Monday, 6 October 2008

MCA: Useless to UMNO, Useless to the Chinese Community

Read here article in Malaysiakini, "MCA a 'penumpang' in BN"



Quote:

From the viewpoint of some UMNO grassroots, they see NO value in having MCA. (MCA) take up Umno seats and they are voted in by Malay voters; and as many as 10 cabinet positions are given to the MCA members of parliament.

(While) many in MCA blame Umno for causing MCA (to be) viewed as ineffective and timid; often as an agent of Umno to suppress Chinese interests; and that Umno's arrogance is the direct cause of MCA's electorate defeat.

MCA has been reduced today to TOTAL dependence and subservience to UMNO in BN because the Chinese-based party has to abide with the BN code.

When you (MCA) are a cabinet minister, your boss is the prime minister (UMNO President).

But when you are MCA president, you are EQUAL to the Umno president.

Gradually over time, the MCA leadership allowed the premiership and Umno presidency to be seen as a FUSED entity.

The MCA leadership has to take responsibility for allowing this situation to arise. MCA has allowed its membership in BN to bring about its own demise.

MCA is NOT at a crossroads, it is caught in an unfortunate and tragic ‘deadend'......"

- Foong Wai Fong



MCA a 'penumpang' in BN

by

Foong Wai Fong
(Foong Wai Fong is co-founder of Pahlawan Volunteers, an advocacy and volunteer group. She is the director of Megatrends Asia, and best-selling author for 'Megatrends Asia' 'The New Asian Way', 'We have to talk, Mr Prime Minister', and 'Culture is Good Business'.)

Excerpts: Read here for more

For some time, I was wondering why Umno ultras led by Penang-based Ahmad Ismail were so indignant on the ‘penumpang’ non-Malays in the country.

There must be some valid reasons for such strong sentiments.

Chinese-based Parties are "squatters" in Barisan Nasional Coalition

Ahmad and those who shared his view were NOT targeting the Chinese population at large, but the Chinese-based parties within Barisan Nasional as they are ‘squatting’ in BN and rely on Malay votes and Umno's influence to stay in power.
  1. The majority of the 20 seats belonging to MCA (15), MIC (3) and Gerakan (2) were elected primarily by Malays and were considered Umno territories.

  2. The non-Umno 14 ministers, deputy ministers and parliamentary secretaries were given these positions NOT because they have won the seats on their right, but were simply riding on Barisan's ticket.

  3. Umno has been kind to them; these parties' electoral performance in no way deserves the number of cabinet positions now bestowed on them.
MCA used as ‘prop’ by Umno

Six months into post-March 8, the leadership must be honest to face up to the reality of the new political landscape.

Many in MCA blame Umno for causing it to lose faith and confidence among its own constituencies (the Chinese voters):
  • that MCA is viewed as ineffective; timid; often as an agent of Umno to suppress Chinese interests;

  • that Umno's arrogance is the direct cause of MCA's electorate defeat.
From the viewpoint of some Umno grassroots:
  • they see no value in having MCA;

  • they take up Umno seats and they are voted in by Malay voters; and

  • as many as 10 cabinet positions are given to the MCA members of parliament.
"If MCA is not a ‘penumpang’, what are they?" they (UMNO grassroots) asked.

So we have this two extremes:
  1. MCA felt helpless and beaten down by the Chinese community because of Umno's arrogant outbursts and

  2. MCA felt humiliated and insulted for being used as a ‘prop’ in BN to portray its multi-racial face.

Lose-Lose for Umno to Clip MCA's Wings

In the recent ISA arrest, a top MCA leader (said) Umno did not consult MCA before such measures were implemented. Minister Liow Tiong Lai, in referring to the ISA, said MCA would lobby the government for changes to the policy.

Such statements were ridiculed by critics because MCA, as a member of the government, speaks like a member OUTSIDE the government.

On the other hand, the Umno ultras could not fathom WHY these "Chinese" are so ungrateful.

