Which is worse – the Pakatan rift or the BN rift?

By Eyes Wide Open (http://hartalmsm.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/on-the-road-to-self-destruction)

The weekend has seen a sudden push by the BN against the PR – Khairy daring PAS to prove its Muslim credentials, Utusan attacking DAP as anti-Islam, UMNO labelling Anwar as a traitor to his race (whatever THAT means!) and more such race-baiting issues. The sum total effect is to create the impression that the PR is disintegrating, or to create enough issues for the PR to disintegrate.

That’s not such a remote possiblity, despite the denials of their top leaders. The PR politicians are coming across as really petty, what with Jeff Ooi and his childish denouncements, Hassan Ali and his Taliban mentality and such.

But…is it all roses in the BN side? Well, of course they would like you to believe so. And since they control the MSM, you could never know if there was anything going on.

Or could you?

Looking beyond the MSM spin

When Najib took over from flip-flop Abdullah, the MSM positioned him as the saviour of Malaysian politics. He was the one who supposedly had the credentials, the wisdom and the experience to unite the BN and bring stability to the country under his firm hand. 100 days or so later, the BN is again flip-flopping in its many policy announcements. The latest embarrassing episode would seem to be the Internet censorship announcements.

One would suspect that the BN was not a united entity at all. I mean, between a “senior official” revealing that the BN was going to censor the Internet, to a Cabinet Minister (Rais Yatim) clarifying that it was only a limited censorship of porn, to the PM himself announcing that there was to be no censorship at all, and now the MCMC announcing that they want to investigate the rakyat’s internet usage for elements that are not “positive or safe” (whatever the hell that means) – who are we supposed to believe?

If the MSM is not able to come up with a coherent story, it can only mean one thing: there is a struggle for prominence in a magnitude never seen before in Malaysia. Just look at the Mahathir era – not a single newspaper out of line. They said what DrM wanted them to say and nothing else! The stories were consistent across the board.

But now we have Najib constantly appearing in the news to “clarify” things for his Ministers and sometimes even junior officers who are not even from his ministry! What’s happening?

Who’s fighting to be REALLY in charge now?

We could understand the flip-flops if it was Tun Abdullah because he lacked control over his minions. Najib however was expected to herald a return to strong arm politics.

But with the various pieces of contradictory news coming out of the spin factories, it would seem that Najib can’t even control his party organs. If he can’t control his media (whose editors depend on the good graces of their respective political parties to keep their jobs), how is he ever going to be able to control UMNO or the entire BN?

All these contradicting news reports hint at editorial confusion. What news to present? Which boss to listen to? And if the tightly-controlled MSM seem confused, then it certainly hints at powerful forces at work – forces that Najib is unable to hold in check – all vying for political prominence.

Not having the privilege of being privy to the workings of the high and mighty, most of us will just have to be satisfied with deducing what is really going on by reading between the lines of the MSM. And what we can see is clear enough, if we look at it with Eyes Wide Open enough.

Signs of irreparable cracks in the BN

Lack of political cohesion – even in the critical time after GE12, even after Najib has taken over as the saviour of BN – would mean that the BN is heading towards an inevitable and possibly permanent breakup. The cracks have become too obvious for even the BN-controlled MSM to hide.

The contradictory announcements we’ve been treated to thus far, taken together with the apparent in-fighting among and within the BN component parties AND the way that the once-very-powerful post of UMNO Youth leader now being almost completely ignored by the media – all point to the fact that the BN is finally imploding under the weight of its various components’ personal agendas.

Don’t believe, ah? Let’s take a very quick look at what’s happening with just ONE of the BN component parties – the MCA, the most senior and UMNO’s biggest partner.

MCA – Too-obvious political in-fighting

Since the days of Tan Koon Swan and Ling Liong Sik, MCA’s Team A & Team B have not been able to reconcile and work together. At the latest MCA party elections, this has become as clear as day with the battle lines clearly drawn and campaigning was carried out on Team loyalties and not party loyalty. So in effect, the party voted for personalities and NOT the cause (To hell with that, yeah?) Let’s vote for the people who WE PERSONALLY LIKE!

That’s a real toss-up isn’t it: sex tape fall guy and multi-billion-dollar scandal fall guy?

This resulted in the unprecedented MCA Presidential election results. Perhaps the MCA delegates thought it was the smart thing to do, electing the Prez from Team A and his Deputy from Team B. Perhaps the MCA delegates thought that this would even out the balance of power within the party. Perhaps the MCA delegates thought that it would be a good way to force the 2 Teams to work together.

Or perhaps the MCA delegates simply had a sense of humour and wanted to see how the Team A/Team B circus would play out with the clowns at the highest level.

