Monday, August 31, 2009

Yum Cha: Battle between the old and new MCA

DATUK Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is half right about the leadership conflict in MCA. It is not about him or Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

It is not even a “class conflict” as claimed by his supporters. Dr Chua, a medical doctor, is hardly a grassroots leader.

It is a tussle between the old and new MCA. It is a tussle between a group of party leaders and members who want to keep the old political and business nexus alive which can be used to shelter tainted leaders and their wrongdoings and those who want the party to regain its political potency.

Some of us had poked fun at a few ex-leaders of the party for not being able to stand up against the excesses and arrogance of its coalition partner.

They were seen as carrying too much baggage to be able to do much without being told to shut up or risk their own personal scandals being exposed.

Ironically, some of the party leaders and delegates are striving to do exactly the same — reinstating morally tainted leaders back to the leadership hierarchy.

More than a thousand delegates may be enough to challenge the power equilibrium of the party.
But can they help to restore the battered image of MCA which has been long associated with its deep interest in the old patronage system?

Can these delegates help the party recapture the seats it lost in the last general election by continuing to hold on to the old MCA?

The involvement of past MCA leaders in the PKFZ fiasco is a prime example. So far, none of them has volunteered enough information to help with the investigation.

Can these tainted leaders project a solid moral authority to help ensure that this Government remains clean, honest and responsible?

Hence, the sacking of Dr Chua has given a chance for some leaders and members of the old network who were uncomfortable with the recent PKFZ expose to unite and pool together their resources in trying to return MCA back to its status quo.

The old MCA would have been able to continue to shield them from any further expose and prosecution.

Dr Chua was a good leader who was involved in a career-ending sex scandal. He calls it unfortunate, we call it tragic.

He should have accepted that the final curtain of his political career had drawn down.
He should be grateful that the party was ready to groom his son and had even allowed him to take over Dr Chua’s former parliamentary seat.

A writer asks “Can a minority of individuals punish a duly elected leader proven to have been forgiven, reflected by the voting support given to him by MCA central delegates despite them knowing the full background of Dr Chua’s controversy incident?”

Calling it an incident is a joke. But a larger question which must be asked by the members is whether the people can accept Dr Chua’s stewardship of MCA?

In the last general election, a number of leaders who had enjoyed unsurpassed support from their party grassroots were easily defeated by less prominent opponents.

Public perception is most crucial in politics. Politicians often ignore this fact at their own peril.
As a prominent leader, Dr Chua has to be fully aware of the power of perception and he must be brave enough to put his party’s interest before his.

His sex scandal does not dilute his political contribution to his state and country. But it has created a blot on his credibility which makes it detrimental for him to continue leading his party, especially in a country where some moral guardians cannot even tolerate a beer drinking model.

The current dispute between Dr Chua and Ong is very destructive to the party. However, the fault does not lie with the two leaders alone.

The disciplinary committee should not have allowed Dr Chua to contest in the last party election until he was fully cleared. They did not act in his best interest.

It would have been better for Dr Chua to be fully cleared of his offence before being allowed to make a political comeback. For this, we call it unfortunate. It was a comeback made too early.

After his election as the deputy president of MCA, only Dr Chua can confirm if he had put undue pressure on his president to consider making him one of the four ministers or be given other prominent positions.

If Dr Chua was aware of the power of public perception, he should have exercised more restraint and understanding that his request would have put the party president in a very difficult position.

The ball is now in Dr Chua’s court. His next action will determine if he has reached a point of no return. He has to choose between mediation and confrontation.

The latter, supported by those who are rallying behind the call to “Save Chua – Knock out Ong” may end up seeing MCA break into pieces and vanish into a permanent political oblivion.

This is a sad episode for the second biggest party in Barisan.

The party leadership should have focused on redeeming its political image by helping and supporting its new president to tackle the biggest financial scandal in the history of Malaysia, and not distracting him with an internal uprising and threats to displace him from his party position.

Ong must be given a chance to prove his worth in the PKFZ investigation.

29 comments:

bennyloh said...

