Malays are united or divided by their political party. Chinese are united by their guilds and associations and do not care much about political parties. Chinese can swing from one party to another or support both sides of the political divide as long as it serves their Chinese agenda. And this is what Mahathir is always reminding the Malays about when he says ‘Melayu Mudah Lupa’.
PAKATAN’S GAME OF THRONES
Raja Petra Kamarudin
“God willing, we will fight until the death and until the last drop of blood,” said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, as reported by Free Malaysia Today (READ HERE).
“Islam and Malays would be undermined if DAP rules: Najib,” reported The Sun Daily (READ HERE).
Najib warns that the fight to the death and to the last drop of blood has started: no retreat and no surrender
At last year’s Umno assembly Najib already declared that there would be ‘no retreat and no surrender’. And Najib showed what this means when he took certain action to remove the enemies in Umno’s blanket and forced Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s hand into resigning from the party.
Najib was determined to remove all those thorns in his side, as the Malays would say, and he left no stone unturned in doing so. Najib needed to do this before he faces the next general election and, as Najib himself said, the next general election may not be too far away.
Najib no longer has any worries about Umno or about internal party matters. He already has control over the party and the government as well. No one in government would dare sharpen their knives after what Najib did to those who were planning to stab him in the back. Many are licking their wounds and wish they had not joined Mahathir’s conspiracy.
However, while Najib may have sorted out Umno and the government, there is still some unfinished business within Barisan National itself. And this unfinished business is regarding the Chinese who are playing both sides of the political divide and are benefiting from both sides, never mind which side wins.
The instrument that ties both sides of the political divide together is the Chinese Trade Association or CTA. In June 2006, Mahathir launched his move to oust Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. However, 18 months later, Abdullah was still in office and he refused to resign. Umno would just not get rid of Abdullah as Mahathir hoped they would.
The only way to get Umno to remove Abdullah was to place the party in fear of losing power. That is the only thing that politicians fear more than they fear God Himself, the fear of losing power. So Mahathir asked Ling Liong Sik and Matthias Chang to speak to the CTA, mostly who were MCA members and many who were life members of the party, to get the Chinese to swing over and vote for DAP instead.
We have, in fact, explained all this in our previous articles here:
The result of that was, DAP’s parliament seats — which were only 9, 10 and 12 in 1995, 1999 and 2004 respectively — shot up to 28 in 2008 and 38 in 2013. And in the coming general election DAP Is aiming for 45 or 46 parliament seats, the maximum Chinese parties can win (or maybe even 50 if they do a deal with PKR on some ‘traditional’ PKR seats).
The fact that DAP does not have even 200,000 registered members and yet they garnered almost two million votes means that many who were not DAP members and who were actually MCA members voted for DAP.
DAP claims that in 2008 about 85% of the Chinese voted for them, in 2013 it shot up to 90%, and in the next general election it is going to be 95%. This means that almost all the Chinese, many who are not DAP members and are actually MCA members, voted for the opposition. You do not need to be a PhD to figure that one out.
The question is, why are the MCA people helping DAP? The answer is quite simple. The Chinese are not united though political parties like the Malays are. To many Malays, Umno is Melayu and Melayu is Umno (or PAS is Islam and Islam is PAS). Chinese, however, are tied by their guilds and associations. That is why when it comes to issues such as schools and language you will find DAP and MCA united and speak as one (which is something you will not find amongst the Malays who cannot even agree on the Sharia).
Melayu lawan Melayu, Cina bersatu
Many of you may not be aware that the political animosity amongst the Malays extends to they would not attend funerals or pray together with another Malay of a rival party. Chinese, however, do not really care whether you are from DAP or MCA. And Mahathir knows this. So he asked Liong Sik and Matthias to get the MCA Chinese to support and vote for DAP so that Abdullah’s home state, Penang, could be given to the opposition and the Prime Minister would be forced to resign in disgrace.
