Friday, March 29, 2013

Will DAP become another MCA?

For me, a DAP supporter (though not a member), two troubling questions have kept popping up about my favoured political party. But before I delve into those two vexing queries, let me explain why I have for years supported and today am still supporting the DAP, considering I came from a family in Ayer Itam who originally supported MCA and then (from 1969 until 2004) supported Lim Chong Eu's (not Lim KY's or Koh TK's) Gerakan.

For an Ayer Itam Chinese family, as for many Penang Chinese and Indian families, we support DAP because it has been the voice of those who saw/see themselves as the marginalized, disenfranchised, and (thus) aggrieved.

Yes, some Chinese in Malaysia have become extremely rich under the Perikatan-BN government, while many (being typical overseas Chinese) just got on with their livelihood and lives, even comfortably, though quite a few (the unseen) scrapped by day after day.

The general fact is that there's no chronic poverty for the Chinese in Malaya (I'm going to restrict my comments to the Peninsula); please read my qualification in the word 'general' which means there have been a few cases of utter poverty as in the case of 2 fallen by the wayside but we cannot deny these were the exceptions.

Chinese slums in Penang
though the residents don't starve

On my assertion that in general there is no chronic poverty in Malaysia (or at least Peninsula Malaysia) I have no doubt some Indians would disagree most vociferously. I accept their arguments, though I have attempted to trace the cause behind the rather stark difference in the fate of Chinese and Indian Malaysians in general, in an earlier post Marginalization of Indians - the true story.

When I wrote that post, I believe I was in many ways influenced by an essay I read as an HSC student, one written by (I think, 'twas years ago) Dr Ramakrishnan on the difference between Chinese and Indian attitudes, in which he epitomised the former as adhering to the Confucian advice of 'revering the gods but keeping them at a distance' while he lamented that in every aspects of an Indian life, religion (and its sanctified caste system) was deeply entrenched, and full of obstructing 'sacred cows'.

Anyway, overseas Chinese have been required by survival to be pragmatic. In fact pragmatism would by necessity have to be a fundamental overseas Chinese doctrine.

Thus some Chinese (and indeed some Indians) seeing the DAP as the voice of the marginalized, disenfranchised and aggrieved, while at the same time wishing to remain pragmatic, came up with what has jokingly been referred to as the 'Penang Strategy', that of electing and sending DAP MPs to Parliament to 'make mucho noise' for their rights on education and associated issues such as schools, scholarships, recognition of degrees, etc, while electing BN ADUNs wakakaka for Penang's economic and infrastructural development.

In other words, continue with the daily necessity of '3 bowls of rice' while hoping for the best possible outcome in educational opportunities, for as I have so often written, education has been a central pillar of Chinese culture for thousands of years.

Hmmm, I wonder where in Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs would the Chinese obsession for good standard and higher education be placed, as opposed to sex addiction, wakakaka.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Thus until the 2008 political tsunami, just as an example, courageous Khalsa warrior, Bhai Karpal Singh (more popularly known as the Lion of Gelugor or in earlier times, the Tiger of Jelutong) and equally courageous Uncle Lim would be sent off to Parliament to raise hell over rights and governance issues because MCA, MIC and Gerakan parliamentarians would be obsequiously dumb, while despised Koh Tsu Koon continued to be elected as an ADUN in the expectation of him becoming Penang's CM, at least in name, for Penang's domestic developments.

Some UMNO hotheads in Penang had from time to time demanded the CM post for an UMNO man because it was the BN party with the most number of ADUNs in Penang (but only because it had cleverly 'divided & conquered' MCA and Gerakan). But Putrajaya (and before that, KL) knew the appointment of an UMNO man as CM would undoubtedly alienate the Chinese voters as well as MCA and Gerakan in Penang to an extent the two Chinese based parties - and let's not pretend Gerakan is not 99.9% Chinese - might (a loud UMNO gasp here) combine to outnumber UMNO ADUNs just to ensure a Chinese is CM Penang.

A Chinese being CM Penang has never been an issue for UMNO but a combined MCA-Gerakan would be disastrous for its deeper strategy of keeping the two BN Chinese based parties divided and enervated, so as to continue being meek and compliant subordinates.

Yes, UMNO don't fancy a MCA that's too strong, arrogant or/and defiant as it saw in Lim Chong Eu (when he was MCA president), Lee San Choon, Lee Kim Sai, Tan Koon Swan and Ong Tee Keat (the last may be embraced by a desperate Najib for GE-13, only because of his personal popularity in Pandan).

The preferred type of Chinese partner UMNO love are people like Koh Tsu Koon and Liow 'my beloved PM' Tiong LIE, wakakaka.

There was already an unwelcome precedent in Chinese political parties and NGOs converging in political thoughts and meeting at the Hainanese Association Building just beside the Thean Hou Temple in KL on 11 October 1987.

