Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) hopes it could be allocated some Chinese-majority seats in the coming state elections. Three states under the administration of Pakatan Harapan – Selangor, Penang, and Negeri Sembilan – as well as another 3 states ruled by opposition PAS Islamist party namely Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will hold state elections this year.
But MCA has a huge problem. Nobody, not even its political master – the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) – wants to give any seats to the party that no longer commands any support and respect from the community that it supposedly represents. Worse, MCA made the biggest mistake when it foolishly demanded UMNO president Zahid Hamidi to resign.
MCA president Wee Ka Siong, arguably the biggest fool in the history of the political party, has bet the wrong horse when it hastily joined a 10-member rebellious group led by UMNO traitor Hishammuddin Hussein in supporting rival Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin as prime minister following the 15th General Election that produced a hung Parliament.
Muhyiddin Yassin had tried to scam the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) by claiming that he possessed 115 SDs (statutory declarations) supporting him as the prime minister, the same trick he used to cheat his way to become the 8th Prime Minister with just 108 SDs back in February 2020. This round, his dubious claim was rejected flatly by the Palace. He only has the support of 84 MPs.
Not only Wee Ka Siong had wrongly bet that Muhyiddin would become the next prime minister, the MCA president also wrongly bet that UMNO president Zahid could lose power soon. Today, Muhyiddin could be charged for corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust (CBT) linked to Covid-19 stimulus programmes, while Zahid has won UMNO presidency uncontested.
If there’s an award for the dumbest politician of the year, Wee could easily win the contest. He should not have offended Zahid by fiercely calling for his resignation, even if he was merely hedging his bet by supporting Muhyiddin. He should have kept his big mouth shut instead of barking like a mad dog demanding for the UMNO president’s head. He stupidly burned all the bridges.
Now, Wee Ka Siong is shamelessly sucking up to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim with an invitation to MCA’s Chinese New Year open house. It would be Anwar’s first attendance to the MCA’s headquarters since he was sacked by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1998. Wee hopes the premier would be flattered when showered with praises during the festival.
However, even if the Pakatan Harapan leader somehow could be intoxicated with praises from apple-polisher MCA, why should DAP surrender even a single seat for its bitter rival? Anwar should realize that DAP has sacrificed tremendously to enable him to become the 10th Prime Minister. DAP was given only 4 ministerial positions, although the party won a whopping 40 parliamentary seats.
Anwar Ibrahim’s party, PKR (People’s Justice Party), gets the lion’s share – 8 strategic ministries despite winning only 31 seats. UMNO was given 6 important ministries despite winning only 26 seats. Even Sarawak-based GPS with only 23 seats gets a staggering 5 ministers. While DAP willingly sacrificed to keep UMNO-Malay happy, it has no reason to sacrifice for MCA.
If PKR leadership feels there is a need to keep MCA happy in the name of unity government, it can always sacrifice its own seats. So far, Amanah, one of four component parties of Pakatan Harapan, has expressed the desire to defend all the 40 state seats in Selangor the coalition won in the 2018 General Election – even if there’s an alliance with UMNO-led Barisan Nasional coalition.
Pakatan Harapan, originally won 51 seats in 2018 national polls, saw its seats reduced to 40 after the infamous “Sheraton Move”, the political coup which ended Pakatan government in just 22 months after traitor Muhyiddin withdrew the support of his party Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party). Bersatu is determined to not only defend its existing 6 seats, but to capture Selangor together with PAS.
Now that Pakatan and Barisan are governing partners in the federal government, UMNO is expected to extract as many Malay-majority seats as possible in all the three states ruled by Pakatan Harapan. Assuming Pakatan is contended to defend its existing 40 seats in Selangor, it means Barisan will fight directly with Perikatan Nasional for the remaining 16 seats.
But it’s impossible that Anwar’s own party will give away state constituency like Bukit Antarabangsa, which former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali won under PKR ticket in 2018 before the traitor defected to Bersatu. If Pakatan Harapan insists to contest all the 47 seats it won in the 2018 general election before it was betrayed, UMNO would be left with 9 seats in Selangor.