Whatever it is, one thing is absolutely clear – with Chua Soi Lek and Ong Tee Keat constantly leading their respective teams into heated battle (for what also I dunno), they have no time or energy left to lead the country or represent the Malaysian Chinese. Don’t believe it?

Ask OTK what he’s been doing about the RM12bil PKFZ fiasco.

MCA – Just covering their own asses

After promise upon promise upon promise, after threatening the Opposition about casting doubt on his sincerity, after stating so firmly “There will be no cover-ups”, what do we have?

A half-hearted PAC enquiry, a half-revealed audit report and ZERO calls to accountability – all coming a year too late after OTK’s promise, made so boldly in Parliament.


The PKFZ lost BILLIONS of taxpayer’s ringgit, caused an international embarrassment when world-renowned port managers Jebel Ali Free Zone pulled out and there is enough open evidence of double-dealings, vested interests and plain corruption going on.

And what has OTK has been busy doing in that one year?

Plotting his Deputy Prez’s political assassination! What else could it be, with the revival of the whole sordid CSL sex tape case in the MSM? And we all know who controls the MSM, right? Certainly NOT the party Deputy Prez!

Amidst the biggest financial scandal in the 600 year history of Malaysia, THAT is OTK’s No 1 priority?!

Sigh…well, this IS Malaysia after all. We can understand his hesitation to really handle the PKFZ issue since several “tokoh” MCA were involved and were in a position to ride on the gravy train. So ok la, you want to cover your asses. You want to cannibalise your Deputy Prez to divert attention from your own impotence. We won’t pursue that issue first.

But then what about all the UMNO media attacks on the Malaysian Chinese?

MCA – Prostituting their integrity

In just one newspaper alone (Utusan Malaysia) there have been repeated attacks on the entire Malaysian Chinese community. I’ll just quote a few of their choice op-ed pieces:

“Persoalannya, kini apakah pengorbanan Melayu dikhianati oleh kaum lain?” (Melayu Dikhianati?)

When UMNO attacks the entire Chinese community in Malaysia as traitors – a term that is VERY sensitive among the Chinese – where was “the voice of all Malaysian Chinese people” – the MCA? Well, it’s obvious that the only Chinese party that has “government representation” was happy to just roll over keep their eyes closed.

“Ketika DAP, MCA, MIC misalnya makin lantang memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum mereka tanpa sedikitpun rasa kekok, tiada sebab untuk UMNO teragak-agak dan terlalu mahu menjaga hati kaum lain.” (Jagalah Hati Melayu)

This is even worse! Utusan directly attacks MCA and openly instigates UMNO to be even more brazen in their attacks on all Malaysian Chinese. Where was the MCA? Nowhere to be seen. Not even a peep from them.

“Apakah hanya kita sahaja yang sentiasa memberi dan selalunya dikorbankan atas nama keprihatinan terhadap keperluan orang lain? Pernahkah, mereka yang lain melakukan perkara yang sama. Kerana semenjak merdeka lagi, hanya satu pihak sahaja nampaknya sudi berkorban. Manakala di pihak yang lain sentiasa mahu mempertahankan haknya.” (Pertahankan satu lagi hak daripada terlucut)

This is an outrageous accusation that since Merdeka, the MCA had been the real powers in Malaysia, as UMNO had always been the one compromising to their requests. This is a blatant attempt to pitch not only the races against each other but also indirectly criticizing all non-Malay parties in the BN. WHERE IS THE MCA? Why did they NOT respond to clarify and rebut these fabrications? Were they too chicken, or were there too many skeletons in their closet that they did not dare to go against the masters who fed them their bones?

“Orang Melayu, Raja-Raja Melayu dan Kumpulan Utusan Melayu yang selama ini sangat bersabar dan sentiasa sangat berhati-hati menjaga hati orang Cina dan India, sudah tidak boleh tahan lagi.” (Melayu Jangan Jadi Bacul)

In yet another veiled threat that the “Malays are losing their temper”, MCA’s response is yet again, predictably – NOTHING. It was up to Opposition parties like PAS to stand up to UMNO and demand that they respect the other races in the country. Ironically, the MCA were the ones who later jumped to denounce the Opposition, who was merely doing the MCA’s job for them!

The coup de grace must be the op-ed by the influential Utusan columnist Awang Selamat, when he delivered two tight slaps to the MCA’s face in full view of the whole nation:

“Malah jika MCA mahu meninggalkan BN, tiada apa yang perlu dibimbangkan. Dengan adanya MCA sekalipun, BN belum tentu dapat memenangi hati masyarakat Cina (termasuk pada pilihan raya umum depan).”

MCA’s reaction?

Yet again.


Not a single word in the official media in defense of themselves or the Malaysian Chinese population.