Thean Hou Temple seen by Mahathir as Shaolin? wakakaka

The meeting was organized by Dong Jiao Zong (the association of Chinese school teachers and trustees) to protest against a policy of UMNO Education Minister, a man by the name of Anwar Ibrahim wakakaka, for what they perceived as a surreptitious move to undermine vernacular education in his ministry's move to send about 100 non-Chinese educated principals to Chinese vernacular schools.

As mentioned, because education has always been a central pillar of Chinese culture, all Chinese based parties in Malaysia then, namely, MCA and Gerakan and other Chinese based parties (SUPP?), and those dependent on Chinese support, DAP, had no choice but to participate in the Dong Jiao Zong organized meeting if they wished to survive politically. All in all, the attendance at that gathering was 2000 strong.

Action saw Newtonian's reaction, with a young Najib as UMNO Youth Chief's voicing his jaguh-ness to bathe his keris with Chinese blood becoming today's political legend, much as he may wish to forget about it.

KTK thinking BIG, bigger than UMNO
Hisham looking on in either admiration or envy

BN was by then caught in its own acrimonious vortex, with UMNO condemning MCA (though I believe, not Gerakan) and asking for the resignation of MCA deputy president, Lee Kim Sai, while the Chinese side called for Anwar Ibrahim's resignation.

Mahathir launched Ops Lalang against what he described as a Shaolin-like Chinese rebellion*, an ISA draconian devious dragnet which today is blamed on him and Najib, the latter for his blood bathing keris theatrical antic, but very few Pakatan Chinese supporters remember or want to remember it was Anwar Ibrahim who as Education Minister started that near-May 13-like dispute.

* He said, words to the effect, 'we know what happened historically when Chinese gathered together at a Chinese temple to protest against government policies'.

Shaolin Temple in China
equally controversial but less ostentatious
than KL's Thean Hou Temple

Wikipedia states: Operation Lalang resulted in the arrest of 106 people under the Internal Security Act. Among the more prominent detainees were opposition leader and DAP Secretary-General Lim Kit Siang, ALIRAN President Chandra Muzaffar, DAP Deputy Chairman Karpal Singh, MCA Vice President and Perak Chief Chan Kit Chee, PAS Youth Chief Halim Arshat, UMNO MP for Pasir Mas Ibrahim Ali, and UMNO Youth Education Chairman Mohamed Fahmi Ibrahim. Other prominent non-political detainees included Dong Jiao Zhong (Chinese Education Associations) Chairman Lim Fong Seng, Publicity Chief of the Civil Rights Committee Kua Kia Soong, and WAO member Irene.

Besides that, there was also another detainee called Hilmy Noor, a Malay Christian, who was accused for "disrupting the Malay culture by being a Christian" ....

The detainees were kept at the usual place used for ISA detainees, at Kamunting Detention Centre.

Although most of the detainees were released either conditionally or unconditionally,
40 were issued detention order of two years. Included were Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh plus five other party colleagues, a number of PAS members and many social activists.

A categorization of the initially named detainees, numbering 97, gives the following breakdown: political parties: 37; social movements: 23; individuals: 37.

Apart from above, there were two other losers, namely, (a) The Star newspaper which was banned for several months and which lost its once-independent news coverage when it was permitted to re-publish, and (b) Lee Kim Sai, the MCA deputy president who had his datukship withdrawn by the Selangor (former late) Sultan on the instigation of Najib and his UMNO Youth because of nasty exchanges of words with UMNO Youth.

Lee Kim Sai

At last I come to the two vexing questions on a future DAP which trouble me somewhat, namely:

(a) Will DAP become another MCA?

(b) How will DAP deal with its Pakatan ally, an increasingly arrogant and hudud-hungry and hudud-impatient PAS?

Let's deal with the first part of the first question by asking some of my own questions.

When we ask will DAP become another MCA, would we be assuming that DAP will be in government, of course not by itself, wakakaka! This in turn could mean one of the following:

(a) Pakatan assumes majority rule after GE-13 and remains intact in its original form of coalition (in Peninsula, PKR, PAS, DAP - I am not sure of the status of PSM in the coalition),

(b) 'Malay unity' coalition kicks in, especially in a hung parliament, and form the new government with an offer to DAP to join the new coalition to look after Chinese and Indian affairs, and

(c) BN continues majority rule after GE-13, but with a demolished or near-demolished MCA and MIC, invites DAP to join the new BN government, purportedly a la Tun Razak's concept of 'national unity' to be the voice for Chinese and Indian affairs, but in reality, more to destabilise the cohesion of a post GE-13 Pakatan so as to destroy it as a future formidable opposition.

