Will DAP become another MCA?

KTemoc Konsiders

For me, a DAP supporter (though not a member), two troubling questions have kept popping up about my favoured political party. But before I delve into those two vexing queries, let me explain why I have for years supported and today am still supporting the DAP, considering I came from a family in Ayer Itam who originally supported MCA and then (from 1969 until 2004) supported Lim Chong Eu’s (not Lim KY’s or Koh TK’s) Gerakan.

For an Ayer Itam Chinese family, as for many Penang Chinese and Indian families, we support DAP because it has been the voice of those who saw/see themselves as the marginalized, disenfranchised, and (thus) aggrieved.

Yes, some Chinese in Malaysia have become extremely rich under the Perikatan-BN government, while many (being typical overseas Chinese) just got on with their livelihood and lives, even comfortably, though quite a few (the unseen) scrapped by day after day.

The general fact is that there’s no chronic poverty for the Chinese in Malaya (I’m going to restrict my comments to the Peninsula); please read my qualification in the word ‘general’ which means there have been a few cases of utter poverty as in the case of 2 fallen by the wayside but we cannot deny these were the exceptions.

Chinese slums in Penang
though the residents don’t starve

On my assertion that in general there is no chronic poverty in Malaysia (or at least Peninsula Malaysia) I have no doubt some Indians would disagree most vociferously. I accept their arguments, though I have attempted to trace the cause behind the rather stark difference in the fate of Chinese and Indian Malaysians in general, in an earlier post Marginalization of Indians – the true story.

When I wrote that post, I believe I was in many ways influenced by an essay I read as an HSC student, one written by (I think, ’twas years ago) Dr Ramakrishnan on the difference between Chinese and Indian attitudes, in which he epitomised the former as adhering to the Confucian advice of ‘revering the gods but keeping them at a distance’ while he lamented that in every aspects of an Indian life, religion (and its sanctified caste system) was deeply entrenched, and full of obstructing ‘sacred cows’.

Anyway, overseas Chinese have been required by survival to be pragmatic. In fact pragmatism would by necessity have to be a fundamental overseas Chinese doctrine.

Thus some Chinese (and indeed some Indians) seeing the DAP as the voice of the marginalized, disenfranchised and aggrieved, while at the same time wishing to remain pragmatic, came up with what has jokingly been referred to as the ‘Penang Strategy’, that of electing and sending DAP MPs to Parliament to ‘make mucho noise’ for their rights on education and associated issues such as schools, scholarships, recognition of degrees, etc, while electing BN ADUNs wakakaka for Penang’s economic and infrastructural development.

In other words, continue with the daily necessity of ‘3 bowls of rice’ while hoping for the best possible outcome in educational opportunities, for as I have so often written, education has been a central pillar of Chinese culture for thousands of years.

Hmmm, I wonder where in Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs would the Chinese obsession for good standard and higher education be placed, as opposed to sex addiction, wakakaka.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Thus until the 2008 political tsunami, just as an example, courageous Khalsa warrior, Bhai Karpal Singh (more popularly known as the Lion of Gelugor or in earlier times, the Tiger of Jelutong) and equally courageous Uncle Lim would be sent off to Parliament to raise hell over rights and governance issues because MCA, MIC and Gerakan parliamentarians would be obsequiously dumb, while despised Koh Tsu Koon continued to be elected as an ADUN in the expectation of him becoming Penang’s CM, at least in name, for Penang’s domestic developments.

Some UMNO hotheads in Penang had from time to time demanded the CM post for an UMNO man because it was the BN party with the most number of ADUNs in Penang (but only because it had cleverly ‘divided & conquered’ MCA and Gerakan). But Putrajaya (and before that, KL) knew the appointment of an UMNO man as CM would undoubtedly alienate the Chinese voters as well as MCA and Gerakan in Penang to an extent the two Chinese based parties – and let’s not pretend Gerakan is not 99.9% Chinese – might (a loud UMNO gasp here) combine to outnumber UMNO ADUNs just to ensure a Chinese is CM Penang.

A Chinese being CM Penang has never been an issue for UMNO but a combined MCA-Gerakan would be disastrous for its deeper strategy of keeping the two BN Chinese based parties divided and enervated, so as to continue being meek and compliant subordinates.

Yes, UMNO don’t fancy a MCA that’s too strong, arrogant or/and defiant as it saw in Lim Chong Eu (when he was MCA president), Lee San Choon, Lee Kim Sai, Tan Koon Swan and Ong Tee Keat (the last may be embraced by a desperate Najib for GE-13, only because of his personal popularity in Pandan).

The preferred type of Chinese partner UMNO love are people like Koh Tsu Koon and Liow ‘my beloved PM’ Tiong LIE, wakakaka.

There was already an unwelcome precedent in Chinese political parties and NGOs converging in political thoughts and meeting at the Hainanese Association Building just beside the Thean Hou Temple in KL on 11 October 1987.

Thean Hou Temple seen by Mahathir as Shaolin? wakakaka

The meeting was organized by Dong Jiao Zong (the association of Chinese school teachers and trustees) to protest against a policy of UMNO Education Minister, a man by the name of Anwar Ibrahim wakakaka, for what they perceived as a surreptitious move to undermine vernacular education in his ministry’s move to send about 100 non-Chinese educated principals to Chinese vernacular schools.

As mentioned, because education has always been a central pillar of Chinese culture, all Chinese based parties in Malaysia then, namely, MCA and Gerakan and other Chinese based parties (SUPP?), and those dependent on Chinese support, DAP, had no choice but to participate in the Dong Jiao Zong organized meeting if they wished to survive politically. All in all, the attendance at that gathering was 2000 strong.
Action saw Newtonian’s reaction, with a young Najib as UMNO Youth Chief’s voicing his jaguh-ness to bathe his keris with Chinese blood becoming today’s political legend, much as he may wish to forget about it.