Despite the repeated attacks on the community they are supposed to represent, the MCA’s consistent response has been merely to tuck their tales between their legs, rub their hands together, kowtow and smile at their political masters while UMNO openly, brazenly, unashamedly spreads racial hatred towards the entire Malaysian Chinese community!

Hey! The MCA owns the Star, another very obedient newspaper. They can easily use their own organ to rebut UMNO’s claims. But the Star didn’t even carry reports of Utusan’s outrageous articles, much less rebut them.

It’s obvious that the MCA have been very effectively muzzled by UMNO, to the point that they can’t even defend their own party’s dignity against UMNO’s aggression.

Malaysian Chinese Association, konon. Looking out for Chinese interests konon. Parti MCA sendiri kena bantai kaw-kaw dengan bertubi-tubi oleh kaki UMNO pun tak berani bersuara langsung. Diri sendiri pun kecut bila kena sound sikit, macam mana nak membela nasib masyarakat Cina di Malaysia? Betul kata Utusan UMNO – MCA ini betul-betul tak guna!

MCA – Betraying the Malaysian Chinese

As we have seen again and again and again, UMNO, through their mouthpieces, have repeatedly used the Malaysian Chinese as convenient whipping boys, much like Hitler victimised the Jews to unite Germans under Nazism.

The Jews then had no political party to represent them. They certainly did NOT have any representation in government to tell their side of the story. Look what happened to them eventually.

But Malaysian Chinese are being sold the story that we DO have a political party to represent their interests. The MCA claims to be the ONLY Chinese party who “has the ear of the government” and therefore are the ONLY ones who can bring up Chinese issues effectively.

But in this, the most important aspect, the MCA has repeatedly stabbed Malaysian Chinese in the back.

By asking people to vote for UMNO while at the same time being in collusion in their excesses. By claiming to represent Malaysian Chinese while continuing to kowtow to UMNO’s brazen rhetoric against them. By not speaking up for the rights of Malaysian Chinese while UMNO fans the flames of racial hatred against them.

Besides officiating at cultural events, being the Chinese proxy during elections and posing as a showpiece of the UMNO administration’s “tolerance” of the “other races”, has the MCA contributed anything to the Chinese in this nation lately?


The MCA Transport Ministers will forever be remembered as the ones who saddled the “90% of Malaysian taxpayers (who) are Chinese” with a whopping RM12billion debt that our grandchildren will be struggling to pay off long after this present generation is fertilising Malaysian soil in our graves.

MCA – imminent showdown with UMNO?

So what next? Can the MCA survive as UMNO’s senior partner in the BN? The MCA surely cannot tolerate this kind of boot-in-the-face politics anymore. There will come a time of reckoning. And it may come sooner than later because the party cannot survive like this – reduced to merely being a trophy wife.

And UMNO washing their hands of the multi-billion PKFZ scandal and throwing OTK to the wolves certainly isn’t something that true friends do, is it? Especially when it is abundantly clear the person who benefitted most from the PKFZ’s dubious transactions is a highly-placed UMNO member, whose name keeps popping up in PKFZ business deals. Surely the MCA has more dignity than to allow itself to be left with the check after the guests have ransacked the house? I hope not – for the sake of the millions of Malaysian Chinese they claim to represent.

Becuase of MCA's impotence, we can see that the inevitable break within the BN is already happening.

See how the Gerakan is moving into the vacuum left by MCA’s reluctance to take on UMNO. They are starting to make small sounds against UMNO’s aggressive hegemony. While not as significantly defiant as the Opposition or civil society yet, it’s a start nonetheless.

The vast majority of Malaysian Chinese already feel increasingly alienated by UMNO’s rhetoric. While they may not participate in loud protests, they certainly are biding their time until GE13 to unleash their unhappiness at the ballot box.

If the MCA continues to kowtow to UMNO while getting slapped (like the lowliest kind of “chat hai chai”), most of the Malaysian Chinese who do not want to support the Opposition will transfer their loyalties to Gerakan.

With the MCA already hemorrhaging support, they cannot afford NOT to make a stand against UMNO. Or else, we could be seeing that in the days after GE13, Gerakan would usurp MCA’s position as senior partner in the BN representing Chinese interests! Surely the MCA does not want to be upstaged by a comparatively small-time upstart party like Gerakan?

We have looked at just ONE of the component parties of the BN. We have not even explored any of the other parties’ fault lines.

Despite the MSM’s best attempts to spin everything positively for the BN, we can clearly see that these massive cracks appearing in the BN dwarf the fledgling PR’s own frictions. All the intra-party and inter-party fighting in the BN has become just too big and obvious for even the BN-controlled MSM to cover up.

BN as a whole is truly imploding.

If the Pakatan want to have any hope of ruling the country, they would be smart to pull their act together and repair their own cracks NOW. Because the BN certainly won’t be viable for much longer – and the PR better be ready when the time comes!