Tuesday, September 15, 2009

James Chin wrong about Dr Lim Chong Eu 'jumping'

James Chin wrote an article in The Malaysian Insider titled Please call me God where he lambasted our politicians for claiming to be proponents of ‘democracy’. James sneered at these so-called champions of democracy whose understanding or meaning of democracy is that their followers must do what they want. He wrote:

Take for instance the word “democracy”. All politicians I know swears that they are for democracy and some even say they will defend it with their blood. Unfortunately in Malaysia, democracy does not mean “democracy” as most people think. In Malaysia, democracy means hypocrisy and double or even triple-talk.

The best example of this “democracy” at work is party elections. Every time there is a party election, the leader will say this is democracy at “work”.

Before you can even blink, they will also say the “party” has “decided” that “no contest for the top posts” is the best way for party elections. So definition number one: democracy means no elections for top posts.

Then, when a challenger emerges, its back to democracy at “work”. This means the leader will use all sorts of presidential power to ensure that there is no such thing as a fair fight. If the challenger has more than an even chance to win, then the challenger is immediately packed off to the disciplinary committee for one or more
… ‘infringement’ of party rules or conduct.

He went on to say: Malaysians politicians have a mentality that it’s a winner-take-all situation. The moment you lose, you are out, forever.

The good news of course is that since the public is so forgiving and have a short memory, you can move to another party without much difficulty. This appears to be the most popular route for MCA leaders.

Lim Chong Eu was the president of MCA before he jumped and became the leader of Gerakan.
He then went on to name a few other politicians.

I have no quarrel with his article which I thought has been very correct. However, I disagree totally with his incorrect criticism of Dr Lim Chong Eu.

Lim did not ever ‘jump’.

In the early part of 1958, Dr Lim won the presidency of the MCA from Tun Tan Cheng Lock with a majority of 22 votes.

But Dr Lim wasn’t very popular with Tunku Abdul Rahman for a variety of reasons, chief being Lim wasn’t an easily controlled person like Tan Siew Sin. It was said that Tunku ‘manoeuvred’ Lim out of MCA so that Tan Siew Sin could step in as MCA Boss.

One of the MCA most assertive political agenda under Lim happened on the eve of the 1959 general elections when he told Tunku the MCA wanted 40 parliamentary seats, an increase from the 28 it was allocated. Worse (for Tunku) Lim demanded that Malaya recognized Chinese as an official language.

The Tunku attempted to compromise by giving MCA 31 seats, just an increase of 3, which of course Lim rejected. Needless to say, they weren’t exactly chummy then.

Eventually due to both internal pressure (from Tan's faction?) and certainly from Tunku’s UMNO, Dr Lim left MCA one year later, in 1960.

2 years later he formed the United Democratic Party (UDP). Then in 1969, he became one of the founder members of the then mighty Gerakan Party which swept out Tunku’s Alliance (and CM Wong Pow Nee of the MCA) from Penang. That was the original political tsunami.

From then until 2008, the Gerakan proved to be a thorn in the side of the MCA especially in Penang. But through the years, in the lap of ruling comfort, the Gerakan eventually lost its balls, and became a willing stooge of UMNO, being frequently used by Taikoh to ‘divide and rule’ the Chinese constituency, with MCA as the intended victim. Thus was how blokes like Koh TK rose to become UMNO lapdops.

In 1990 Dr Lim was defeated by the DAP, following which he retired from politics. Nonetheless, he remains a fairly popular person especially with the older Penangites.

Prior to his personal defeat by the DAP, Lim groomed a bloke by the name of Khor Gark Kim to be his successor, but alas, like a shooting star, Khor rose quickly and then fizzled out equally as fast.

James Chin has been totally wrong to state that Dr Lim was a frog. Never!

James, apologies are now in order.

1 comment:

  1. yessir you are right about Tun Lim not being a froggie...young writers nowadays do not do much research, worse still grammar and spelling does not merit a second glance!

    Perhaps the rumbles in MCA will see another new party being formed and led by a serial two-timer?