Mahathir taught the CTA one very important thing: which is it can now be a power-broker and kingmaker. It no longer needs to just play a social or economic role in Chinese society. It can play a political role as well and a very important political role at that too.
Mahathir helped the CTA taste power like giving a lion cub the taste of blood. Once the lion cub tastes blood and it discovers it likes the taste it will want more. And the CTA has also tasted power and it likes the taste so it wants more.
To control the Chinese community you need to control the Chinese trade associations, Chinese schools and Chinese newspapers. The Chinese schools and Chinese newspapers, however, depend on the financing from the Chinese trade associations. So, if you can control the CTA, you can control all the others as well as long as you control the funding.
As much as the DAP Chinese keep accusing the Umno Malays of ‘makan dedak’, the reality is the Chinese also makan dedak. They accuse Malays of having a crutch mentality but the truth is the Chinese also need crutches to survive. The only thing is the Chinese disguise the manner in how they give dedak to their community so that it does not become too obvious.
For example, the CTA controls and decides how much advertising goes to The Star, an MCA-owned newspaper. The money is not given directly to The Star but to an agency that is appointed to handle the advertising. This agency then gives RM50 million a year to MCA and another RM35 million to the MCA President to fund their political activities. This, of course, is further to the millions that MCA gets from the government.
But then there is a catch. To ensure that The Star makes enough advertising profit to be able to pay out this RM85 million a year, MCA and/or it leaders must not interfere in the running of the newspaper. The Star must be totally independent and will decide whatever it needs to do to make money. And on this term and condition the CTA will make sure that the money keeps flowing.
And that is what many may have noticed: that although The Star is owned by MCA it appears to be more slanted towards the opposition. The impression you get is that The Star is pro-DAP and anti-Umno or anti-government. It is actually a very unique situation. It is like PAS owning Harakah but Harakahsupports Umno and is anti-PAS (or as weird as Malaysiakini being pro-Islam and anti-Christian).
MCA: takes ‘dedak’ from both sides and serves the opposition agenda
Of course, the impression we get is that MCA are cowards who dare not challenge the CTA and/or The Star. But then are they really cowards or are they just playing a double game? By playing a double game MCA gets money from both sides: from the CTA as well as from the government. On top of that they can become part of the government and obtain Cabinet posts.
At the end of the day Umno and the MCA members are the suckers. There is a game of charade going on played by the top leaders of the CTA, MCA and DAP. They give the impression that they are divided while in reality they are working in tandem. And MCA does not really have much choice but to go along with it or else they would be wiped out in the next general election.
DAP does not want to kill off MCA. If they did then this would just unite the Malays against the threat of a very powerful DAP. DAP will allow MCA 7-8 seats in the next general election if they play ball. If they do not then MCA is going to end up with zero seats.
This also suits MCA well. Umno will have to keep giving MCA millions plus government posts to keep MCA alive. If not MCA would die and DAP would benefit. Umno fears a dominant DAP so it keeps MCA alive, and DAP also keeps MCA alive so that it has a proxy in the government.
Mahathir could not have planned this any better and it is almost brilliant if not for the fact that what is happening is no secret and Najib is fully aware of it. And Najib will deal with this in his own way and in his own time. And today Najib had already delivered his warning about what is about to come.
Meanwhile, The Star is continuing with its anti-Umno and pro-opposition coverage. The Star turns small stories into big stories as long as it is favourable to the opposition and unfavourable to Umno or the government. The Star keeps playing up the 1MBD issue although that is no longer an issue. They also play scare tactics regarding Malaysia’s economy as if Armageddon is around the corner. And the fact that The Star is seen as a ‘government’ newspaper and not an opposition newspaper gives people the ‘comfort’ that it never lies and always tells the truth.
Anyway, maybe we should take note of what Mahathir said 15 years ago when he read his poetry at the Umno general assembly titled ‘Melayu Mudah Lupa’.