LEADERSHIP WITHOUT MEMBERSHIP


The Malaysian Chinese Association(MCA) was established on February 27 in the year 1947. It would be considered a uni-racial political party. It purports to represent the Malaysian ethnic Chinese. Therefore it can be considered as an association of Chinese persons who have organized themselves with the main aim, objective and idea of championing issues premised on the fact that the party would want to achieve certain set goals for the ethnic Chinese community’s benefit.

In collaboration  with the United Malay National Organisation(UMNO) and the Malaysian Indian Congress(MIC) Independence was achieved from its colonial masters on the 31st. day of August 1957. These three uni-racial political parties over time together with the establishment of other mosaic political parties established the Barisan National(BN) which is the umbrella body under which the current government has been established after the March 8, 2008 general elections.

Since 1957, this is the first time after the March 8, 2008 general elections the government has been elect without a two- third majority in Parliament. The BN’s dismal performance had led to the MIC and the Gerakan party to being moribund. Ong Ka Ting the President of the MCA whilst being elected as a Member of Parliament did not accept a Cabinet Appointment and had mooted the idea that the MCA should re-invent itself or from his dismayed stand point should be resurrected.

During the period from August 1957 to March 2008 the MCA leaders have endeavoured to clamour through the BN that they are involved in a system of progressive government. The MCA has substantial holdings in Hauren Holdings through which it controls the Star Publication, the China Press, the Sin Chew Jit Pao, the Nanyang Siang Pau and the Guang Ming Daily, based on the financial contributions of the business community. But yet its popularity ebbed and many of its leaders lost their state in Parliament and the State Assemblies.

This was owing to the fact that the Democratic Action Party(DAP) was its biggest rival in championing the cause of the ethnic Chinese apart from championing the cause of all Malaysians with its multi-racial policies which put the MCA leaders in a political quagmire.

As much as we know it, political parties will only survive in the intermediate where there is a popular will of the people in its favour which supports the government and its various institutions. The writing had been on the wall since 1998 after the unceremonious sacking of Anwar Ibrahim by Mahathir. It showed that the masses were not willing to accept the regressive politics played out by the BN. But over a period of time the Parti Kadilan Rakyat(PKR), the Pan-Islamic Party(PAS) and the DAP got their act together to work as a coalition and it resulted in the creation of a new political landscape.

This has resulted in the creation of a new government machinery in the States of Selangor,Perak, Penang and Kedak, whilst PAS continued to be in the government of Kalantan. Unfortunately, Najib has created a political morass in Perak which is now before the Federal Court for a decision to be delivered in due course.

On the contrary, whilst the opposition parties in the coalition of the Pakatan Rakyat(PR) are in the process of creating an evolution in the thought of the people endeavouring to destroy the hegemony of the BN system of governance, the voting populace should educate their unschooled intelligence in the field of politics, as it will only be for the betterment of the future of the nation as a whole.

This is to ensure that future appointed representatives for elected office are themselves thoroughly flexible persons. Apart from aspiring to be elected they should fully understand the underling purpose and the needs of the voting masses and the needs for the creation of a more civil and social democratic society, where all elected representatives should be held to be competent, accountable and transparent.

The question that arises against this backdrop is, does the leadership of the MCA represent the interest of its members or what does it stand for? Further do these MCA leaders have any sense of civicness or for that matter any sense of civic community?

It is imperative that the leaders of the MCA should be put on notice that for the better half of the past one and a half year the whole nation has had to endure almost on a daily basis nothing else but the leadership squabbles between Ong Tee Keat, Chua Soi Lek and recently Liow Tiong Lai.

As much as this comical drama for the struggle has been played out in the main stream print media and the alternate media, we the voting masses have observed that March 2008 was the Waterloo for the MCA. The ethnic Chinese have voted with their feet against the MCA. This is clearly apparent when a majority of the leaders like Chew Mei Fun and Tan Chai Ho and many others lost their seats.

Apart from the above facts it is a known fact of political life that it is the business community that contributes to the financial sustenance and support of any political party. But March 8, 2008 draws a different parallel. As they say there is not fraternal relations in politics and that one should put ones money where the mouth is.

Under the prevailing scenarios that are being played out daily it should not be to difficult to be presumptuous and conclude that the purported contemporary interest which the MCA progressively represented the interest of the ethnic Chinese prior to March 2008 has drawn to a close.

Based on the general observation of the urban ethnic Chinese and even the common ethnic Chinese man on the street and the villages they have no respect whatsoever for the leaders of the MCA. If that is actually the case, than, Ong Ka Ting had real foresight when he stated that the MCA should re-invent or resurrect itself.

With the above scenario in mind we do not need any political scientist to flood us with advice on how democracy should be installed. We have taken our first step in March 2008. The voting populace will follow it through. The MCA membership has dwindled and as an ethnic based party it has joined the rank of the MIC and is moribund. The MCA may in the process of time be only a party with a leadership but no sustainable membership.

For far too long we have witnessed that political power has been essentially situational as it has been tied to a particular issue of race as determined by UMNO and wholehearted supported by the MCA and the MIC and other mosaic component parties of the BN.

We have now come to the cross-roads where the voting populace are aware of the particular conception of power and are now able to raise questions through the alternate media as to who would benefit or not and how to suggest and influence decisions to be made by the party leaders.

In this premise we the people recognize that there should be a limitation to the government’s power and discretion on the rule of law, the laissez-faire of social and economic policy which should be the characteristic of democracy. On the other hand the government whilst having specific institutions to maintained law and order, it should recognise the peoples liberties such as to the freedom  of speech, association and assembly, which should not unnecessarily be limited by the powers that be.

As Abraham Lincoln said: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” And consequently the voting populace who put the politicians into office should not be put into the limbo of undefined premises and uncertain applications by any government, lest they be voted out of office.

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One Response to “LEADERSHIP WITHOUT MEMBERSHIP”

  1. boscopa Says:

    Yes. I am the author of this post.

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