I read The Malaysian Insider’s The growing irrelevance of Umno’s partners where it reported that ‘… a common refrain heard was that Umno should be less generous in giving up Malay-majority seats to representatives of MCA, MIC, Gerakan and other component parties … because … These non-Malay political parties in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition are growing in irrelevance among the racial constituencies they once represented.’
This is during a time when UMNO is fretting over constituencies like Bagan Pinang, Bukit Gantang, Permatang Pasir etc where non-Malay voters can have a significant influence on the election outcomes.
However, the sheer stupidity of UMNO’s tactic, to bypass MCA and go directly to the Chinese, without understanding the underlying reason, is a sad reflection of UMNO’s self-centeredness where the party has become out of touch with reality.
Why do I say this?
I’m going to re-write what I have often written, regarding the plight of MCA. I’ll leave the issue of MIC to my buddy Vijay Kumar Murugavell. As for the once-mighty Gerakan Party, it's so dead it's only respectful for me not to disturb the dearly departed.
Read up on the 1969 general election, when the MCA was virtually decimated by a combination of the DAP, Gerakan ;-) and PPP, provoking a caustic remark from the late Tun Dr Ismail, who sneered that the MCA ‘hidup segan, mati ta’mahu', meaning ‘neither dead or alive’ or was a political zombie, so to speak.
However, the MCA’s worst political enemy causing its political irrelevance has not been/is not the DAP, but UMNO ...
... because each time UMNO issued a policy or announced a course of action which was detrimental or seen as detrimental to Chinese Malaysians (many times without consulting or even providing prior notice to the MCA), the MCA would quake in its underpants, as it was also expected by UMNO to back Taikoh's policy or action.
Precisely because UMNO expected MCA to blindly back government's polices that were not to Chinese interests, it was virtually calling on MCA to commit political sepukku. That's the unreasonable attitude of UMNO in its so-called coalition.
The MCA knew and expected the Chinese to punish the party severely in the polls. 1969 and 2008 were the ultimate 'last straws' for the Chinese community who had been very tolerant of MCA's subordinate (and not equal) role in the BN.
One good example would be the primary (Chinese medium) school in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, which was shut down by the Education Ministry against the wishes of the parents and teachers. The MCA didn't know where to put its face.
Another case of UMNO undermining the MCA happened years ago, when Anwar Ibrahim was then Education Minister. His ministry passed the compulsory instruction to schools that non-Muslim students must, during the school weekly prayers, raise their hands like Muslims do.
That was unmitigated proselytizing, akin to, say, the Italian Education Ministry demanding all students, including Muslims, cross themselves like Catholics do, once a week at school.
Needless to say, the MCA then wished they could disappear from the face of the earth. I can tell you that each time UMNO does that sort of insensitive stuff to Chinese Malaysians, DAP would be smiling, while MCA would be tearing what little left of its hair off its head and putting the curse of T'or Tee Kong (The Lord of Hades) on the UMNO policy maker.
An elder relative told me that Anwar Ibrahim, who was ‘coincidentally’ away overseas when the crude insensitive proselytizing instruction was issued, commented glibly on his return that non-Muslim parents should treat the Muslim praying posture as one of ‘universal value’ – yeah, just like the Buddhists putting their hands together in Indian style greeting, or the Catholics crossing themselves.
I am sure many non-Muslim parents would have liked to see him make the Muslim students do those gestures of 'universal value'.
As I mentioned, the beneficiary of the UMNO insensitive decision-making has been the DAP.
But UMNO obviously had acted, acts and will always act for its own benefit above those of its MCA, MIC or any other 'partners', as we have witnessed in recent times, both during AAB’s premiership and lately under Najib’s premiership, cow’s head and all, when the Malay language mainstream media ranted with their provocatively racist instigations … all merely to attract the votes of the heartland.
And they still want MCA to produce the Chinese votes? Why not ask Sang Suria to rise in the West - that would have been easier.
UMNO is more than just the primus inter pares (first among equals) in the BN, because in the BN there's no equal to UMNO - it only tolerates the other parties like MCA, Gerakan, MIC etc as mere window dressing to its public facade of a pretend-coalition.
And UMNO has the bloody cheek to criticize if not condemn the MCA for being unable to marshal the Chinese voters to the BN banner.
How the f* to, when UMNO keeps chopping the MCA off at its knees?
If you recall, Deputy Minister Ong Tee Keat once exposed the corruption in the school administration where 90% (that's right, not 10% but a whopping 90%) of maintenance money went into the pockets of the some school officials.
And what did the Education Minister Hishamuddin Hussein do when the corruption was revealed by Ong?
He went ballistic and lambasted Ong Tee Keat while his cousin, then DPM Najib, made Ong Tee Keat’s Minister apologize in cabinet [Ong personally or even in his appointment as a deputy minister didn’t apologize].
… which may explain why UMNO don’t like Ong Tee Keat and prefer Chua SL as the MCA president.
And what happened to those corrupt school officials? Your guess is as good as mine.
The above reasons explain the Chinese community’s rejection of the MCA, for being unable to stand up to UMNO’s arrogant aggravated aggression.
And UMNO now thinks/talks of approaching the Chinese community directly by bypassing MCA?
It goes to show how out of touch, or how unaware UMNO is of Chinese disgust with them.
It’s not so much MCA itself that the Chinese are fed up with but UMNO!!!
And should the MCA be disliked too?
Yes, because its leaders thus far continue to eat UMNO sh*t like the political eunuchs that they are.
… unless of course Ong Tee Keat becomes another Lim Chong Eu.
[Sigh] we can only hope.