Umno-Perkasa reconciliation: All eyes on MCA, MIC, Gerakan

Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

As expected, Umno and Perkasa have reconciled, setting the stage for even more intense racial politicking and social disintegration. It also places a huge question mark on the future of MCA, Gerakan and MIC and their ability to protect and speak up for their communities.

For not only is the Umno-Perkasa patch-up a resounding victory for the conservatives in Umno led by former premier Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s multi-racial 1Malaysia plan has also been scuttled. Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan now says 1Malaysia is not about racial equality.

“The Umno-Perkasa reconciliation is very significant. In the past Umno denied links to Perkasa. But because no one believed it, it was forced to publicly reject Perkasa. Now it has publicly made up with Perkasa. What does this mean for Malaysians,” Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham told Malaysia Chronicle.

Najib and Tengku Adnan

“It means that, for whatever his reasons, Najib is still unwilling to discard ketuanan Melayu. Yet we have Soi Lek insisting that Umno has never believed in Malay supremacy. This is now proven to be a bare-faced lie. Not only has Soi Lek failed to represent the views of the Chinese community, he has even lied to them for the sake of helping Umno to retain power and this is totally unacceptable. It is time for them to take stock of themselves and what is happening to Malaysia.”

A big let down for the BN components

Apart from Chua Soi Lek, the MCA president, Gerakan chief Koh Tsu Koon and MIC head S Samy Vellu have also been ridiculed and condemned for their part in the Najib-Umno ‘sandiwara’. MCA, Gerakan and MIC had rushed to cheer-lead the announcement by Tengku Adnan that Umno would reject Perkasa and its president Ibrahim Ali. This would be the start of a new Malaysian era, they had proclaimed.

Soi Lek

“As a secretary-general I can tell you, we have nothing to do with Perkasa, and certain things Perkasa is doing we are not happy with because they are eroding our support. When they talk about my Chinese friends or my Indian friends, they make us lose more votes,” Tengku Adnan had said on September 8.

But sadly, Najib and now Tengku Adnan has let them down – without apology or explanation. On Sunday, the Umno sec-gen was forced to deny his words after Najib himself made a sharp U-turn two days ago. Now, not only has the PM’s prized 1Malaysia plan fizzled out, but it appears his New Economic Model due to be fleshed out next month will also not contain any significant reforms. This ultimately means that endemic high-level government corruption will continue to remain a staple of Malaysian life.

Tsu Koon

“I didn’t even ask members of Umno to relinquish their relationship with Perkasa. It was totally blown out of proportion by Ibrahim Ali. When we had a meeting with BN secretaries-general, we never talked even a little bit that we wanted to distance ourselves from anybody. Our policy is to be close with everybody. We should even go and approach opposition members and explain what our policies are because they are misguided,” back-tracked Tengku Adnan on Sunday.

All eyes are now on how MCA, MIC and Gerakan will respond. Will they insist on a clear-cut explanation from Najib or will they help him to excuse away his latest failure?

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