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Sunday, July 31, 2011

MCA past salvation: Even Chinese say it deserved the 'Basket!' comment

MCA past salvation: Even Chinese say it deserved the 'Basket!' comment

Recently, when Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali ranted and raved at the MCA, his 'classical' remarks including calling the MCA "Basket!" - which is a euphemism for the word "Bastard!" - certainly did not go unnoticed.

Firstly, because the choice of such an outmoded word provided opportunity for more laughter - at both Ibrahim's and the MCA's expense. Secondly, it really underscored how far the MCA has plunged and pundits say there is still more room for free-fall.

"To say it is a slap in the face is too mild. It was UMNO saying it has no confidence whatsoever that MCA can win even a single seat. What is even worse to the Chinese community is the way Chua Soi Lek and the other party leaders did not even dare to protest the discourtesy," PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.

"Soi Lek is now even trying to swing 100 per cent behind the right-wing in UMNO, he is now calling for more extreme action like aggressive retaliation against Bersih.Traditionally, this faction in UMNO considers the Chinese as easy meat to bully. Now, instead of fighting, Soi Lek is joinning them and fighting for the hardliners in UMNO evenhough this is certainly not what the Chinese want."

MCA, like Sarawak's SUPP have lost their glory days and the confidence of the Chinese community they serve. For the longest time, they have been accused of corruption, selfishness and a willingness to sacrifice the Chinese electorate just to stay in UMNO's good books. The BN gravy itrain may not be as loaded as it used to be but there are still more than enough riches to be fished than the ordinary taxpayer can even imagine.

If MCA was strong, Ibrahim would have shut up

Ibrahim had made the remarks in retaliation to MCA leaders objecting to UiTM agreeing to manage an Ibrahim Ali Leadership award, for which the Pasir Mas MP had offered to donate an annual RM5,000 cash prize.

Given his uncouth choice of words, Malaysia Chronicle spoke with several community leaders about what they believed it meant for the MCA and other minority-based groups like SUPP and Gerakan.

A businesswoman, Kate Tay said why should anyone blame Ibrahim Ali when he is right about MCA. “But I honestly do not know what he meant by basket. Is it that awful word, “bastard?” she queried?

To Tay, there are a lot of similarities between the MCA and SUPP, starting right at the top. “I guess I don’t have to spell it. George Chan has recently got a new wife,” she said diplomatically.

On a more serious note, she felt that the two parties have lost touch with the ground. The leaders in the party are more concerned with positions, enriching themselves and letting the BN walk all over them at the expense of the people, just for the sake for their own selfish survival.

“If MCA is a strong party today, do you think that Najib or his UMNO leaders would dare to make such insulting remarks about them? Right now, the MCA is just like a puppet for UMNO to juggle about,” said Tay.

Go back to the grassroots

A chairman of a primary school Board, Liew Tien Lian said Ibrahim Ali iwas entitled to his opinion. “Let him shout whatever he wants. It is best to ignore this type of publicity seeker,” he said.

Liew was also keen to share his many opinions on the Chinese parties in Malaysia. He felt that the leaders in both MCA and SUPP are non-performers who can only talk very well. ‘Come election time, they go to the ground, offer a few candies and expect votes to drop in the ballot boxes for them.

The Chinese, he said, expected party leaders to champion their cause, but Chua and George only championed their own personal cases at the expense of the people and their principles.

“After so many years and too many chances, the sacrifices made by the forefathers in the 50s, 60s and 70s have long gone. The new leaders squabbled, back stabbed each other to catch Prime Minister Najib Razak's eye and be appointed ministers. Once they are there, they will serve only their masters, not the people who voted for them. How do you expect the likes of Ibrahim Ali, a nobody, not to insult them too,” said Liew.

Although he admitted that there may be a few good people in both parties, Liew hoped that they would not be blinded by position but work for the people like the leaders in the olden days. He advised them to go back to the grassroots if they want to command a mandate in the next general election, which he doubt the party can make it.

MCA deserved it: Soi Lek poking trouble

Another mid-level SUPP member,Teng, chuckled cynically when asked about MCA’s being bullied by the likes of Ibrahim Ali. Teng felt MCA deserved it.

He recalled that when MCA president Chua Soi Lek arrived on Sarawak shores during the last state election to 'help' SUPP, everyone was too polite to tell him to go home and win back his own lost MCA seats.

“Don’t teach us how to fly when you cannot even walk. And Soi Lek had the cheek to tell George Chan not to accept any Cabinet seat after the heavy loss is adding insult to injury. Today, SUPP's internal quarrels are partly Soi Lek's fault for planting such ideas into the members. If he did not want us to get Cabinet posts, why did MCA get so many backdoor positions then? It’s like a kettle calling a pot black,” saidTeng, who obviously has no love lost for his BN comrade.

Although Teng said he hated himself for saying it, his prediction for the next general election is that the MCA and SUPP are both as good as gone. “Maybe, the people will be kind, let us win a seat or two,” he reckoned.

- Malaysia Chronicle

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