"Money politics is creeping into the party" - MCA becoming irrelevent
by Ashvin Raj
refers to the NST report on 3rd March 2003, which quoted MCA president Datuk
Seri Dr Ling as saying that money politics is creeping into the party to the
tune of millions of ringgit, and if left unchecked, would lead the party to
"doom, chaos and destruction."
Such an honest statement by the MCA president truly reveals MCA as fast
becoming irrelevant, as indeed the situation has worsened and has caused the
Chinese community to feel betrayed, as they have been taken for a ride all
these years by the many empty promises made by the MCA in past general
It was quoted that the split of MCA between two teams has caused some
leaders to be obsessed with image building that they had neglected their
work. A good example would be Dr Chua Jui Meng who has being neglecting his
work as a Health Minister by showing himself as being incompetent in
handling the worst dengue outbreak in Malaysia.
DAPSY also reads with a certain amount of cynicism, MCA Secretary-General
Datuk Ting Chew Peh's call for the party to toe the line. The memory of the
two state assembly representatives in Penang who abstained from voting
against the DAP motion to defer the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) is still
fresh in the mind. PORR was not a serious 'life and death' issue, and they
were merely expressing the sentiments of their constituents but yet they
were punished severely for speaking up for the people.
What about recently when the Labour MPs voted with their conscience and
represented the feelings of the people when they went against Tony Blair in
Parliament on the Iraq issue, which is a life and death issue? Are these 121
British Labour MPs foolish as deserving suspension or should they be
applauded for their actions? The British MPs have showed the world what
parliamentary democracy really means. The majority of them, whilst fiercely
loyal to their party, are not beholden to any groups and therefore are more
likely to speak their minds.
In more mature democracies, backbenchers are allowed to vote against their
own party in Parliament and many in fact do so even at the expense of
incurring the wrath of the party whip and leadership. They have the bravery
to speak their minds for what they believe in and in many instances are
reacting on feedback given by their constituents whom they are representing.
Coming back to the MCA, will there come a day when MCA MPs can show that
they are as intelligent as they are as propagated by their mouthpieces, and
can therefore give convincing speeches in Parliament, and be responsible to
the people by being transparent, rather than always pleasing the Prime
Minister, and be handed comfortable posts in the government?
This latest admission by Dr Ling of money politics, other than revealing the
sad state of MCA affairs as a component member of the ruling coalition,
addresses the deeper underlying question of what relevance is MCA to the
Chinese community when they have their own problems to deal with from
within, and would thus not be able to serve the people. They have indeed
betrayed the Chinese community, which they are supposedly out to protect by
roundly endorsing the PM's declaration of an Islamic State on Sept 29, 2001
at a Gerakan delegates conference.
We might aspire for Vision 2020 status, but if MCA were to continue being
mired in money politics and factionalism in Team A and Team B and even
suppressing responsible dissent, then Malaysia's visionary future as
promised by the BN would be in direct betrayal of the people's trust.
Ashvin Raj, DAPSY Assistant National