Tuesday, July 1, 2008

MCA: No future without a multiracial platform?

Tempted as I am to weigh in with some curling remarks about Anwar Ibrahim's current travails, I shall refrain from doing so. There are many views expressed on the matter with great insight, clarity and dignified contempt of the possible motivations of the accuser and prosecution and, genuine concern over the lack of tactical nous on the part of Anwar's oppressors. See for example, Malik Imtiaz and Farish Noor, whose views I completely subscribe to on the matter.
Instead, I wish to highlight and counterpose Najib's reassurance as reported in Malaysiakini under the caption Najib: Chinese community will not lose out and Dr Chua Soi Lek's latest blog entry captioned, Expected announcement at an unexpected time which basically led me to make the following comment at the good Doctor's blog:-
Will any MCA leader be any different from OKT in respect of having REAL ACCESS & REAL STANDING as an equal BN partner?
Will UMNO forever be the domineering partner? Will MCA's true relevance for the discourse on Malaysia's future take place OUTSIDE of the BN framework?Will MCA be more relevant on a multi-racial platform?
You may recall that in MCA's history, there was a pivotal moment when Tan Cheng Lock was on the verge of joining Onn Jaafar's Independence of Malaya Party grouping. Tan's effort was thwarted by TH Tan (the, the, MCA Sec-Gen)who was so enamoured and charmed by Tunku.
This is really a time for a serious stand to be taken on where MCA's future lies.Being a thinking leader, I am very certain that you must be fully aware that the present relationship between MCA & UMNO leaders is so formalised & in such low ebb that BN is truly a sham & a series of photo-ops.
I am not a cynic as many of your blog's commentators tend to be. I am not an MCA member. I am a M'sian that happens to be of Chinese descent. My father was an MCA Branch Chairman in the 1970s.
MCA has had a key role in M'sia's history & development. But History is irrelevant if the present & future leaders of MCA do not seriously consider a multiracial platform AND seriously review MCA's subservient relationship vis-a-vis UMNO.
In case you missed the point, it was Najib of UMNO that had to reassure the Chinese. MCA was conspicuously silent (and, irrelevant?).
But as I keep saying, this is the failed BN communal and racial discourse. Where various races must be separately pandered to. Malaysia has to move away from this framework of race, communalism and ethnicity. That is why parties like the MCA have to do serious soul-searching if they want to survive. Otherwise, MCA members should just join a multiracial party to argue for various income groups instead of championing one race over another. It is out of date. It is unhealthy. It is divisive. Just stop it now!


etheorist said...

We should simply dismiss the existing racial groupings from our considerations in thinking about the future of Malaysia.

Instead, we should be think of a two or three party system.

We now have a new group ostensibly fighting for "justice" on the back of popular disatisfaction. How this group can run the economy is quite another matter.

Could it therefore mean that we should be thinking about a "new" group that champions businesses and investments, almost mercantilist in nature - as the anti-thesis to "justice."

The democractic process is about a good fight, and exercising our right to do so, isn't it?

de minimis said...

I agree that democracy is about giving different groups space to voice alternate views. A 2-party or 3-party system sounds good. Such a system has worked well for the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Your point on the new group that advocates "justice" and whether another even newer group with a mercantilist outlook is interesting.

My feeling is that at this stage of M'sia's development as a sovereign nation, the choice will be between a communal coalition versus a multiracial coalition. In either case, both coalitions have Keynesian leanings in having govt intervention to steer fiscal policies. Both coalitions are centrist with the communal coalition being right-of-centre and the multiracial coalition being left-of-centre.

If we keep to this trajectory, maybe in another 3 more elections (about 15 years) we may witness a 2-party system where one party is mercantilist and pro-business while the other party is into social justice. That will an era where communal parties have faded into M'sia's past.

Which band and which song was it that goes, "...that'll be the day..."?

Anonymous said...

I do not think there is a problem with Barisan Nasional spirit. It is a beautiful esprit de corp.

Unfortunately the BN spirit has been spoilt by bad management - just like the NEP.

Do you agree?