They have been allowed to stay, given citizenship, build homes for their families (and of course, given cabinet positions and datukships); yet they are so unhappy with the government. This is the crux of the problem of MCA in Umno-led BN.

In the days when Umno could command an overwhelming majority of Malay votes, everyone else can be a prop. (When) Umno's own political approaches is cracking, to stay in power, the party needs to expand its support base.

MCA Leadership's Dilemma

MCA has been reduced today to TOTAL dependence and subservience to Umno in BN because the Chinese-based party has to abide with the BN code. In part, the MCA leadership has to take responsibility for allowing this situation to arise.

  • Yes, there ought to be teamwork and cooperation within BN; when you are a cabinet minister, your boss is the prime minister (UMNO President).

  • But when you are MCA president, you are EQUAL to the Umno President.

It was difficult to separate the two.

(But) gradually over time, the MCA leadership allowed the premiership and Umno presidency to be seen as a fused entity.

Any political party without its own voters' base is suicidal and ended up having one's own wings clipped.

Allowing the dominant and stronger Umno to decide on the allocation of seats, MCA has become TOTALLY at the MERCY of the Malay-based party.

MCA NOT at Crossroads, but at Deadend

Of the 15 parliamentary seats now held by MCA, only ONE has voters with less than 30 percent Malay majority and four with over 50 percent of Chinese voters.

Of these 15 seats, seven (7) of them has majority votes less than 5,000 and two (2) seats with less than 3,000. Five (5) MCA cabinet ministers have majority votes of less than 4,000.

By any benchmark, it is hard to command respect with this kind of lackluster showing at the polls.

MCA Leaders NOT Facing Reality

If the current MCA leadership pleaded innocence for this outcome and blamed its poor showing on Umno, one can only conclude that this is also a case of losing touch with the ground, and losing sight of its own political role.

MCA has been AVOIDING political and governance issues so that it doesn't have to confront Umno head on. For over a decade, it hid behind many social-cultural endeavours which DUPLICATED the effort of many social and cultural groups in the Chinese community.

One fact is clear - MCA has allowed its membership in BN to bring about its own demise.

Some MCA leaders talk about the party being at a crossroads. This description is a wrong - if you are at a crossroads you have many options.

MCA is not at a crossroads, it is caught in an unfortunate and pretty tragic ‘deadend’, the new leadership need to be creative to bring about a major breakthrough.

3 comments:

Yap Chong Yee said...

An excellent analysis and I totally endorse the arguements. From my perspective, I believe it is better that all Chinese ought to abandon MCA because this party had never ever protected the interests of the Chinese and worse, MCA is giving a Chinese face to the BN.

We Chinese have for ever wanted a multiracial society; this was what Mr Lee Kuan Yew wanted for Malaysia, but of course we know what happened to the solgan "MALAYSIAN MALAYSIA ". This fight was taken up by Mr Lim Kit Siang, and say what you like, Mr Lim Kit Siang was a Chinese hero and I bow to him and his cause, and I say to our Chinese brothers & sisters that only DAP and through DAP, the people's party of Pakatan Rakyat will create a multiracial society. There is no need to bother with MCA, let it die by itself through NON SUPPORT OF THE CHINESE COMMUNITY.

Why does SAU CHAI Donald Lim want to kill off any Chinese language paper at all, is it because these Chinese language papers ADVOCATE CHINESE INTERESTS THAT MCA HAS IGNORED ? If we kill all Chinese language papers in Malaysia then who will articulate Chinese interests ? It has always confounded me why Chinese choose those Chinese who consistently sell out our Chinese people.

I ask that our Chinese brothers & sisters leave MCA and join as full members of Pakatan Rakyat. Just leave MCA to those who sell the Chinese and go and support the opposition so that Chinese community will get stronger by becoming the swing vote.

chaptokam said...

