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Thursday, March 4, 2021

MCA confirms its irrelevancy

 


"That is why I work with him because he is the voice of the Chinese." 

- Umno politician Nazri Abdul Aziz on DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng

"Starting now, MCA can accept associate members from among non-Chinese," said MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon, which means the party wants to have non-voting, non-Chinese associate members as a fig leaf to their race-based agendas and policies.

I have no idea why the MCA would do something like this now. Which is worse, being a non-voting, non-Chinese associate member in a race-based party or being a non-voting, non-Chinese associate member in a race-based party which has lost its influence in the Chinese community the party claims to represent?

Any rational and informed person would have issues with the way DAP confronts its inter-party racial politics but this idea that the MCA is accepting non-Chinese associate members is the most ridiculous thing in a political terrain filled with howlers.

Do not get me wrong. I am sure the MCA has a history of advocating on behalf of the non-Chinese community but the same could be said of any race-based party. It is all part of the subterfuge that race-based parties represent, or at least theoretically could represent, the interests of all Malaysians. 

But we know that this is a complete lie and the existence of race-based parties are meant to divide us along racial lines instead of ideological lines. This is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? This is the toxic nature of race-based parties. 

This is why Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki got his knickers in a twist about a school history book that he alleges glorifies communism and socialism.

“This appears to be a planned effort during Pakatan Harapan's 22 months in power to sow the seeds of the 'Malaysian Malaysia' ideology and subtlely brainwash students that socialism and communism are not bad and were among the ideologies used to fight for independence," he said on the matter. 

Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki

Of course, Asyraf is afraid that “ideologies” which unite diverse groups of people would destroy the “Malay uber alles” ideology that BN cultivated over decades. 

Of course, he is afraid of the polychromatic Malay left which was part of the greater “Malaysian left” which demonstrated that there was, is and always will be segments of the population who believe “Malaysian Malaysia” is a possible path to save this country.

It benefits the Malay establishment if there are race-based parties. In this way, they can demonstrate to the greater Malay polity that Malay race-based hegemons are needed to protect their interests. 

The fact that non-Malay communities have been successful economically is used against them, and hence non-Malay political power structures not only have to kowtow to Malay power brokers, they have to spread disinformation in service of racial narratives.

This is why it is imperative that dominant political discourse is framed along racial lines. This is why every time the DAP engages in communal racial politics they are demonised by the Malay establishment as betraying the Malaysian Malaysia concept. 

This is why when the DAP hooked up with Bersatu, propagandists from the Malay establishment were having the time of their lives and when it was discovered that the DAP was bending over backwards for Malay power brokers in Pakatan Harapan, it was still not enough for the Malay uber alles crowd.

Look, the reality is that all these race-based legacy parties are merely window dressing for this Malay uber alles government. If the DAP, which is ostensibly multiracial, was bending over backwards when they were in government and Harapan was supposed to be a reformist government, what role does anyone think that the MCA has in a regressive government like Perikatan Nasional?

I have known a few associate members from various race-based or religious-based political parties and every single one of them understands they are there to give legitimacy or credibility to the political party and not to represent the genuine interests of their communities.

Look at how the PAS supporters club, or whatever it is called, has been shown to be the morally bankrupt fig leaf that it is. For years minority supporters or associate members were asked to do as told while policies that were detrimental to Malaysians were injected into the mainstream.

Every time such policies were announced, there would always be minorities, who were aligned with these political parties, coming out and defending those policies in the most disingenuous of ways. 

Most of the time they had no input in shaping the policy. They were there solely as cheerleaders, which is pathetic since nobody took them seriously anyway. Indeed the establishment used the vitriol thrown their way as more propaganda of the toxicity of the opposition.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong

MCA president Wee Ka Siong bizarrely claimed that MCA is “synonymous” with the Chinese as though the association with the Chinese community was suggestive or implied. It is right there in the name of your party, Wee - the Malaysian Chinese Association. 

The raison d'être of the MCA is to represent the Chinese community and to this day, the MCA has done nothing to demonstrate that it has been veering towards a more inclusive terrain.

The DAP had to learn very fast that dealing with Malay power structures on a federal level, and a bureaucracy that is, in essence, an extension of a political party (Umno), is complex and requires stratagems and rhetoric that are in total opposition to the egalitarian ideas that the DAP tells its base is the foundation of a new Malaysia.

I would say this, for all the problems with multiracial parties like PKR and DAP and what have you, race-based parties like the MCA are the greater more immediate problem. 

While they do not have any influence with the Malay uber alles crowd and no doubt, Malay power brokers for the sake of “unity” would occasionally "compromise" these parties, the racial narrative replacing any form of ideological narrative is what is destroying this country.

As someone who has highlighted the contributions of the MCA in a realpolitik sense for the community, this latest move by the MCA demonstrates how irrelevant MCA has become.

Sometimes it is better to fade away than to publicly declare your demise.


S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. A retired barrister-at-law, he hopes young people will assume the mantle of leadership – if there is to be any hope for this country. - Mkini

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.

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