Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the 63rd MCA annual general meeting when he was told about the need to build more Chinese national vernacular schools (SJKC) and for the UEC to be recognised by public universities, both of which Barisan Nasional’s GE14 Manifesto has addressed.
In the 13th General Election (GE13), MCA suffered a big blow when they lost 108 of the 127 Parliamentary and state seats that they contested in, making the party’s failure rate at 85 per cent.
For the upcoming 14th General Election, MCA are urging the Chinese voters to vote for Chinese-based BN parties so that they would not lose their political voice in the government.
MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai intimated that caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has informed him that without the Chinese support to Barisan Nasional (BN), the ministerial positions held by MCA cannot be retained after GE14.
“Najib recently admitted that, if BN still does not get the support of Chinese voters, it will be difficult for him to retain 4 to 5 Ministerial positions for the Chinese community.
“He conveyed a clear message to the Chinese community, that is, the Chinese representation in the government is likely to be seriously affected by the election results. The political reality is cruel. The Chinese community must be cognisant that we are at a very critical situation.
“I can frankly inform you that when the Prime Minister made this comment, I felt very down. The Chinese are at a tipping point. I would not like to see the political rights of the Chinese community plunging into the abyss. Therefore, I hope MCA to fight till the end upholding the party’s agenda,” he said as reported by Berita Daily.
As MCA revealed their manifesto outlining 10 promises and 10 initiatives for Chinese voters, will it be reason enough for Chinese voters to return to BN?
“Whatever MCA Is Doing, They Tell The Truth And Not Lies, Unlike DAP”, Says Former DAP Member
Despite the positive outlook for MCA, the reality is that not all Chinese voters will return to MCA regardless of what is being offered in their manifesto.
Former publicity secretary of Selangor DAP Tan Tuan Tat said that the majority of those that he knows felt betrayed by DAP for not using the rocket logo that they had fought so hard for in 1966 in this upcoming GE14.
“For so many years ago, the rocket logo has been there and now suddenly they are saying that a vote for PKR is a vote for DAP.
“A vote for PKR is not a vote for DAP, what are they talking about? For many of us, we feel that it is actually a betrayal,” he said while questioning whether the party actually got the agreement from the grassroots members about the use of the PKR logo.
“So don’t be surprised if a lot of Chinese are going to spoil their votes.”
Tan also said that BN’s offering to finally recognise the UEC is a very good thing as he noted that economy and education are the most important for the Chinese.
As such, he looks at Najib as a good PM who listens to the voice of the public and is certainly doing something for the people as he has worked towards meritocracy.
“Mahathir was the one who doesn’t recognise the UEC. When they vote for opposition, they are voting against the UEC, so they cannot blame the present government for not recognising the UEC when Mahathir did not recognise it for 22 years.
“The present PM that we have he is actually listening to the cries of the public but the hard core leaders who do not like what he is doing would spin lies against him,” he said.
Because of the confusion emanating from the misinformation, many Chinese youth voters have reportedly been uninterested in the current politics and Tan has encouraged them to actually do more reading so that they could form their own thoughts.
“Many youths are not well-informed; they only hear and know things that are being talked about here and there so they need to read more and they need to use their brains to think,” he said.
However, he is hopeful that Chinese youths would make the right decision as he relayed his encounter with a Penang youth who said that it is time for a government change for the island state after two terms of being under DAP.
“”We made the wrong decision. It has been two terms already so we want to change for the better because we have seen what the BN government has done for the other states and they are prospering”,” Tan relayed what the youth had said to him.
As Tan said that DAP has deviated from their socially democratic principles, he encouraged Chinese voters to give MCA a chance, a party whom had helped their forefathers when they first came to Malaysia from China.
“The third and fourth generation of Chinese should look back in history and appreciate MCA as it was the party that had actually helped them.
“Whatever MCA is doing, they tell the truth and not lies, unlike DAP who has already deviated.
“Voters should open up their eyes and mind and should not vote emotionally just because they do not like the present government,” he said.
His last words of advice to all Chinese voters out there is for them to realise that the government has already done a lot of good things for the people and that Najib’s administration has been patching up the holes that were left by the administration of a 22-year leader.
“The Chinese have to open up their eyes and mind when they come to vote and they have to really think what is Mahathir’s motive being inside the opposition.
“I’m not pro of any party but I’m just saying, as Malaysians we all should speak up for the betterment of the country.
“I just don’t want to see the country go down without understanding what the government has done for the people,” he advised.
MCA Will Win By Default Because Of The Disarray In The Opposition
Political analyst Prof Dr Hoo Ke Ping on the other hand said that regardless of what MCA has to offer in their manifesto, they will win by default in the upcoming GE14.
