MCA president Wee Ka Siong recently invited all 222 MPs to the party’s Chinese New Year open house.
I expected some Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders to attend the event. But I found out that none of the ministers came. This was confirmed to me by Wee himself.
This is very strange indeed. In the New Malaysia, I thought the PH government would lead by example through an act of reconciliation by having at least one minister attend.
I would not expect a Chinese PH minister to come as they would be busy with their own events, but we have many other non-Chinese ministers.
Why did the PH leadership not attend the CNY event? Did they think that attending the event was “trivial” since MCA no longer has any “bite” after losing the election?
Did the PH leadership think that MCA “supported” Najib Razak and is thus undeserving as a political party of moral standing?
Or did they think that CNY should not be celebrated with rival politicians?
I have been attending Christmas celebrations and prayers by Christian groups for many years. I have also attended CNY events where I am invited. These are very special occasions where we display our brotherhood and spiritual love and understanding towards one another.
MCA has been accused of accepting Najib’s generous donations from the 1MDB money trail as well as “defending” Najib and Umno in the 1MDB affair.
One should not treat people based on one or two bad things they may have done. Look also to the past, to how many times that person has helped and shown friendship.
I would also not ignore a whole family of people just because one or two members of that family did me wrong.
With respect to MCA, I would always say how grateful I am to the previous leaders who decided to agree to the New Economic Policy so that people like me and my wife received government scholarships to study abroad.
Without support from MCA, Umno would not have been able to help poor families like mine.
Not all MCA members are the same. One MCA leader told me that all his MCA family members and friends voted for PH because they despised what Umno and Najib had done.
To ignore MCA and its contributions to nation-building means one lacks the bigger picture and a wider perspective on reconciliation.
After all, PH leaders worked with their arch-enemy Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is often blamed for disrupting institutions such as the judiciary, police and civil service.
When it came time to work together, we saw a sudden spirit of reconciliation. Why not now with MCA? After all, MCA was not the one responsible for hashing out the 1MDB affair. It was not involved in the murders of Teoh Beng Hock or Atlantuya, or the mysterious disappearance of individuals.
By snubbing MCA’s invitation, PH lost a potential ally in the next general election.
Do PH leaders think they will get the same mass support from the Chinese community as they did in GE14? If they do, they must be under some illusion. The Chinese have seen PH spending more time jostling for power in Parliament than making changes on the ground for the people.
If PH does not offer friendship to MCA, that party will have nowhere to go but to the extremist Malay-only party Umno and the more extremist Muslim-only party PAS.
If PH thinks that working with MCA crosses some “political moral ground”, then why is Mahathir meeting with Abdul Hadi Awang?
Do not be arrogant just because there is a sign that says “menteri” next to your names. The fall from grace may come with the morning sun.
We teach our children to embrace national harmony and to forgive and accept weaknesses in others.
But we see our leaders doing the exact opposite by not showing the spirit of reconciliation during the recent CNY celebration.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.