In recent years, the last 25 or so, a significant number of Chinese Malaysians began to have doubts about the MCA as a political party that could represent them. Some had by then dismissed the MCA as nothing more than an UMNO lackey, with the leaders only concerned about their own interests. Fat cats … and castrated ones too!
However, many clung on, in the hope that the MCA might change. In 1969 the Chinese had once abandoned the MCA in a big way; in 2008 the majority decided that enough was enough, and repeated their disdainful disgusted dismissal of the MCA as their political representative a la 1969.
Just prior to 08 March 2008, the brother of the MCA president, seeing the winds of change, actually debased himself in humiliating fashion, by ‘begging’ the Chinese for some crumbs when they voted. He knew the MCA would be wiped out north of KL. He pleaded for a minor share of the Chinese mandate.
He didn't get even a stale bread crumb.
Has it been the alleged corruption of MCA leaders that had made the Chinese spurn MCA? Was it the unpopular MCA's purchase of some Chinese newspapers (turning them into government mouthpieces) that had infuriated the community?
Yes, all that did add up to the Chinese growing disenchantment with the party that fought for their fathers' citizenship in the early gestation days of the nation, but …
… BUT …
… the singular most humiliating factor that convinced (and still does) Chinese Malaysians to reject the MCA has been its servile silent sycophantic relationship with UMNO.
Admittedly the MCA has not been as obsequious as the disgraceful Gerakan Party in the person of Koh TK, but it was bad enough to make Chinese Malaysians cringe in shame.
The Barisan Nasional is in name a coalition … a coalition theoretically of partners. Sure there would always be a leader among the partners, the primus inter pares (first among equals), ... but as I had blogged before, UMNO has been all primus while the rest of the Barisan Nasional, namely MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the kacang putih mosquito parties, were never ever remotely near the status of pares.
OK, forget those mosquito parties, but for the last 20 to 25 years UMNO had not been treating the MCA with the respect a partner, even a junior one, ought to receive.
For God’s sake, when the BN divvy-ed up the seats for a general election, you would imagine that for a 'coalition', that was that, with each component party nominating its own party members to be the respective election candidates in their allocated constituencies.
But oh no, the MCA (and the others) had to seek the approval of the UMNO president for its nominated candidates. Has MCA been a subordinate branch of UMNO? Now, do you understand what I had meant when I said, ’UMNO has been all primus while … MCA was never ever near the status of pares’.
UMNO had continuously undermined, sometimes deliberately, MCA’s credibility with its own community, yet demanded of the Chinese-based party the support of the majority of Chinese Malaysians … a f* Sisyphean task.
As a recent example of UMNO’s unrealistic and unreasonable expectation, the failed UMNO candidate in Permatang Pasir (though reportedly an UMNO 'good looking hero') had the brazen nerve to voice his dissatisfaction with the lack of Chinese support for his candidature, in that, an indirect criticism of the MCA, without even appreciating that it had been UMNO which had destroyed the credibility and political leadership of MCA in the eyes of the latter’s community.
But the shameless MCA plodded on, as a willing captive, a pariah serf to the Barisan Brahmin, in wishful thinking that somewhere down the track, its record of loyalty, or at worst, muted passivity, will earn UMNO’s respect.
But trust the MCA somehow to lose its plot and dignity along the way, where at one stage, to the utter humiliation of the Chinese Malaysian community, an UMNO man actually acted as the MCA’s interim president. How f* humiliatingly low could one go.
So when Malaysiakini reported on the MCA sacking of Chua Soi Lek with the headline Chua's axing in defiance of Najib? I said to myself, good on Ong Tee Keat. It’s f* high time the MCA stop cringing and wringing its hands in front of TaiKoh like what Koh TK would probably do, to take instructions from Ah Hniah (Teochew for big brother).
I don’t know much about Ong Tee Keat, though his credentials as MCA President has automatically placed him in many Chinese black books ;-) …
… but if his current efforts to expose the PKFZ corruption scam as he had done in 2006 with the embezzlement of (90% of) schools’ maintenance funds is a sincere effort at ‘cleaning up’ the MCA’s act, then I say, more power to Ong!
I also have nothing against Chua in as much as I don't with Ong Tee Keat, but in the matter of MCA as a sovereign party which can and should manage its own internal party’s issues, I say kudos to Ong for standing up to UMNO with some spine in the sacking of Chua.
;-) and guess what, Najib agrees with me, stating he won’t step in unless invited.