An Open Letter to all DAP Leaders and Members:


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Friday, 29 August 2008 17:20
The majority of the Malays support UMNO; and UMNO has plundered and mismanaged the wealth of this country with impunity. Therefore, to change the fate of our nation is to change the mentality of the Malays. This is the ONLY solution!
Without doubt, DAP has struggled and fought fearlessly and tirelessly over the past 4 decades aspiring to build a democratic and progressive Malaysia regardless of race and religion. However, I can only conclude that over the past 4 decades, DAP has completely failed to fight against the UMNO hegemony in the country.
DAP had never prepared itself to be the alternative of BN until 08 March 2008. And we have to acknowledge that DAP had been dragged and manipulated by UMNO to become or at least seen to become a Chinese-Chauvinist political party. The fact is that without PAS or Anwar Ibrahim, DAP will NEVER be able to engage the Malay electorate. The leadership of DAP has long been luxuriating in being recognized as the "Chinese Hero" or "Non-Muslims' Rights Defender".
Since DAP's inception in 1966, the Party has failed to recognize the basic and simple fact that it is the Malays who decide the sort of leaders they want and they have voted UMNO in for 12 consecutive General Elections.
UMNO had always been perceived as the sole defender of Malay supremacy with their special rights and privileges, even if it is at the expense of other ethnic groups. It doesn't require complex political analysis to understand that the MAJORITY of Malays had always been staunch supporters of UMNO. If they refuse to change their voting preference, the status quo is going to remain. The more we challenge it, the stronger UMNO will be. Thus, for DAP to directly clash with UMNO will further enhance its image as a Chinese-based party and provide UMNO with an opportunity to have more Malay sympathizers.
An example is, if they increase the number of scholarships for non-bumis, UMNO can easily tell the Kampong Malays that they have succumbed to the pressure of MCA, Gerakan and MIC. The Malays will immediately give their strong endorsement to UMNO to defend their rights. DAP, as one of the strongest opposition parties in Malaysia, is still failing to comprehend the racial game played by UMNO.
Instead of directly engaging the Malay electorate, DAP chooses to play the ZERO SUM GAME with MCA and Gerakan. These 3 Chinese-based political parties lack the basic political wisdom to survive independently in our multi-racial country where Malays/Muslims are the majority. At least we know UMNO can easily survive by means of communalism and form the government with smaller political parties.
No matter how hard DAP argues or debates with MCA or Gerakan, it won't change the fixed mindset or mentality of the Malay electorate. Neither will MCA or Gerakan be forced to change the mindset of the Malays by DAP!
Remember the iron fact that the majority of the Malays support UMNO; and UMNO has plundered and mismanaged the wealth of this country with impunity. Therefore, to change the fate of our nation is to change the mentality of the Malays. This is the ONLY solution!
As our most respected Regent of Perak, Dr. Nazrin Shah put it, "The Malay mindset is a crucial factor in our nation's stability". Dr. Nazrin further elaborated that, "racial prejudice can be erased if the Malay mindset is stable and comfortable towards forging harmony. It is a pre-condition to our nation's stability".
May I ask Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, or even the writer Liew Chin Tong, how much has DAP done over the past 40 years to change the mindset of the Malays? How much has DAP done to win the trust of the Malays? How many times has DAP challenged UMNO in open debate on the academic performance of Malay students?
Instead of getting closer and winning the hearts and trust of the Malay electorate, DAP has chosen to fight with MCA and Gerakan to play the role of Chinese Hero.
Worse still, after struggling for more than 40 years in Malaysia's political history, DAP still doesn't have the slightest inkling of what "political courtship" is all about. Even the MOST STUPID salesman knows how to be courteous to customers and win their trust.
DAP chooses to shun Malay electorate and frighten them by:
a) Refusing to wear songkok,
b) Raising the issue of Social Contract,
c) Immediate abolition of positive discrimination policies
It's made me wonder whether DAP is paid by UMNO to strengthen their grass root supporters! If I were a DAP leader, I would ostentatiously wear the Songkok to pro-actively court and seek Malay support for DAP. I would put aside the issue of the Social Contract and would clearly and carefully pinpoint the weaknesses of the NEP to the Malay masses before revising it.
If the Umnoputras liken the fate of the Malays in Penang to the Malays in Singapore, how is YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng going to answer this question or "accusation"? What YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng will do is to imitate his predecessor Dr. Koh by keeping his mouth shut and be speechless. Silence means consent!