The second part of the first question would invite another series of my own questions, on what sort of MCA that DAP is feared of becoming, namely:

(i) the Lim Chong Eu type of MCA which demanded to be an equal partner to UMNO, admittedly unsuccessfully because of MCA internal opposition by pro UMNO faction led by Tan Siew Sin, or

Lim Chong Eu

(ii) the Lee San Choon type of MCA which showed two-fingers to an UMNO but nonetheless where Lee had to leave because UMNO couldn't accept him as a workable partner, or

(iii) the Tan Siew Sin type of MCA which was friendly to and liked (or at least tolerated) by UMNO, but disliked by the Chinese, or

(iv) the Tan Koon Swan type of MCA which was quite aloof and somewhat arrogant to, and thus disliked by UMNO, though quite popular with the Chinese, or

(v) the Ling Liong Sik type of MCA which had a pally buddy but proper subordinate type of relationship with Mahathir's UMNO, not unlike Tan Siew Sin's MCA though less respected, or

(vi) the Lee Kim Sai type of MCA which was very much disliked by UMNO for its in-your-face abrasiveness, highlighted by (1) Lee's call for abolition of bumiputera privileges (1986), (2) his major role (as a BN leader) in the Chinese school controversy (1987) which saw him leave for Australia on 'long leave' to avoid arrest in the Ops Lalang crackdown and (3) his losing his datukship for calling the Malays pendatangs (wakakaka) in his 1987 fiery exchanges with UMNO Youth.

(vii) the (future if MCA is not destroyed by then) Liow 'my beloved PM' Tiong LIE type of MCA which has been ........ (I cringe in embarrassment to describe its likely sucking servile subordinate ........ 'nuff said)?

Answering (a) of first part, a new Pakatan government is likely to have a reasonably strong and assertive DAP component, with its greatest challenge in the new Pakatan government coming from PAS and its undoubted wish to hudud-ize the Malaysian legal system.

Also see my previous post PAS - from Progressive to Pythonic, wakakaka.

wakakaka but matey, it'll swallow you up

Thus the question will DAP become another MCA appropriately queries its response and actions towards PAS Islamization intent, to wit, will DAP be like a mute and lame MCA which remained passive towards UMNO's Islamization programs? Admittedly though, PAS Islamization programs will be far more challenging, wakakaka.

Actually I have leap-frogged on to the second of the vexing questions, namely, 'How will DAP deal with its Pakatan ally, an increasingly arrogant, hudud-hungry and hudud-impatient PAS?' Perhaps it's best if we leave this aside for a while and deal with it as part of the 2nd question later.

Obviously, in a new Pakatan government where the DAP is likely to have a reasonably strong and assertive presence, I doubt it will be like MCA ... unless you want it to be the Lee Kim Sai abrasively confrontational type of MCA wakakaka.

The problem for MCA vis-a-vis its UMNO Tai-Koe has been its relative lack of power in Perikatan-BN, aggravated by its business-dominated desire to continue a cosy profitable relationship in the UMNO-led government.

But as they say, power corrupts, while absolute power corrupts UMNO absolutely, as had happened to a once much loved Gerakan Party, originally founded by giants like Professor Syed Hussain Alatas, Dr. David Tan Chee Khoon, Dr. J.B.A. Peter, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, Professor Wang Gungwu Mr. V. Veerapan.

jubilant Prof Syed Hassain and Lim Chong Eu
following Gerakan 1969 landslide win in Penang

I suspect (though of course I could be wrong) that Gerakan lost its original character and oomph when it was joined by MCA rejects like Lim Keng Yaik etc, so a DAP in federal government has more of itself to fear than a hudud-bent PAS.

So the question will DAP go the way of MCA (and which MCA type) can only be answered by further theoretical questions like: will its politicians have the same business-minded proclivities of MCA's politicians and MCA's lack of power in BN?

Besides, in reality the DAP of yesterday as is more so today cannot ever be a MCA because it has multi-ethnic members, much as UMNO has deliberately painted it (and still does) to be a Chinese-based party.

While it's undeniably true the DAP has more Chinese than other ethnic groups in its membership, the party was first headed by an Indian, Devan Nair, and its current chairperson is still another Indian, Karpal Singh.

Previous and current non-Chinese state chair of the party have been Karpal Singh (Penang), P Patto (previously Perak), Manoharan (previously Selangor), George John (previously Kedah), Ahmad Nor (previously Selangor), Ahmad Ton (previously Johor).

Then, it has more Indian MPs and ADUNs than the Indian MPs and ADUNs of all other political parties, including MIC, combined, wakakaka.

Today it strives to attract more Malays into its membership and has succeeded as never before. I'm confident we'll see a second or third or even more Malay MPs from DAP after GE-13.

DAP MP Bayan Baru 1990

So, how can such a multi-racial party be ever another MCA which is unabashedly a Chinese political party just as UMNO is a Malay political party, ..... though we must admit MCA once had a Malay as party president in Gaafar Baba during the Neo Yee Pan-Tan Koon Swan bitter feud, wakakaka.

