MCA – A Party Full of Merry Men

By Johan Brendon

The misdemeanours of the MCA’s ex-President presently charged with corruption and an incumbent priapic President caught with his pants down have made MCA a laughing stock. Yet, it does not appear to perturb its members. MCA’s besmirched reputation is however not solely attributed to the transgressions of its Leaders.

MCA comes across as subservient to UMNO and the ex-President’s impending corruption trial has reinforced the impression that the top echelons of the Party are only interested in enriching themselves. The aforementioned may be defamatory but the truth is, the accrued negative projections are chipping away MCA’s integrity, thus resulting in haemorrhaging the Chinese support.

And before the MCA enthusiasts get too excited and cite the recent by-election win in Sabah, they would be disappointed to learn that BN’s successes had more to do with the Orang Asli support and the shenanigans in the Opposition Parties rather than the resurgence of the Chinese electorate. In actual fact, in the Malay-Chinese dominated areas, BN won with only a slim majority.

So how can one explain the ‘unconditional’ loyalty of the members? One could hazard a number of theories. The first theory relates to family tradition. This group of members merely follow their parents and their parents’ parents in their support for MCA.

The second theory refers to the calibre of the ‘shop floor’ members. ‘Stupid’ immediately springs to mind but one hastens to add – it would be uncharitable and indeed offensive to use such a word. And equally, ‘illiterate’ is the wrong choice of word because it would be an insult to people who are illiterate. People who are illiterate can be both sensible and clever. The late Loh Boon Siew, a multi-millionaire, is a good example. Perhaps, ‘ignorant’ is more appropriate. An ignoramus is often referred to someone who is poorly informed. Thus it is within this context that one hypothesises that the ‘shop floor’ members’ loyalty is due to ignorance.

The third theory concerns the category of members previously alluded to – the top echelons. These elites have everything to gain to be loyal members as it appears they can have the cake and eat it. But before they get too exercised by what they have read and have writs flying, one suggests that they should calm down. These are just theories and not aspersions. They ought not to be so sensitive. In any case, theories are there to be proved or disproved.