PARTYLESS?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really care about the MCA? Two self proclaimed leaders of the comnunity, 1 is a porn star and the other accepted free rides on a private plane. Those are the facts. The rumors are even nastier if anyone bothers to dig deeper in to the PKFZ scandal. The reality is the MCA has dug it self a big hole from the last GE. Now its just digging a deeper hole for itself. The last man standing may be the president of a meaningless party. Just ask Dr Koh how that feels like. Gerak-what?

Anonymous said...

Well said KP.
MCA should give solid support to their president in the PKFZ issue instead of creating more issues for him.

Tan Teik Cheng said...

Remember this is BOLEHLAND!

In Bolehland, office boys, postmen, staymen, railway gatekeepers, etc., can become MPs or State Assemblymen. Even lawyers who had been disbarred can become ADUNS.

So how about murderers become Ministers or even PM? So why not adulterers become Deputy Presidents or Presidents since phedophiles and child rapists can also become Chief Ministers?

This is Bolehland lah.

int said...

I am shocked that you wrote such a long post on this topic. That such a meaningless personality war is happening within MCA, despite everything else thats going on in the country, is surely a sign that it is completely irrelevant. And yet you - and even Lim Kit Siang and other DAP leaders - waste precious energy and public attention span to this nonsense.

Of course this is your blog and it's your right to post about whatever you want, but I think it will be good if we can adjust our priorities and focus on important things!

Another post on that break-dancing group would be more relevant and interesting than more news on MCA leadership struggle, and I use the word "leadership" very loosely here. Maybe it could inspire the local arts scene.

Most Malaysians already accept that in West Malaysia, Barisan Nasional is an illusion, there is only UMNO. The truth is, if MCA ceased to exist, that will be one less middleman for the businessmen... they will just work directly with their UMNO masters. There is no longer any need for MCA, which is why UMNOPuteras have been becoming increasingly arrogant over the last few years.

Congratulations, Malaysian race relations has improved to the point that UMNO doesn't need MCA to grease business wheels anymore, lol...

Anonymous said...

It's reputation has been tarnished by a series of incidents. So, fights and struggles within its party are really none of our concern.

BTW, well done to Ong Tee Keat for his goodwill to uncover the truth behind PKFZ scandal.

But, I feel sorry for you too for trying to be the next 'Samy Vellu'. You're playing Jekyll and Hyde just like I do now.

P/s: Wow! Bro. KKP. I've never known that you are one of the columnists in The Star. I only know Kee Thuan Chye is one of them.

-The Under Enlightened One_

Anonymous said...

OTK's action is showing disregard to majority of the members who elected Chua. He is sending a message that "I don't care for your voice". Voters must now beware, if OTK will not care for the wish of the majority of his members, will he listen to you after getting your votes? Not only MCA candidates will be damaged by his action, BN will be affected when the next election comes.

"... Volunteered enough information to help with the investigation?" Why the issue of taking free plane rides was not volunteered until disclosed by the other party? You may say that he will pay, it's simply not right to accept the flight and keeping quiet, waiting for the invoice, he said.

"Can these tainted leaders project a solid moral authority to help ensure that this Government remains clean, honest and responsible?" Chua's crime has no victim but himself. Free plane rides from a company a minister has official dealing with will affect the public purse. There is no free lunch.

Chua did not get the MCA involved in his private affair. OTK drags the whole MCA into his private fight. He acts as transport minister, not MCA president in the PKFZ issue. If he wants backing, ask from his cabinet colleagues and the PM, not getting the MCA to issue official statement to back him in his fight.

"But a larger question which must be asked by the members is whether the people can accept Dr Chua’s stewardship of MCA?" This has already being answered by the members who elected him. Now let the MCA members take a vote whether with the allege 10 million donation and the free plane rides whether he get the same backing as Chua did. As you mentioned "Public perception is most crucial in politics."

Ong must be given a chance to prove his worth in the PKFZ investigation. Yes, like Chua, he must first come clean to prove that he can be trusted.

Bentoh said...

The use of the silly excuses to expel a party comrade is what really tickled the members.