DAP should pro-actively and sincerely urge the Malay masses to look beyond the tiny island of Singapore and focus on the plight of Malays in Batam, Bintang, Karimun and even the slum areas in Jakarta. Ask them to compare whether Singapore Malays are better off or Batam Malays are better off.
I can help organize special tours for all the Malays/bumiputras in Malaysia to visit all the Indonesian islands surrounding Singapore to see for themselves how the Malays there are living in abject poverty and sordid conditions. Many young girls in Batam, Bintang and Karimun have to prostitute themselves to feed their family. They are also deprived of the opportunity to receive basic education and training. And we know many of them have to leave their families to become maids in Singapore and Malaysia.
We should challenge UMNO – NOT to protect the Malays in Singapore, but the Malays in Batam, Bintang and Karimun! We are not defending Singapore, but we have to speak the truth to the Malay masses. Enlighten them and so they won't be blinded and misguided by UMNO. Shame on our Education Minister who expressed the need to travel to the UK to save "our" so-called prodigy Sufiah. He should go to Batam Island to join the UN's efforts to curb child prostitution!
For DAP's information, Singapore Malays have progressed very well. Over the last 15 years, they have improved significantly in their academic performance. Singapore Malays have the highest percentage of home ownership as compared to the Malays in Malaysia and Indonesia! DAP does not have to defend PAP, but I would encourage YAB Mr. Lim to invite Dr. Mahathir for a telecast debate on the plight of Malays in Singapore.
Dr. Mahathir always reminds the Malays in our country to look at the Malays in Singapore, how "miserable" they are without firm control in politics. For Mahathir's information, the Singapore Parliament Speaker is a Malay and the Finance Minister an Indian Muslim like Mahathir. And so far, I have not heard of Singapore Malays being maids in Malaysia or Indonesia, and neither have I heard of a large number of young Malay girls in Singapore prostituting themselves to feed their family.
As Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, DAP leaders should openly and publicly support the teachings of the Quran in our country. I voted for PAS on 8th March to close down casinos, horse-racing, 4D and TOTO. Non-Muslims have long been paying a second tax to the UMNO government by "gambling-off" their whole family savings and children's education to win the trust and respect of Malays and Muslims.
DAP should advocate the closure of casinos, 4D, TOTO, and horse-racing as all these vice activities operators are UMNO agents. They take gambling money from non-Muslims and pay it to their UMNO Master. To cut off this source of revenue for UMNO, DAP should explain to the non-Muslim community how this gambling system works in Malaysia – and teach UMNO a lesson as we must expose UMNO's hypocrisy!
Unfortunately, DAP leaders don't appear to have the intelligence, wit, courage and political will to have the paradigm shift and think out of the box politically. As mentioned earlier, DAP is just a political party helplessly manipulated by UMNO. By just simply advocating the banning of gambling, DAP could win the respect and trust of Malays and Muslims plus save many non-Muslims from bankruptcy and family problems. But most importantly, it cuts off a large chunk of revenue from UMNO. ONE stone killing 3 birds.
Instead of shouting and arguing with ridiculous Umnoputras in Parliament, I urge DAP to instruct each of their members to befriend at least 10 Malays to explain to them the challenge of this ever-changing globalized economy and how we have to work together regardless of race and religion for a better Malaysia. When the Malay mindsets change, Malaysia will change; and vice-versa.
DAP, hear me and hear me well. You may be sincere, but you are sincerely wrong in Malaysian politics. Go and study what made UMNO strong. Do your political analysis. Also, DAP, you must remember that PAS is your true friend, even though they talked with UMNO. They are righteous and godly people that won't succumb to the temptation of money. That is not the case with Keadilan. Except Anwar and a few top leaders, many Keadilan people are still carrying the UMNO-DNA, as we have witnessed with the running dog Ezam and Nalla betraying the party.
DAP, you should acknowledge the fact that the special rights and position of Malays/bumiputras are enshrined in our constitution. You have to respect it. You must have a complete and comprehensive Malay agenda to compete with UMNO. For example, the Penang state government can provide free but compulsory tuition for Penang Malay students at schools. DAP must cultivate and nurture the Malays in Penang to excel in academics and be able to compete on equal footing with others. Penang Malays must be the locomotive change of mindset to the rest of the Malays in our country. If DAP fails to change the Malay mindset in Penang, DAP will never be qualified to be addressed as a "National" party.

