(MMO) – MCA has little choice but to take a principled stand on these and other issues, especially since the majority Malays would not likely take kindly to the party’s own racial bent.
Options appear limited for the MCA as it gears up for a pow-wow today to decide its position on two recent public rallies that cast an unwelcome spotlight on a Malaysia marred by politics and ethnic tensions.
Observers say the Barisan Nasional (BN) party, the second-largest component in the ruling pact, can no longer afford to hide in the shadows of its partners, especially with Umno progressively leaning further right.
“To survive as a political party, MCA really has to reexamine its stand vis-a-vis Umno’s rather racialist stance,” Dr Oh Ei Sun of Singapore’s S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies told Malay Mail Online.
“They need to be brave enough to stand up to Umno to the extent that even if Umno withdraws support within those (MCA) constituencies, MCA doesn’t have to worry a lot because they will still be appointed to some senator position and so on,” he added.
At today’s session, MCA leaders nationwide will huddle together in a series of meetings, hoping to formulate a unified stand on Bersih 4, the opposition-backed mass rally held last month to demand institutional reforms and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation, and last week’s “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” (United People’s Rally) or the red shirts rally, a pro-Malay gathering held to counter Bersih 4.
Although the party is expected to decide its position on both events, it is their response to the latter demonstration that analysts and opposition members think will make or break the ruling coalition member’s future.
MCA leaders have largely remained silent on the red shirts rally despite the clear racial posturing by its organisers and the tacit support from BN lynchpin Umno and Putrajaya.
Today’s meeting, however, appears to have been precipitated by the decision of their Pasir Gudang youth wing on Monday to sever ties with Najib for supporting the red shirts ― so-called for the choice of T-shirt colour by a segment of the rally participants.