By Senator Dato’ Seri Ti Lian Ker, MCA Vice President
DAP is envious and continue to be fearful of MCA because it has the grassroots organisation, two universities and multiple outreach as a party. Thus DAP’s fear of a local government election is real because MCA grassroots will outdo theirs as we are more service oriented , less radical and are more acceptable by the non-politically aligned Malay electorates.
Since the last general election MCA has been on a mission to reinvent itself. But more often than not it is seen as “not sexy enough” as compared to the Chinese dominated DAP. Our leaders do not clown around, make fun of others or use vulgarities like DAP.
While many think that the party should be independent of Barisan Nasional, it may be because they don’t understand the value and significance of MCA’s role in promoting moderation, tolerance and harmony in our multiracial political fabric.
MCA was part of the Alliance Party which was founded in 1952. While it was a temporary arrangement between MCA and UMNO for a municipal election, it grew into a permanent alliance with MCA, MIC and UMNO that played a key part in the independence of Malaya. MCA at a time of racial tension and animosity post May 13th racial riot had played their part to ease the Chinese political hardship in the educational, cultural and economic development. MCA continue to represent the Chinese and other minority communities during the “ultra” and Malay nationalism years.
DAP had won over MCA for the Chinese votes by promising a Malaysian Malaysia with no racial policies. They managed to obtain near absolute Chinese votes in the last general election as a result of this promise . Does this mean that the Chinese have ditched racial politics ? Not so. On the contrary, they have just flocked to DAP in a racial promise ie doing away with Bumiputra quotas etc which was blamed on Umno’s dominance and MCA’s compromises. DAP disregarded their relevance is the backing of the Chinese community by quickly announcing that they are not “Chinese” and going after MCA’s “blood” upon obtaining power. These have alienated the reality of many Chinese voters who have their own specific needs as an ethnic group.
MCA’s relevance goes beyond just politics or winning elections etc . We have a responsibility to lead the Chinese towards participating in the national agenda particularly in promoting racial harmony towards national integration and unity. MCA has always shouldered the serious responsibility of making racial compromises with it’s partners. The wellbeing of the Chinese community and the racial tolerance , harmony and unity were built by them . To this effect the elders in the party have always reminded us to provide the solid foundation and lead the Chinese to embrace the wider agenda of nation building in the Malaysian context and not Singapore, Taiwan or China.
Whether it’s education (TARC) or community assistance (MCA service-bureau) MCA treats the community and all Malaysians in a serious and solemn manner. MCA did not have the luxury of gags and comedy that DAP routinely engages in. MCA also preached national integrity rather than racially divisive politics as often presented by DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and we do not indulge in the vulgarities of Superman Hew.
MCA has one thing that DAP never had – a truly multiracial soul and spirit over the years of working together. With our vast experience in governance of our country, we are able to contribute positively in our new role as an opposition party. Put together with its new role as an opposition, MCA has the ability to bring credibility to the game and towards a truly two party system as promised by DAP but quickly abandoned when they gained power.
On the other hand DAP has difficulty being accepted by the Malays as their words and deeds reflected their Chinese psyche . It was easier when they were in the opposition but they faced difficulty to govern. DAP had in the past opposed our policies with racial sensationalism (it still does today), while MCA opposes with substance and rationality.
MCA is real , genuine and sincere. Take for example the fake qualification fiasco and Penang Undersea Tunnel issue that has mired Pakatan Harapan. The rakyat can see that there’s a lot of hypocrisy and insincerity there. Not only MCA leader, Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong took DAP to task, he did it diligently and professionally as compared to someone like Lim Kit Siang who always chooses to hit below the belt with racial taunts , exaggerations etc
MCA (and MIC) has chosen to be in Barisan Nasional to keep the coalition multicultural and give the new leadership a last chance to revert back to our original spirit and intent ie leading towards unity in diversity.
A coalition as old as Barisan Nasional has bound to have issues among key partners. But they cannot bounce from coalition to coalition like DAP does because the community at large comes first. We cannot abandon BN and allowed BN to be hijacked towards a radical mono-ethnic or mono religious path. MCA knows this is bound to happen if we leave BN in the hands of Umno-PAS.
The MCA was founded on the premise to represent Malaysian Chinese community but also to ensure that representation is always there regardless the community supports MCA or not. As such MCA as a party should not be trying to “out Chinese DAP” but rather be focus on providing the leadership and governance with our multiracial expertise that the country desperately needs right now.