Part II of Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP 25th Anniversary Dinner organised by Triang DAP Branch in Triang on Tuesday, 23rd April 1991 at 9p.m.
MCA’s concept of ‘MCA is Chinese, Chinese is MCA’ is doomed to failure so long as MCA leaders hide in UMNO constituencies to get elected into Parliament
MCA President, Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik, said in Johore Bahru two days ago about the MCA’s concept of ‘MCA is Chinese, Chinese is MCA’.
It borders on the comic that the MCA President should be talking about ‘MCA is Chinese, Chinese is MCA’ after the MCA had suffered the worst defeat in its 41-year party history in the recent general elections, where not a single one of the 18 elected MCA MPs could win a majority of the Chinese votes in their constituencies, and where everyone of them had to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to get into Parliament.
Let me tell Liong Sik that the MCA’s concept of ‘MCA is Chinese and Chinese is MCA’ is doomed to failure, unless it is prepared to change in three radical and fundamental ways.
Firstly, MCA national leaders must not hide in UMNO constituencies in general elections to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to get into Parliament and the State Assemblies. UMNO leaders stand in Malay voter-majority constituencies, and their legitimacy and credibility derive from their ability to win in Malay voter-majority constituencies. The MCA leaders president a direct contrast, for MCA leaders from the MCA President downwards look for constituencies where they can win on Malay majority-votes.
In Labis, for instance, Liong Sik would have been defeated if he had not been saved by the Malay voters as the MCA President could only secure about 15 per cent of the Chinese votes. The same case applies to the MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai.
This is why I say that the MCA’s concept of ‘MCA is Chinese, Chinese is MCA’ is doomed to failure so long as MCA leaders hide in UMNO constituencies to get elected into Parliament and the State Assemblies. For what the people see is not the concept of ‘MCA is Chinese, Chinese is MCA’ but the fact of ‘MCA is UMNO, UMNO is MCA’!
MCA leaders understand what the UMNO leaders want but do not understand what the Chinese want
Secondly, the MCA leaders must understand the legitimate rights and aspirations, the hopes and fears of the Malaysian Chinese.
The MCA leaders can have no hope to achieve the concept of ‘MCA is Chinese, Chinese is MCA’ if they can only understand what the UMNO leaders want, but not understand what the Chinese in Malaysia want.
MCA, under the leadership of Datuk Dr.Ling Siong Sik, had proved that it is completely ‘at sea’ as far as the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the Chinese in Malaysia are concerned. This is why the MCA leaders where dumbstruck when UMNO Ministers openly demanded to know after the general elections what was it that the Chinese in Malaysia wanted; and why the MCA national leadership in panic had to commission consultants to conduct a survey to find out what the Chinese wanted, as if conducting a market survey of what baby milk is most popular in the country.
Thirdly, the MCA leaders must have the courage of their convictions to stand up and fight for the legitimate rights and interests of the people, in particular the Malaysian Chinese. They must not be afraid of losing their Ministerial posts, Exco positions, other perks of office as well as the many money-making opportunities available for those inside the government parties for speaking up for the people.
The MCA leaders fail miserably in this regard, as could be seen by the following instances:
(i) On the Selangor Islamic Law Administration Enactment, the MCA leaders have surrendered to UMNO in not asking for its
amendment as previously undertaken by Liong Sik himself;
(ii) Complete silence of the MCA national leaders about the Malacca water shortage crisis, with no mainstream MCA leader daring to press for the resignation of the Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik;
(iii) The total silence of the MCA about the harassment and persecution of the 10,000 hawkers in Penang;
(iv) Liong Sik and MCA Leaders claim that the Chinese in Kelantan have been oppressed by the Kelantan State Government and forced to leave the State, but when told to produce evidence, there is again complete silence.
Unless the MCA is prepared to charge radically and fundamentally in these three regards, the MCA will become more and more a marginal political party with no full role in mainstream of Malaysian government and politics.
The MCA’s announced intention to expand to Sabah is regarded as a big political joke of the year, and may be of the decade, for if the MCA cannot understand the Chinese in Peninsular Malaysia or get their support, how can they expect to understand the Chinese in Sabah!