A Kadir Jasin
(If you are commenting “anonymously”, please state your name/pseudonym at the beginning and end of your comment. Thank you.)
IN the April 4 posting, in which I quoted my Other Thots column in the Malaysian Business magazine, I suggested, among other things, that the MCA President, Dr Chua Soi Lek, should challenge the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng.
I contended that Dr Chua must be brave enough to launch his own Tanjong Project to regain the state for the MCA and BN. The DAP implemented three Tanjong Projects before finally capturing Penang in 2008.
Many might have forgotten that the MCA ruled Penang with the help of Umno from 1957 until it was defeated by the Gerakan in 1969. Gerakan joined the Barisan Nasional and ruled Penang with the help of Umno, MCA and MIC for 39 years before it was defeated by the DAP with the help of PKR and Pas in 2008. So could the DAP be ruling Penang for the next 30 years or more?
It could very well be that the MCA leaders had not read my comment or, if they did, they simply dismissed it because it appeared that they were not aiming to get back the state.
The MCA-owned newspaper, The Star on April 12, published a report headlined “Barisan needs stronger voice in state assembly” in which it quoted the Bagan MCA Youth Leader, David Chua, as calling for a stronger opposition voice in the state assembly. Chua is also the BN coordinator for the Bagan parliamentary seat, which in under the DAP.
The Star quoted him as stating that the voters “should support Barisan candidates in the next general election to have a stronger Opposition.”
I am not sure how influential Chua is in the MCA but his low expectation does not jive with the Prime Minister’s mounting confidence that the non-Malays are back supporting the BN.
Or is the MCA happier playing the opposition role in the Penang State Assembly than winning it back from the Pakatan Rakyat?
It could be because the MCA may still not be chosen to play the leading role in the state. That honour may still be given to the Gerakan. Incidentally, both the Gerakan and MCA were totally routed from the Penang State Assembly in 2008.
According to The Star report, in the 40-seat State Legislative Assembly, the Pakatan Rakyat has 29 and the BN 11. All the 11 BN seats were won by Umno.
Any Chinese leader who thinks “Chinese” would see the DAP’s leadership of the state as being better for Chinese unity. Under the PR, there is only one Chinese-based party, that is the DAP. Under the BN, the Gerakan and the MCA consistently jostled for influence, allowing Umno to play the kingmaker role. Under PR, the DAP is the sole representative of the Chinese and is the alpha male of the PR state government.
It is for that reason that I have repeatedly expressed the opinion that Penang'znon-Malay voters, in particular the Chinese, would give the DAP the chance to rule the state as long as they did with the Gerakan.
Maybe Chua was unconsciously expressing that sentiment or he was being practical about the BN’s chances of recapturing Penang.
The Star quoted him as saying: “There is no MCA or MIC representation in the state assembly, but I hope the people will support both parties so there can be a check and balance.”
With the MCA still struggling to recover from a bruising leadership fight and the Gerakan yet to elect a credible leadership, it’s perhaps beneficial for them to play the underdog role.
After losing badly in 2008, the MCA, Gerakan and MIC have been relying on the goodwill of the Prime Minister for a semblance of representation in the government. However, the Prime Minister’s generosity is not necessarily shared by the Umno masses.