If DAP joins a a Malay Unity government or as a new member of a BN government post GE-13, it will go the way of Gerakan Party where both its Indian and Malay members may see no further reason or cause to remain within its membership.

This would be its fate (the Gerakan fate) if it ever joins BN in the event BN (minus MCA and MIC or at best an insignificant MCA and MIC) continues to be the government.

By contrast, in Pakatan what can PKR offer which it hasn't already offered in far more superior standards, wakakaka? What can PAS offer differently other than Islamic politics which may not appeal to some Malays who prefer a DAP political environment?

So my best guess or expectation is that it won't become another MCA, apart from its fundamental multi-racial character preventing it from ever being a MCA.

Its two greatest danger to its future is a trap suffered by Gerakan, and its own self.

A fate waiting for DAP if it joins BN, wakakaka
KTK is a nice bloke but not a pollie
He should have stayed in academia

Aiyah, tired liao lah, wakakaka, so I'll continue the second question in my next post.

Related: Chua Soi Lek & his MCA Merajuking Manoeuvre

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chua Soi Lek & his MCA Merajuking Manoeuvre

Lee Hwa Beng (MCA) was Subang Jaya's state assemblyman for three terms from 1995 to 2008, and guess what happened in 2008, wakakaka. He was appointed Port Klang Authority chairman from 2008 to 2011 to investigate the PKFZ scandal; he was also the author of 'PKFZ: A Nation’s Trust Betrayed'.

Alamak, can't see Tee Keat lah, wakakaka

In an article he wrote for TMI titled How will MCA fare in the coming election? he predicted MCA could well lose up to 2/3 of its current 15 federal parliamentary seats, though he refused (said it would be inappropriate) to identity which seats MCA will lose.

Needless to say, the current focus of keen political observers (both professional and amateur) is on Johor and the MCA-held parliamentary seats like Gelang Patah.

That DAP's Lim Kit Siang will be the Pakatan Rakyat's candidate in Gelang Patah is no longer the question, though many Pakatan supporters revel in the possibility of Uncle Lim standing there as a candidate under the PAS banner in the event the Registrar of Societies (RoS) decides to suspend or de-register DAP. In fact I dare say they fantasize and hope for that possibility which in one fell swoop would destroy UMNO's demon-ization of DAP as an anti Malay-Muslim political party.

In what we suspect to be UMNO possible plan to 'persuade' ROS to suspend DAP just prior to the election, so as to save its subordinate, MCA, UMNO could well be digging for itself a far deeper cesspool than it currently wallows in, and which its plummeting into may be non-salvageable.

The picture of a pro Malay-Muslim DAP to the Heartland may just make UMNO think twice, unless it's so monumentally stupid, a state of mind most unlikely but which we mustn't completely discount.

Dare CSL confront Lim KS in Gelang Patah?

However, the question of the MCA candidate in Gelang Patah, purportedly Tan Ah Eng, continues to intrigue political observers and KPCs (kay poh chnee or busybodies, like kaytee, wakakaka).

Will CSL step in a la Lee San Choon in Seremban in 1982, to put his leadership 'money' where his mouth is, to re-enact a second MCA vs DAP Clash of the Titans, which Lee San Choon won for the MCA in the 1982 general election when he defeated Dr Chen Man Hin (DAP).

'Twas then a historic event in what the Chinese would term an MCA leader courageously entering the DAP's haw siew (tiger lair, meaning stronghold) - a case of dare to say, dare to do!

Lee also mentioned Chua Soi Lek's (CSL) merajuk tactic as follows:

Two years ago, MCA president Chua Soi Lek announced that the MCA will not accept any Cabinet positions if the party obtains fewer than the existing 15 seats. This statement was made nearly two years ago when he first became MCA president but has not been repeated since.

Was he trying to blackmail the Chinese community into considering carefully before voting against the party? Was he more confident of a better performance then? His subsequent silence may mean he has either regretted his statement or that he is less confident of his party’s performance in the upcoming elections two years later.

CSL's merajuking reminded me of Koh Tsu Koon who told Penangites pretty much the same thing, that he won't enter government if he lost his bid for the Batu Kawan federal seat, and which he did to Dr Rama (DAP), ... but which nonetheless saw him subsequently and shamelessly accepting a ministerial position via the Senate back door, to become the Assistant (disgracefully only an assistant) Headmaster of Report Cards for BN ministers and officials.

Anyway, 'nuff of Koh TK and back to CSL and MCA, for the story of MCA is also the story of Malaysians of Chinese ancestry, and perhaps vice versa

We'll consider Gerakan as nothing more than a splinter group of MCA in the way PKR is a splinter group of UMNO. The genes, DNA and chor-kong (political ancestors) are the same for MCA and Gerakan, as are for UMNO and PKR.

