MCA and its leaders are an embarassment to the 'China man' on the streets and Umno is neither amused nor convinced that the party can make a comeback.
Fast running out of members, and with their handful of diehard supporters, they project themselves as a formidable force who can make or break Barisan Nasional.
Many Chinese are embarrassed to be associated with MCA, and its members are resorting to be closet supporters, too shy to acknowledge their association with the party.
Still wrapped in their cocoons, MCA has still not come to terms that its supporter base has eroded beyond redemption, or to question why the Chinese are abandoning them in droves.
Their lame attempts to convince BN that they are still the champions of the Chinese, are met with vehement objections from the Chinese themselves.
That is the general sentiment of the ‘China man’ on the streets. Umno is not amused and neither are they convinced that MCA has what it takes.
They too are questioning whether MCA will pull through or collapse like a pack of cards, dragging BN along with it.
Even though it is the second most powerful party in the BN coalition, today it is a shadow of its former glory.
Yet MCA will not recognise the fact, or take affirmative action to address the downward slide.
What is ailing the MCA?
Is it because of the PKFZ (Port Klang Freetrade Zone) scandal, that saw two of its top leaders being charged? Or has their power base been eroded by a dominant Umno?
Is it internal politics and the ‘bitter bickering’ that have weakened them? Is it the subtle poisoning of the DAP? Is it their choice of leaders?
Or the instant riches that comes with power that has diverted their focus on the Chinese plight?
Or are they busy struggling to hang on to their last bastion of power?
Or are they attempting to clutch at straws hoping for the winds of change?
Whatever it is, the Chinese in the country are up to their necks with the MCA sob story and many Chinese are disgusted at the very mention of the MCA.
Most of them think the MCA are run by a group of power brokers out to fleece the country at their expense!
Its grudging reluctance to speak out against the injustices faced by the Chinese, coupled with the childish finger pointing at the opposition for all their ailments has not convinced the Chinese of their relevance.
MCA stood by cowering in fear, unable to lift a finger to stop the meritocratic rot in scholarships or the highly-sought places in institutions of higher learning, the disappearing Chinese schools, Chinese temples, waning religious freedom, and equal rights as citizens under the law.
MCA’s ‘yes-man’ politics
They preferred to side with the government, and a yes-man to the one-sided policies that benefited only the political elite. They too had a hand in amending the Federal Constitution numerous times.
Seeming contented that the majority Chinese were better of than the Malays or Indians; their contribution to the Chinese cause has grounded to a halt.
Today, the Chinese see MCA as an impotent coward, too afraid to offend its coalition partners, but still bent on riding the Chinese sympathy.
Even PPP president M.Kayveas had the courage to call for ‘bumiputera’ status to be extended to everyone, while MCA kept mum.
MIC’s S Vel Paari too, has thrown caution to the wind to lambast the government for its failure to denounce the grave injustice towards racial unity.
The creeping rot affecting the Chinese cannot be ignored any longer, aggravated by the likes of radical NGO’s like Perkasa.
Concerned Chinese wallow in despair at their basic human rights being trampled upon, and their inability to compete on a level playing field.
Closer to home, the difficulty and the red-tape involved for the non-Malays to obtain permits or licenses to operate their businesses, without resorting to under-counter measures has led to many Chinese being fed-up of the system.
The removal of ex-MCA president Ong Tee Keat and it’s subsequent replacement with scandal tainted Dr Chua Soi Lek has put the Chinese in a state of shock and bewilderment.
Political pundits had commented that it could be the final nail on the MCA coffin.
Nearly five years has come and gone since the last general election in 2008.
One would have expected the MCA to regroup and re-strategise their options to win back the Chinese electorate. But the lame approach adopted by the MCA only served to distance the Chinese even more.
The absurd blame game with the DAP only showed how shallow MCA has become.
The only issue that they kept harping on was education and more Chinese schools, as if it’s the only perennial problem the Chinese faces.
Yet not accepting the fact that after 54 years, it still remained an issue.
Lately, the premature disclosure of MCA’s Chua Tee Yong, accusing Selangor of misusing RM100 million in the fictitious Talam bailout, which were later reduced to RM42 million, and subsequent reports noted that Selangor actually underpaid Talam by RM9.1 million, has made MCA the laughing stock of the nation.
Someone once remarked that it is akin to MCA’s ailing fortunes with its members reduced from a million to a mere 42,000.
Not that the Chinese do not sympathise with the MCA plight, but MCA’s lame politicking in trying to find fault with the opposition instead of quietly doing their jobs to protect Chinese rights from disintegrating are the main issues as to why the Chinese are so disillusioned with the party.
It is also not so much of the MCA president’s sordid past, as Bill Clinton was also caught with his pants down, but his ridiculous actions to justify MCA’s existence.
Is it his insistence that the Chinese owe MCA a living, or is it the repulsive way he speaks that is rattling the Chinese?
DAP’s rise due to MCA
If the MCA had taken affirmative action in the last three decades to champion the Chinese cause, today DAP would have been a ‘mosquito’ party.
It was MCA’s inaction that has turned the DAP into a political giant, as disgruntled Chinese turned to the DAP in droves for salvation.
If the MCA had put their foot down and insisted that the government reinstate the basic rights of every non-Malay citizen in line with the Federal Constitution, and their right to compete on an even platform, DAP wouldn’t have stood a chance.
But sincerely why bother to fight for the rights of individual races, when the Pakatan Rakyat has espoused that it would fight for the rights of all Malaysians regardless of race or creed?
And with both father and son in the political limelight lately for all the wrong reasons, it is more than the Chinese can stomach.
What happened to the political greats like Liow Tiong Lai, Ng Yen Yen, and Wee Ka Siong?
MCA leaders should climb down from their pedestal in the sky, put the people first and clean up their messy house, before they can convince the Chinese that they are still relevant in the 21st century.
Condemning the DAP is not going to revive the fortunes of the MCA or make the Chinese more sympathetic towards their cause.
But getting their legs (and brains) moving, combating corruption on both sides of the divide, voicing out at the alarming erosion of citizen rights and implementing reforms to restore the rights of non-Malays as legitimate and equal citizens of this country would move the Chinese to reconsider the MCA again.
Why run like a dog to try and destroy the reputation of opposition parties while lapping at every policy that BN makes, even though some of its policies are in clear contravention to the Federal Constitution?
While Umno – in their efforts to rally the Malays to unite – tries to portray Anwar Ibrahim as an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender) and a traitor to the Malay cause, Mat Sabu as unpatriotic and Lim Guan Eng as a Chinese chauvinist selling out the country, MCA is sitting on the sidelines silently observing the ongoing drama, taking potshots every now and then.
Championing petty issues like uncompleted car parks, parking bays, hillside developments, unfair tenders, bail outs, sexual preferences and private affairs of politicians are not going to get the sympathy of the non-Malays.
Restoring and protecting equal rights to all citizens definitely will make an impact.
Time is running out and unless MCA gets its priorities right, the people will undoubtedly replace such in-competency in the coming general election!
A tour guide, trained pilot and naturalist, Iskandar Dzulkarnain has been writing a few years now and with his articles appearing in most of the E-media.