“The Chinese understand now that they were wrong when they voted for PAS because even though 90 per cent of them were against BN in GE13, they failed to change the government.
“When they failed, they reflected and now their view and zealousness has changed.
“The semi-urban and rural voters have been returning in a big way because they are fed up in the last five years but the urban voters may be slower and less receptive in returning,” he said.
Prof Hoo also said that MCA’s manifesto does not appeal to the Chinese voters because MCA did not analyse the reason why they were rejected in the previous election and that offering to recognise UEC will not be a game-changer for MCA.
“UEC is a very small issue but it is played up emotionally because 95 per cent send their children to national type school or national school and only four to five cent send to UEC, so it is a peanut issue but it still becomes an issue because it emotionally latent and the Chinese educated have played it up.
“So when BN promised to recognise UEC, which is the first time they said they want to do it, it is to show that they are a government that is more open minded and opening up for the Chinese,” he observed.
He also noted that while MCA will win by default, the top leadership of the party has been very vocal in the past four months, surpassing their efforts in the past four years, which has not been strong enough.
“In the last four months, whatever they have said surpassed the last four years and this shows that MCA now understands a bit about the Chinese aspiration about wanting them to be vocal.
“Regardless, MCA will win by default because Chinese voters have come to understand that Umno will rule beyond GE14 since they failed to change the government in GE13 and that the opposition is in disarray with Mahathir coming in and Pas splitting from the opposition.
“So they are shifting, withholding and not talking about politics, and are not going out to vote,” he concludes with his take on Chinese voting patterns come GE14.
“The urban Chinese voters were 90 per cent against BN in the last election; this time around it would be around 70 to 80 per cent while a minimum 30 per cent of semi-urban and rural voters will return to BN.”
While the political pundits have weighed in on how the odds will play out and their predictions on how Chinese voters will react, let’s hear from MCA themselves to speak on record about their manifesto pledges.
MCA Has Been Providing Check And Balances Within The Government – Ti Lian Ker
MCA Religious Harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker is optimistic about the outcome of the upcoming GE14 as he said that the Chinese who are more professional, critical and objective are beginning to see the relevance and role played by MCA in representing the voice of not only the Chinese community but the non-Muslim and the non-Malays as well in the BN government.
“This is especially so when the executives are mainly Malay and very often the voices, aspirations and expectations of the minorities are not being conveyed.
“When MCA has been absent in the government representation because they lost seats at the state and federal levels, many people realised that MCA had provided services on the ground, where the same cannot be said for the opposition.
“They (the opposition) are only politically high profile but their presence on the ground is very minimal, lacking and very wanting,” he expressed.
Out of the 10 promises that MCA has made in their manifesto, the first two points – being the moderating voice and providing check and balance – might be the strongest point to draw voters back to MCA.
Datuk Seri Ti emphasised that MCA has been playing the role as moderating force and check and balance within the system and government by reminding the government institutions and executives to execute to implement any policies along the federal constitution in the spirit of Rukun Negara.
“We have been successful in providing the check and balance particularly in an environment where it involves sensitive issues such as religion.
“I can say that not only the Chinese, but Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians as well look up to MCA to take the lead when there is a need for a voice of moderation – it may not have met the expectations of all but the role has been done and performed by MCA many times,” he said while adding that the top MCA leaders have been very vocal in articulating the expectations and have been effective in representing the minorities’ interest and conveying their expectations.
The prime example that Datuk Seri Ti gave was how MCA managed to convince the Prime Minister and Minister of Education to approve 15 new schools, which was unprecedented and has never been done before.
As such, he said that votes from the Chinese community, which forms the largest minority influence, is utterly important especially now with the multi-cornered split of the Malay votes into multi parties.
“This is the opportunity for the Chinese to endorse moderation upheld by Najib, who walks the path of 1Malaysia which is an inclusive policy ensuring this country is not Malay-centric, instead of being distracted by other issues played up by the opposition.
“They missed the opportunity to endorse the 1Malaysia concept that Najib proposed in GE13 because they fell for DAP’s ‘ubah’ rally because they thought that the government was about to change.
“They chose a new government over the policy promise by the PM and now it is up to them if they want the continuation of moderation brought by Najib or they want to go back to Mahathirism or ketuanan Melayu by Mahathir.
“DAP cannot stop people like Mahathir and the party has made a lot of compromises since Mahathir has taken over Pakatan Harapan,” he said.
Before ending the interview, Datuk Seri Ti said that despite popular belief, Chinese voters are not very smart and astute when it comes to politics if they refuse to give the mandate to more Chinese representation in the government.
“If they miss this opportunity to take ownership of the government and be a voice within the government then they (Chinese voters) are not very smart after all,” he concluded.
Source : Malaysia Today