The questions we want to ask are:

(a) Will CSL stand in Gelang Patah?

(b) Will his merajuking tactic convince the Chinese, especially those in Johor, to give the MCA a 'second-illionth' chance in GE-13 or suffer no Chinese representation in the new Malaysian cabinet? - A threat we may describe as the 'MCA Merajuking Manoeuvre'.

Only CSL can answer the first, but for us to obtain an answer to the second query, we need to revisit the history of the MCA, in particular that of its leaders - and I'll try not to be tng k'ooi (chong hei) wakakaka.

The leadership tussles in MCA

The MCA was formed on 27 February 27 1949 with support from the British colonial government who hoped for the Chinese association to manage the social and welfare concerns of the rural Chinese interned (not unlike Japanese POW's) under the Briggs' Plan in the 'new villages' during the Malayan Emergency.

Chinese forcefully 'moved' to new villages

Two years later, MCA transformed into a formal political party under the leadership of a Straits-born Malacca baba Tan Cheng Lock, father of Tan Siew Sin.

Among the top leaders were Kuomintang  (Guomindang) Party people, wakakaka. Presumably it found favour with the Brits and UMNO because it was undoubtedly anti Communist.

Chiang Kai Shek in Kuomintang military uniform, wakakaka

Even Penang-born Lim Chong Eu, a King's scholar who studied medicine in Scotland holds a Kuomintang army medical (honorary) rank of Colonel.

Yes, do look at the emblem of the MCA and see in it its association with the emblem of the Kuomintang Party of Chiang Kai Shek.

Kuomintang emblem


Right from its very start, MCA has been a party rife with leadership tussles. Lim Chong Eu who became its President after defeating Tan Cheng Lock in 1958 demanded that Tunku treat the MCA as an equal partner, and demanded 40 seats instead of the 28 it was allocated. Lim also wanted Chinese recognized as another official language of Malaya.

Tunku went as far as increasing MCA's allocation from 28 to 31 but rejected Lim's other demands. Then, in what was alleged as a political war by Tunku against Lim Chong Eu using a surrogate, pro UMNO Tan Siew Sin, he applied both external pressure (by UMNO) as well as internal pressure (by Tan Siew Sin's pro UMNO faction in MCA) until he manoeuvred Lim Chong Eu into resigning from MCA. Tan Siew Sin took over as MCA president and became and remained UMNO's favourite and respected partner.

Tun Tan Siew Sin
one of only 2 Chinese Finance Ministers in Malaya/Malaysia

My uncles who served in the military told me that apart from the PM, DPM and Defence Minster, the only 3 ministers who were entitled to salutes by military officers, Tan Siew Sin was also to be so honoured by the armed forces and police. Tun Abdul Razak personally issued that directive of exception, such was his respect for Tan Siew Sin.

I reckon Tan was probably the only and last MCA leader to be liked and respected by UMNO top leaders. Maybe Mahathir might like Ling but I wonder whether he respects him?

From there, the bitter leadership tussles continued as per the following (in brief extracts):

  • Lim Chong Eu vs Tan Siew Sin (re-stated here)
  • Lee San Choon expelling Lim Keng Yaik from MCA (who then joined Chong Eu in Gerakan)
  • Lee San Choon vs Lee Siok Yew
  • Michael Chen vs Chong Hon Nyan for deputy president MCA (Chong was Lee San Choon's matey)
  • Lee San Choon vs Michael Chen (in 1979, 2 years after above dot-point - Michael Chen lost and subsequently left for Gerakan) - thanks to visitor Hua Yong who pointed out this (my) inadvertent omission
  • Neo Yee Pan vs Tan Koon Swan (the most shameful episode and era in MCA)

    (Gaafar Baba became MCA head for a short period because of Neo and Tan's irreconcilable differences, the only Malay to become president of MCA, wakakaka)

    Tan Koon Swan also achieved the notoriety of being jailed in 2 countries, Singapore as well as Malaysia - Ling Liong Sik became president after him
  • Ling Liong Sik vs Lee Kim Sai (Najib's bete noire - Najib had HRH the late Sultan Selangor de-datuk-rize Lee KS because of the events leading to Ops Lallang, thanks to UMNO Education Minister Anwar Ibrahim)
  • Ling Liong Sik vs Lim Ah Lek
  • Ong Tee Keat vs CSL
Leaving aside the issues of alleged corruption, some have suggested that the three so-called golden eras of MCA were under Tan Siew Sin (until May 13 1969), Lee San Choon (1974-1983) and Ling Liong Sik (1986-2003).

Why golden eras? 

