Overseas M’sians indignant with MCA

Malaysians abroad are insulted over MCA’s claim that they are ignorant about current affairs in the country.

(Free Malaysia Today) – MCA president, Chua Soi Lek, swiftness in clarifying the party’s stand on overseas voting came a little too late. Word had already reached Malaysians abroad and they have taken the party to task for it.

MCA central committee member, Ei Kim Hock, told the parliamentary election reform panel yesterday morning that Malaysians living abroad were unqualified to vote as they were “out of touch” with the country’s current affairs.

He added that MCA’s research had shown that most of these Malaysians only received information from dubious sources which may not paint a true picture of the situation here.

Within a few hours Chua chastised Ei for his improper explanation and clarified that MCA opposed overseas voting because of the “logistical nightmare” and resources needed for its success.

But by this morning FMT had received emails from Malaysians mostly residing in the US and UK expressing indignance over Ei’s statement.

Slamming Ei’s comments as “ludicrous”, “rhetorical” and “patronizing”, these Malaysians stated that they made an extra effort to keep abreast of Malaysia’s current affairs because of the very fact that they live abroad.

They also emphasized that their news sources comprised mainstream and alternative news portals, TV channels and blogs including Buletin Utama, Harian Metro, The Star, FMT, Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and NST.

Juliana Zulkifli, an academic in Essex, said that Ei’s statement ‘is expected’ from a Barisan Nasional (BN) component party that stands to lose the most when Malaysians abroad vote.

She also noted its irony given the amount of effort and money spent by BN over the past decade in coming to “talk and update” the overseas Malaysian community of matters back home.

“The statement also seems counter-intuitive to movements such as the overseas Umno, MCA and MIC clubs sprouting here which are not exclusively helmed by students,” Juliana said.

“If BN is actively engaging members of the Malaysian community abroad then why deny them the right to vote?” she added.

MCA ‘clueless’

Ken Vin Lek, a student in Warwick, pointed out that overseas Malaysians encompass thousands of students sponsored by the Public Service Department and other government-linked companies who would one day return to Malaysia.

“So if they’re trying to say prospective employees don’t know Malaysia merely because they reside abroad then they’ve not kept up with times and are not apt to lead a nation.

“News sources on Malaysia are easily accessible via the internet and scholars are more than able to afford smartphones and laptops to keep up with such information,” he said.

Susan Abrahm, an author in Dublin, added that MCA has a “very narrow view” of how the digital word works and is in danger of  forgetting the monumental power of sharing sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Aaron Nair, a student in Boston, further flayed MCA for “patronizing the intellect of overseas Malaysians” and wondered if the party was more clueless about the situation back home than “us far-flung Malaysians”.

“I have a keen objective view of ongoings back home and I give wind to both alternative and mainstream media although we all know who are the soothsayers and who are the real deal,” he said.