Lee Hwa Beng: I am a racialist

Lee Hwa Beng

(The Heat Malaysia) – MCA veteran Datuk Lee Hwa Beng admits that he looks at everything from the racial lens and that he is a racialist.

Although he knows that MCA has lost it politically by being racial, he has not lost hope in the future generation of MCA.

“I am a racialist and I was taught that way. Even when I am in MCA it is also moving that way. However, I would never talk about my own race in front of my own race or talk about another race in front of them,” says Lee, who tries to differentiate between a racialist and a racist.

“It is good that I admit that I am a racialist and try to correct myself rather than denying that I am a racialist. That, is very dangerous that even when you know that your ways are wrong you refuse to correct them,” he says.

He laments about Umno’s dictatorship in Barisan Nasional, yet says there is no point for MCA to join forces with the opposition parties.

“It’s so sad to see MCA accepting what Umno is doing and these are things that are not palatable for the Chinese communities.

“But because they want to get the support or favour of Umno Leaders, they end up becoming apologists for Umno leaders especially when you talk about 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) related issues. This also applies to issues related to religion issues or Chinese rights.

“It makes them look worse and very sad to see that they are defending Umno leaders,” says Lee.

Lee says that Umno will never change because they need to depend on Malay votes.

“They will give a bit to the Indian communities but they will never offer the same to the Chinese,” he says.

In 2008, post 12th general election MCA’s performance was deemed the worst it has done in Malaysia’s political scene.

In 1969, MCA won 13 out of 24 seats contested (54%), whereas in 2008, MCA only won 37.5% of parliament seats contested.

The party’s performance worsened in the 13th general election with seats won not through Chinese support but Malay support.

On joining opposition, Lee says that even if MCA wants to join forces with DAP, it would not add any weight to the latter.

“With MCA’s seven MP seats, it is irrelevant. It has nowhere to go.

“Although there may be talks about MCA opening up the party to non-Chinese, but who are they (MCA members) to talk about merging with other non-racial political parties when they are no longer a party of influence,” he says.

The way MCA is behaving – not recruiting “good” Chinese to join the party whether top or lower level, Lee says that they are losing out to DAP or PKR.

Even if they are any more good leaders left inside of MCA, they are either leaving or no longer active party members due to their disappointment in how the party is behaving.

For now, Lee says that the Chinese can depend on DAP, at least for the next two elections.

“The best ideal scenario would be for the Chinese to seek for a short term refuge in DAP while the Malays do the same with Umno.

As much as he admits he is a racialist, he knows the end is coming for MCA and that there will come a time when MCA has to give in to multi racial parties.

“We have to go that way but unfortunately the real non-racial party is PKR but they stlil have a lot of flaws. However, no matter how you look at it, they are genuine.

“As we age, we change. Because there a lot of major political changes to date, the younger generation are less racial than us and this is very good. We never used to voice our opinions but this future generation, they are brave enough to voice out,” he says, a statement showing that his racialism is perhaps “softening”.