Let's concentrate on the two which were post May 13 1969. Both Lee San Choon and Ling Liong Sik did much for Chinese education, apart from other achievements. For example, Lee launched Kojadi, a scholarship fund, and expanded TAR College massively. Ling consolidated as well enhanced the Kojadi scholarship loan scheme while launching the Langkawi Education Project. It's said his most significant contribution to the community and country was the establishment of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar).

Time and time again, kaytee has stated that education is a central pillar of Chinese culture. I wonder whether those two MCA presidents had relatively long periods of reign in their parties because they saw fit to focus on Chinese educational concerns.

Of the two, the former, Lee San Choon, was disliked by Mahathir but who like(d?) the latter.

Lee San Choon

The popular rumour among Chinese was that Lee San Choon was allegedly 'told' by Mahathir he should leave, this despite the MCA winning well in the 82 general election, increasing its federal seats from 17 to 24 at the expense of DAP.

Legend had it that Lee decided to do it in style, just to (figuratively) jab at Mahathir in the nose before he left. He deliberately chose to stand in Seremban, a DAP tiger's lair (haw siew) to show (i) the MCA still had Chinese support, and (ii) he an MCA politician didn't have to stand in a Malay-majority constituency to win

He wanted to demonstrate his independence of UMNO's patronage, by being different from the usual MCA and Gerakan politicians who since 1969 had had difficulties or faced impossibilities winning in Chinese-majority constituencies - indeed, a shameful indictment on those so-called Chinese parties.

Lee San Choon won Seremban but, presumably having proven his point with a two-finger salute to Mahathir, left almost immediately after his victory - Dr Chen then won Seremban back in the by-election.

A year later, in 1983 he told the Chinese edition of Asiaweek (04 September issue): “We wanted to prove that the MCA did not need to rely on the support of the Malay leaders (UMNO) to win so that the government will take us seriously. Although I manage to beat Dr Chen [Man Hin] winning was not easy. UMNO leaders stabbed me in the back. There were not many Malay voters who supported me as they did not like the way I did things.”

Leaders with honour?

Thus, we can see only 3 MCA leaders left either the party or the coalition with some honour, namely:

(a) Lim Chong Eu, who failed to convince his own MCA party to back him in his demands to Tunku for UMNO to treat MCA as an equal partner in the Alliance coalition (Perikatan) and for Chinese (Mandarin) to be recognized as an official language of Malaya,

Lim Chong Eu

(b) Tan Siew Sin, who took his MCA colleagues out of the cabinet following the party's disastrous results in the 1969 election, and

(c) Lee San Choon, in stepping into the DAP haw siew (tiger's lair) to defeat Dr Chen Man Hin before he left MCA.

There was a moment prior to 2008 when I had imagined that Ong Ka Ting might do a Lee San Choon and stand in Bukit Bintang, but wakakaka, I was probably imagining under the influence of Mr Walker (Johnny Walker that was, wakakaka).

So we can see the MCA presidents who did stay long as party president were those (Lee San Choon and Ling Liong Sik) who paid some attention to Chinese education, or Tan Siew Sin who was liked and respected by UMNO leaders - these apart from their party scheming and manipulations, wakakaka.

Ling Liong Sik

Will Chinese vote MCA for voice in government?

We also can opine that some Chinese Malaysians have voted MCA for years because they wanted Chinese representation in the cabinet. However, in the north the uniquely Chinese Penangites' previous strategy was to vote DAP to federal parliament to 'make noise' for Chinese rights and to vote MCA (or Gerakan) to the state assembly for Penang's local development.

Anyway, will CSL's threat work, that of MCA staying out a la Tan Siew Sin if the Chinese do not vote MCA in GE-13 to enable it to win more than its current 15 seats? Will his 'MCA Merajuking Manoeuvre' work?

In kaytee's humble opinion, I think not for two reasons, as follows:

(a) there is a new generation of voters who don't give a f* about Chinese representation in cabinet because they have different values from Chinese of an earlier generation. These new Chinese voters are more into human rights as well as to throw out what they see as a corrupt BN than the Chinese traditional and pragmatic concerns for their daily '3 bowls of rice'.

Whether they are stupid or correctly conscientious is irrelevant because that's how they feel and that's how they'll vote.

(b) the Chinese also believe that post GE-13 they will be represented in a Pakatan Rakyat cabinet so voting MCA out actually supports their belief. And this represents the principal difference between earlier elections and the pending one vis-a-vis the threat of CSL's 'MCA Merajuking Manoeuvre'.

Previously the only likely government after an election would be one from the BN coalition, whereas today the Chinese reckon (correctly or incorrectly) that there may be a Pakatan alternative.

Thus, I do not believe CSL's threat will have impact on the thinking of Chinese voters.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Go south, young men!

'Go West, young man' is a quote by American author Horace Greeley concerning America's expansion westward, related to the then-popular concept of Manifest Destiny.