In 2018, both Barisan and Bersatu won 4 seats each, while PAS grabbed 1 seat. This means UMNO is lucky if it could even defend its existing seats. Based on the recent 2022 General Election results, which saw the Malay nationalist party losing spectacularly, it’s likely it could be wiped out in Selangor if goes solo. Like it or not, UMNO has little bargaining power in seat negotiations with new ally Pakatan Harapan.
To make things complicated, Amanah would claim the same Malay-majority seats as UMNO. Negotiations could get even more complicated and hostile if UMNO gets greedy and starts demanding a swap of winnable seats from Pakatan. It might even ask PM Anwar to instruct DAP to give away some easy seats to its lapdogs MCA or MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress).
MCA has already thrown tantrums, warning that it must be allocated seats in Selangor, the crown jewel of Pakatan Harapan, otherwise it might go solo. The question is whether UMNO will sacrifice its strongholds in Malay-majority seats for MCA after all the insults Wee had thrown at Zahid. If even the UMNO president has no plan to entertain MCA’s request, why should DAP care at all?
It would be even harder for DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke to justify to his grassroots, what more 90% Chinese voters who hate MCA, as to why Chinese-majority seats should be given to the party that has betrayed the Chinese community. In fact, DAP could be punished by its own Chinese supporters if winnable seats are easily surrendered to MCA – a traitor to the ethnic Chinese.
Yes, it’s already bad for DAP supporters to support UMNO, its traditional enemy who had been using racial and religious cards to demonize the Chinese-dominated party as chauvinist, anti-Islam, anti-Malay, anti-Monarch and whatnot. It will be worse if DAP supporters are told to vote for MCA, the party that had signed statutory declarations in support of traitor Muhyiddin Yassin as PM.
The supporters of Pakatan Harapan, comprising PKR, DAP, Amanah and UPKO, might reluctantly vote for UMNO out of necessity to prevent racist bigot Muhyiddin and religious extremist Hadi Awang from taking over the country. But they definitely will not vote for either MCA or MIC, not after what the component parties of Barisan Nasional had done that almost plunge the country into a Taliban state.
Besides, why should Pakatan Harapan allocate more seats to Barisan Nasional in Selangor, or other states like Penang and Negeri Sembilan for that matter, when the same Barisan greedily refuses to welcome Pakatan as governing partner in Johor? More importantly, why surrender any seats to MCA, knowing it is ready to jump ships to Perikatan Nasional when an opportunity arises?
Sure, to defeat Perikatan Nasional, both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional must work together – leveraging on 90% of Chinese support commanded by DAP and 30% of Malay support enjoyed by UMNO. Still, it’s unclear if UMNO could rally its Malay voters to support Pakatan Harapan, even though Chinese voters have basically no problem voting for UMNO.
It’s worth noting that in the past, between independence in 1957 to at least till 2008, Chinese had been voting for Barisan Nasional specifically through MCA. But UMNO-Malays had never voted for DAP in their entire life due to decades of brainwashing started by Mahathir, who used the divide-and-rule strategy to stay in power, and eventually backfired when their own supporters voted neither UMNO nor Pakatan.
Either way, MCA is irrelevant and useless. Its own survival depends entirely on the charity of UMNO to give it safe seats. But UMNO itself is struggling to survive today. The fact that MCA president was not given any portfolio in Anwar’s Cabinet suggests that it would take more than Chinese New Year cookies and lion dance to bribe Pakatan Harapan leaders.
Instead of threatening to go solo if not given any seats to contest, as if it could split or swing massive votes away, the Malaysian Chinese Association should seriously consider not participating at all in the upcoming state elections. This will avoid the party the humiliation of losing deposit. UMNO has yet to prove it is a trustworthy partner of Pakatan Harapan, let alone the treachery MCA.
Source : Finance Twitter