(Free Malaysia Today) - “A pot calling a kettle black,” was the immediate response of a former MCA president to his party’s recent attacks on the Selangor government.
He was referring to the allegation of abuse of public funds in the Talam affair and the fact that BN did nothing about the company’s debts when it ruled Selangor.
Other party veterans are similarly embarrassed by what one of them called the “ill-planned blitz” on Selangor Pakatan Rakyat that was spearheaded by Chua Tee Yong, who heads the party’s Young Professionals Bureau and who happens to be party boss Dr Chua Soi Lek’s son.
Chua Junior apparently smelled a major scandal in the state’s exercise to recover debts owed to it by Talam Corporation Berhad (now known as Trinity Corporation Berhad) and went to town with it without checking his facts, which gives the lie to his father’s glowing endorsement of him as a bright young fellow.
In the wake of DAP’s exposure of Tee Yong’s misplaced bravado, what are we now to make of Chua Senior’s description of his son as a competent chartered accountant and a worthy former CEO of a government-linked company?
Veteran party leaders are not the only ones who are spooked. Many rank-and-file members are reportedly scrambling to find dark corners where they can hide their faces until, hopefully, the storm of shame blows over.
Colourful Chinese sayings are being used to depict the unfortunate situation into which Tee Yong has put his already embattled party.
“He has already dropped a stone on his own foot,” lamented a veteran of Selangor MCA. “If he is allowed to continue, he might drop a huge rock on MCA’s head.”
“Mayi ken gutou—an ant desperately gnawing for meat on a dry bone,” said another veteran.”
“Perhaps,” said another, “the hat Tee Yong is wearing is too big for his head, covering his eyes so he can’t see. Is that why he’s stumbling all over the place?”
Not a bailout
DAP’s Tony Pua criticised Tee Yong for his inability to distinguish between “buying” and the “taking over” of assets as part of the Selangor government’s debt recovery exercise.
Pointing out that Talam had to give up assets worth hundreds of millions of ringgit in order to settle its debts, Pua also questioned the wisdom in Tee Yong’s choice of words when he described the exercise as a “bailout”.
But what was most damaging to MCA in Tee Yong’s publicity blitz was that he indirectly revealed that nothing was done to those debts under BN rule.
What was MCA doing as part of the erstwhile Selangor administration? Did it not play its role as a watchdog to ensure transparency and accountability? Or was it just a mad dog constantly barking at the opposition?
A former MCA secretary-general questioned Tee Yong’s competence in the task of demonising Pakatan Rakyat in view of his junior position in the party. Indeed, asked the veteran, would he even have been considered for his position of Deputy Agriculture Minister and his appointment as one of the three trustees of the party’s assets if he had not been the party president’s son?
“The first day of his press conference, he was already fumbling over facts and figures and he seemed to be barking at the wrong tree.”