Greeley favoured westward expansion. He saw the fertile farmland of the west as an ideal place for people willing to work hard for the opportunity to succeed. The phrase came to symbolize the idea that agriculture could solve many of the nation's problems of poverty and unemployment characteristic of the big cities of the East. It is one of the most commonly quoted sayings from the nineteenth century and may have had some influence on the course of American history.

- Wikipedia

Currently we have our Malaysian version which will influence the course of Malaysian history, that of Pakatan Rakyat's 'Go South young men and women'.

And leading the charge is none other than 'young' 72-year old Lim Kit Siang of the DAP.

And why do I consider him as 'young' when he is already a grandfatherly 72?

Bear with my wee tng k'ooi (chong hei) in explaining my perception of him as one of those young men and women who'll be going south to Johor to change the course of Malaysian history.

There's a proud Aussie joke that an Aussie calls his enemies 'bastards' but his closest mates 'bloody bastards' wakakaka.

I understand (from my viewing of HK soaps) the Cantonese also use 'suoi chai' (naughty mischievous boy) as an affectionate term, I suppose with the affectionate 'chai' (kid) changing the nasty 'suoi' into an additional affectionate adjective.

In Penang we have almost similar use of seeming-derogatory descriptions to express our affections for a person, namely, kuai laan knia (naughty mischievous kid).

Well, Uncle Lim was a kuai laan knia when he voiced his intention to stand in Gelang Patah under a PAS banner if the Registration of Society (ROS) were to suspend or de-register the DAP as a political party just prior to the general election.

Wakakaka, truly a kuai laan knia's statement and, most certainly as a kuai laan knia, he is qualified to don the kaytee's description of him as a 'young' man wakakaka again.

On Friday, Malaysiakini published my letter titled Kit Siang in Johor will be as earth-shaking as 308 in which I state:

By now, everyone knows that veteran politician Lim Kit Siang will not stand in his current blue ribbon seat in Ipoh Timor in order to offer himself as an election candidate to the people of Gelang Patah in Johor to represent them in the next federal parliament.

His intention has struck terror in the BN camp, which has even drawn out former PM and Umno icon Dr Mahathir Mohamad to make what I see as a half-hearted but obligatory dismissal of the DAP man’s candidature in Gelang Patah.

Lim KS standing in and winning that Johor federal constituency will be as earth-shaking as the 2008 political tsunami. More than the BN’s fear of losing a federal seat, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) knows that such an occurrence will virtually be its death knell, for a Lim KS victory will not only defeat Tan Ah Eng, its candidate in Gelang Patah, but will effectively strike right into its political heart.

So much is at stake for BN but no more than that for Lim KS.

I suspect that BN has now even considered using ROS (on top of EC) as a last desperate measure to handicap the DAP and prevent an already moribund MCA from becoming an overdue item in the obituary column.

Sadly on Friday, we see even Tunku Aziz, once a DAP senator and now its most virulent critic, urging ROS to suspend DAP pending its investigations into the party's central executive committee elections in December.

Apart from the fully and independently audited kosher-ness of DAP's polls, for him to make such a call at this stage when the general election is just around the corner, has been a tragic under-the-belt blow by a man we once held in dear affection and high regard.

At the height of his disagreement with Lim Guan Eng over the Berish 3 issue, I had even supported understanding of his anger at the younger man - see my posts:

So Tunku left DAP in merajuk fashion, despite DAP wanting Tunku Abdul Aziz to stay (Malaysiakini).

I had hopefully thought that was that, the end of an unfortunate misunderstanding, having in mind Tunku had professed friendship with young Lim's dad, Lim Kit Siang. 

But since then, as we all know, Tunku did something I didn't quite expect - he went on a crusade of disparagement against not just Lim Guan Eng but DAP the party, obviously forgetting both his original reason for joining the party (where he was nominated by the party to be a Senator) and his proclaimed friendship with Lim Kit Siang.

I was broken hearted by Tunku's actions but out of a personal liking for the patrician, had studiously avoided blogging against his inexplicable path of seeming vengeance against the DAP that he has lamentably decide to adopt. Biarkan sajalah.

See also my subsequent posts on him in my other (shared) blog BolehTalk:

(b) Noblesse oblige missing.

Be that as it was, the DAP is alert to a possible ROS action against the party at the eleventh hour, thus 'young man' Lim Kit Siang became the lateral-thinking kuai laan knia and proposed to stand as a PAS candidate in Gelang Patah.

I bet this would have shaken BN up even more, as well as delighted many in Pakatan. Let's see whether ROS will make those Pakatan supporters' wet dreams come true wakakaka.

Apart from MCA's wailing, railing, gnashing of teeth, casting of ashes on themselves, and the support of Dr Mahathir, Tunku Aziz, and now suspiciously and possibly ROS, I wasn't surprised, as I noted in my letter to Malaysiakini, that pro UMNO blogger Kadir Jasin also took up the cudgel against DAP in his blog post ‘Johor Ahoy, Here Comes Lim Kit Siang’.