Lastly, DAP, you still have a long way to go and you really have to learn again who's given UMNO power. Go to their power base, seize their power and cut off their power supply! For a progressive and better Malaysia, wearing the songkok is a trivial matter.
If necessary, let Anwar's new cabinet be full of capable Malays like Dr. Syed Husin Ali, Dr. Azly Rahman, Dr. Bakri Musa, Tuanku Abdul Aziz, etc. to prove to the Malay masses that we, Chinese, are not power hungry; we don't choose to "pegang" so as to destroy their livelihood as UMNO has claimed. We can prove to them that even though there is only 1 Chinese Minister in the Cabinet, it is still okay to us if the highly capable and honest Malay leaders can lead our country to greater heights and serve the rakyat wholeheartedly regardless of race, language and religion!
Please learn, understand and even master the UMNO's Art of War in Politics.
"Know your enemies and know yourself, hundred battles hundred victories" – "Sun Tzu's Art of War".
FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA
Hidup Malaysia...

Yap Chong Yee said...

Hello Chaptokam ! You wrote a very long opinion and I think that you could have reduced all those many words into just one sentence. You want the Chinese & Indians to concede or more rightly differ to UMNO and the Malays; and if there is any wisdom in what you want to see the Chinese do, THEN BY YOUR ARGUEMENT THERE IS NO CALL FOR THE VERY EXISTENCE OF DAP OR PAKATAN RAKYAT, IS THERE ? This is bullshit ! The MCA is doing exactly what you want the Chinese to be and do.

Sir, you have totally missed the point, the ambitions of UMNO is not for the progress of the Malaysian people, and that includes, Chinese, Indians & Malays; UMNO is to preserve the feudal powers of a very small Malay Elite, which includes Chinese like Ling Liong Sik, Sammy Vellu etc. The existence of the BN is to keep the Najibs, the Syed Albars or Hamids in power and riches.

Malaysia needs to progress into the modern world, A NEW WORLD ORDER THAT WILL SEE THE RISE AND DISPLACEMENT OF THE WEST BY THE POWERS OF THE EAST. Malaysia is not competitive and will eventually lead to the bottom of the east asian community,

Why do I say this with so much confidence ? Let us consider the Prime Ministership of a Najib; is he the man who will lead Malaysia into any meaningful progress ? I know that he cannot; if he is of any worth, he will not have sent our Malaysian astronaut into space at the phinominal costs of Rm.100 million. Bearing in mind that it takes the Chinese 12 years of intense education and training to qualify to be an astronaut. there are no dentist in the pla space battalion. What was Najib thinking when he sent this dentist into space ?

Mr Lim Kit Siang is not only a true Chinese hero but is a true Malaysian nationlist; he wants what is best for Malaysia and he wants to integrate all Malaysians just like Dato Seri Anwar. A united Malaysia is the only answer to all the problems in Malaysia. I ASK THE MALAYS TO THINK OF THE MANY FAILED PROJECTS THAT WERE BEGAN BY MAHATIR. Not one had produced any permanent positive returns for Malaysia. I will be take to task for saying this, there are things that we can do and things that we cannot do.

From my perspective, Mr Chaptokam has wasted a lot of time restating what we already know is going on in Malaysia with the MCA dutifully accommodating the every whim of UMNO and the Malays.