ll do the rest.’

If the second scenario has been the case, it means Abdul Rashid’s allusion to ‘January 2008’ as the likely time for the GE was a piece of disinformation meant for the opposition - which means the actual GE date will be a lot more closer.

Oh, how I love these UMNO manoeuvres. Afterall they have inherited the mastery of court intrigues from the days of Sultan Mansur Shah and Hang Tuah.

But the MCA should take this blabber mouth issue up with PM AAB rather than directly with a mere ‘lowly government functionary’ ........ perhaps to avoid a possible UMNO perception of a combined MCA-DAP attack on Abdul Rashid.

UMNO doesn't like Chinese ganging up to 'test the patience' of a Malay like poor innocent Abdul Rashid. It would smack of seditious Shaolin-ish rebellion which may lead the authorities to
invoke Ops Lallang II ;-)

(1) Stung by hornet, mute as only MCA can be
(2) SUPP & MCA - Mutes stung by hornets

1 comment:

  1. Kaytee,

    With that many, many uncles you got, your granddad sure had a lotta wives.

    (1) What I’ve found utterly despicable is the PM (Mahathir, but Badawi seems now to have taken a leaf from his book) behaving as if the poll date is a divine revelation sent from heaven to the thrice blessed head of the BN.

    Remember how Mahathir used to play with the dates (“Only I know, you don’t, neh-neh”) like a cat teasing a mouse with cheese?

    It should be announced fairly & seriously as per democratic processes, not treated as if it’s a dynastic heirloom to be displayed at the feudal overlord’s pleasure, and a Holy Grail which the peasants can only glimpse sunk on one knee in awe, thankful to be shown it at all.

    (2) What’s at issue (& this is the BIGGEST) in the teaching of Maths & Science is the sheer stupidity! of the move. When UM lecturers can’t string a full sentence in grammatical English, it’s national suicide to have cikgus nationwide attempting to teach the two subjects in that language. Think about the kids in the Malay heartland where nobody around them speaks English (I’m referring their parents & neighbours). It’s killing 3 subjects with one keris.

    (3) Have you had a look at THE letter?