Once again the Chinese Malaysians are in the spotlight, not a place they would want to be. But the near complete sweep of Chinese-majority constituencies in the Sarawak State elections by DAP has refocused the attention of BN politicians on this (for them) vexing problem.
No doubt many in UMNO would like to paraphrase (apparently wrongly attributed to) Henry II when he voiced his frustration with Thomas Becket: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent Chinese?”
Utusan Malaysia came up with a more practical punishment, proposing angrily that BN ignores Chinese vote after Sarawak polls.
Its editorial (in its Awang Selamat column) states: “The average Chinese voters have rejected BN and supported DAP. Therefore the BN state government can no longer be too generous to give place to representatives from the community. Sarawak cabinet must be reflective of the decisions and attitude of the voters. message must be sent. Taib must show gratitude to those that supported him and BN government.”
“Once again the attitude of the Chinese voters is clear in rejecting BN. Awang believes that sentiment of Chinese voters in the peninsular is also the same. The reality is that after dominating the economy for so long the Chinese community wants to have greater influence and become a dominant political force.”
Kaytee is not surprised at all that Utusan failed to mention a single word about the alleged gross corruption and rampant abuse of power, etc committed by the State government for the last 30 years.
Equally not surprising has been CSL’s pontification that Supp should not accept any position in the Sarawak state Cabinet as the party had lost the Chinese community’s support.
He explained: “If it takes part in the Cabinet, I feel the Chinese of Sarawak would think it (SUPP) is there only for the seats and not to serve the community. Besides, SUPP’s role in the Cabinet would be limited to only helping to resolve problems within the Chinese community. Even if its leaders are in the cabinet, I can foresee that they can’t solve the community’s problems.”
Was CSL saying that on as a matter of principle, or was he indirectly warning Peninsula Chinese Malaysians that there won’t be any Chinese representatives in the cabinet if they follow the Sarawakians and vote for DAP instead of MCA? You tell me, wakakaka!
But my observation is that CSL has fallen into line with Utusan’s threat, typical of MCA, which calls for another wakakaka.
Again, there’s not one word of corruption, abuse of power, non-accountability, unlike a more gentlemanly George Chan who admitted so as the reason for the SUPP's near annihilation. Even my dear Penang larng, Ah Koon, has wisely euphemized his way through with his comment on the challenge of increasing support for the DAP and the opposition party’s ability to add more seats in yesterday’s Sarawak state election.
Ah Koon noticed succinctly that “… this did not happen in the blink of an eye but rather a continuation of the political tsunami which started to be felt in urban areas in Kuching in the 2006 state election, and that it has grown more serious, resulting in repercussions for BN going into the next general election."
Well-known UMNO blogger Sakmongkol AK47 commented in his latest post The Chinese voice in BN politics:
How will these two parties [MCA and SUPP] operate in future? They have lost ownership as the voice of the Chinese people. The victories of DAP in Sarawak and the MCA's poor showing in the 2008 National Elections signal the rise of more strident voices and demands by the Chinese Community. There are two ways to stem the slide.
First, Chinese leaders in MCA and SUPP will ask the PM, as leader of BN to allow them more leeway to become MORE Chinese. Meaning, they want to behave like how UMNO behaves – as the unmitigated voice of Chinese interests. The more strident and belligerent the better as a means to regain the Chineseness of their political pronouncements.
Second, as anyone can assume, given the accommodative personality of the PM, he will be seen to giving in to more Chinese demands.
Sak then war-gamed around with the two options, pointing out that Najib will have a hard time balancing the repercussions of 1 and 2.
But let me say something about it as well. The recent political phenomenon of the Chinese Malaysians (both in March 2008 and now in Sarawak, and once before in May 1969) has been very much against the political grain of the Chinese community.
Unlike Indians and Malays, it has generally been an ethnic group which prefers to stay out of high visibility politics, only wanting to earn a living, their ‘3 bowls of rice’ and turning up at the election station once every 5 years, or even staying at home to instead play mahjung on that day.
So why has there been this paradox, that of a politically reluctant community suddenly making waves in Malaysian politics?
We can’t expect Utusan to come up with rational, logical and objective comments, so let’s examine Sakmongkol’s question, which is, will it help ameoliorate BN’s prospects in the next general election if Najib gives more leeway (or more correctly, more ‘face’) to Chinese leaders in MCA and SUPP, so they may be seen as the real voice of the Chinese community, for them to be as mucho macho Chinese as possible?
I personally don’t believe that’s what the Chinese really want. Sure, the MCA being regularly humiliated by UMNO does not help convince the Chinese that the BN is the party to represent them.
But far more important than 'face', if only Najib can both (i) stop the racist bigoted conduct of some of his UMNO colleagues, Utusan, Perkasa, etc (or for for that matter, Chinese and Indian rightwing utterances), and more importantly (ii) come straight out to reject, on behalf of his so-called 1Malaysia BN government, those inflammatory redneck utterances, I believe that’ll be a great start.
No 2 – will he stop the bloody rampant abuse of power (politically inclined or otherwise) by the BN politicians, Civil Services, Police, MACC.
No 3 – will he stop the gross corruption within the BN ranks (and cronies).
Yes, my take on why Chinese Malaysians have recently become more vocal, and expressing so via the ballot box, is that they have reached a stage when the BN bull, blatant corruption and arrogant abuse of power are suffocating them. The scum has risen way above their nostril levels. Thus they need to speak out or die of suffocation. They have no choice.