Really, there is nothing new or substantial in Pak Kadir's post, with its core appeal or subtext being nothing more than the ‘Malay unity’ mantra again, telling or rather warning his readership of the alleged formidable DAP juggernaut once it has demolished MCA, with its so-called 30% solid Chinese voting bloc becoming presumably the feared pig-tailed Yellow Peril wakakaka, in contrast to what he bemoaned as Malay votes being split three ways among UMNO, PAS and PKR.

Of course he neglected to inform his readership of several truths, that firstly, the DAP isn't and won’t be the only Pakatan component party to win the Chinese votes which would also go to both PKR and PAS ... and that DAP is likely to garner quite a few Malay votes as well which probably was his (and UMNO's) true worries in his Malay-unity mantra chant.

Secondly and far more importantly, he failed or conveniently forgot to explain why the MCA and the Gerakan Party, two Chinese-based (or Chinese-majority) members of the BN, will not be obtaining any of the 30% Chinese votes in Johor.

If only he was brave enough to admit that DAP’s election strategy in Johor has been based in large part on the failures of the BN to satisfactorily represent the non-Malay voters there.

The conventional wisdom in political competition is that parties do not win but rather lose an election, thus DAP’s current concerted move into Johor, a hitherto BN fortress, is in anticipation of a major loss by the MCA in its traditional seats, an indication of the voting public’s lack of confidence in the Chinese-based BN party.

Pak Kadir has actually signalled this BN-MCA fear when he lamented that “the concentration of Chinese votes under one party [meaning DAP] would worsen further the already acute racial polarisation in the political arena.”

I remarked that it’s quite amusing Pak Kadir, a known Umno mouthpiece, who recently made disappointing remarks about the loyalty of Chinese in his earlier post ‘Sabah Incursion: Hang the Traitors’* could bring himself to pontificate about racial polarisation. A case of crocodile tears that by reptilian standard is even implausible, wakakaka.

* I responded to his sad snide smelly remarks in a letter to Malaysiakini and also in my post Chinese policemen.

Heeding the call for ‘young men and women to go South’ are Lim Chin Tong (DAP strategist and MP for Bukit Bendera, Penang) and M Kulasegaran (DAP MP Ipoh Barat) and chilli-padi sweetie hottie Fong Po Kuan (DAP MP Batu Gajah)

Lim Chin Tong

M Kulasegaran

chilli-padi sweetie hottie Fong Po Kuan

Together with Lim Kit Siang, they are the DAP's contribution to Pakatan vanguards to spearhead Anwar Ibrahim’s ascendancy to the PM post, at considerable risk to these intrepid DAP politicians who could have easily stay comfortably in their current seats and win easily in GE-13.

There's no guarantee of election victory. Whether their preparedness to serve as the parliamentary representatives of the people of Malaysia, especially Johor, even at risk of sacrificing their political careers, will succeed has to depend on the voters whom we hope will be left by the EC to exercise their rights in the universal suffrage of one person one vote.

Pakatan's other component party, PAS, is contributing with Sallehuddin Ayub, the Pakatan's designated MB if it wins the state and with HRH's approval.

Sallehuddin Ayub

Gasp gulp omigosh ... I heard incredible impossible implausibleness rumours that PKR may despatch Azmin Ali (thunderous applause please), Saifuddin Nasution (the heroic destroyer of Apcet II) and Tian Chua (Trawler of Tadpoles in Taiwan) to Johor to support the Pakatan's march to Putrajaya and thus fulfil Anwar’s dream of becoming PM, more so when these three are from Anwar's own PKR – wakakaka.

As I wrote in my letter to Malaysiakini in response to Pak Kadir’s jibe at Lim Kit Siang as an alleged rolling stone:

… he [Pak Kadir] also echoes the MCA, though in more subtle fashion, in criticizing Lim KS as a political rolling stone which presumably is unlikely to gather any moss, having contested in four states. Let me quickly correct the traditional impression of that out-dated proverb, for today we don’t want a politician to be slimy as gathered moss, so Lim KS and other DAP politicians should roll as much and as far as is necessary for the public good.

But perhaps Pak Kadir should not make comments out of context, by not mentioning that Lim KS’ courageous political career spans a period of almost 45 years. How could contesting in four states in almost half a century be unusual? Where the need arises for his presence, Lim KS would be there.

Also, unlike many BN politicians who prefer to huddle in safe and comfortable blue ribbon seats for their own political interests [wakakaka, thunderous applause please]  Lim KS is prepared to put his political career where his mouth is. He goes where his party wants him.

Good luck to the kuai laan knia and his kuai laan colleagues - oh how I adore you lovely brave bloody bastards wakakaka.