I can't see how a fight between 2 personality in the party has any relation with PKFZ investigation...

Anonymous said...

"Dr Chua was a good leader"

Sorry to be pedantic, but by what yardstick did you come to this conclusion? What did he do for the nation, the people and the party? Was it under his watch as Minister of Health that the hologram ruling was imposed, thereby increasing the price of medicines overnight?

katdog said...

What's so sad about seeing a party of losers turn upon themselves? Pathetic maybe, but definitely not sad.

Why was Chua suddenly kicked out now? A simple mistake/oversight by the disciplinary committee? Of course not! Seriously, do you think anyone (meaning chinese voters whom MCA represents) actually gives a damn about Chua's sex DVD?

This is just the same dirty politics as usual. One politician attacking another. And all the while, the voters watch in bemusement at the insanely stupid reasons given by the politicans for their actions. Only a complete fool would not be able to see the obvious politics behind Chua's sacking.

marcus63 said...

the tao says the only constant in life is change. and certainly winds of change are not only blowing in the malay psyche, but within the chinese community too.
chinese have always been survivors wherever they live. in the past, when china was weak, the only means of survival in malaysia under the nep was through a patronage system, some call it alibaba. today, the motherland is strong, and many a chinese have made networks with the powerhouse either through business or supporting the engine of growth in manufacturing, service or administration. you can see the guilds and associations, such as klscah, acccim etc no longer needing to kowtow to mca or to umno, except only those businesses that still depended on this crony patronage to make a living. new industrialists are taking over running of these guilds as these foresighted people are able to tap the huge globalised market that is china, while those that depended only on malaysia die away in an ever shrinking market.
with these old folks leaving the scene, so will mca's influence over the chinese community, and so mca's value to umno to rein in the chinese vote bank greatly diminish.
therefore what is left for these mca people to fight over are the last remnants of easy $$$ under the umno/bn regime. this wont last long, but the pot of gold is still huge to fight over. as they say, rm12 billion is only the tip of the iceberg. getting a small % can feed a few generations.

sinleong said...

khoo,
do you trust that OTK is really investigating PKFZ?
how can he take up a free ride on the private jet of the company he was investigating?
unfortunately, OTK's credibility is now affected. he cannot be trusted. he has done so much in the PKFZ`case only to hit other MCA leaders. Not because he is totally an honest guy.

Anonymous said...

I am no lover of MCA, nor CSL or TKO! You called yourself an independent political analyst but you keep talking about CSL's sex scandal but never mentioned a word about the accusation of TKO's RM10M donation and free flights on certain companies' private jets. What kind of independent political analyst are you??

Khoo Kay Peng said...

Anon 12.53am,

I did it here:
http://khookaypeng.blogspot.com/2009/08/mca-ongs-leadership-is-losing-its.html

Are you blind or lazy?

Anonymous said...

Bentoh,

Help you with a basic a lesson on Malaysia government - The President of MCA gets to be minister in BN government.

Ong Tee Keat is now Transport Minister clearing up PKFZ issue.

If he gets knocked out from MCA President seat, means kaput his ministership. Also means kaput PKFZ investigation to the end.

You and I know anything needs done come and go with the individual. If the next Minister is frontman for previous Tranport Minister, we're screwed as usual.

Call me selfish, but I want PKFZ money stealers be brought to justice and I'm prepared to support OTK to do just that.


RAKYAT

Anonymous said...

Dear KP,

Thanks for the well written piece of information about the current situation in MCA. I'm a MCA member and I agree with what you have written. In fact I have emailed your blog information to many MCA comrades and friends to indicate to them that even a political analyst like you and as a 3rd party can observe and share fair comments about our current struggle in MCA. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear KKP,

Despite having written many political books you must be politically naive to think that Chua's sacking is a moral issue and not politically motivated. What happened between 2 consenting adults 2 years ago is no longer an issue and Chua's re-election attests to it. The difference between Chua and maybe 90% of the MCA leaders is that he was caught and they were not. But then, his privacy was violated in a criminal way.

Chua was sacked because of political expediency and the sex DVD used as an excuse. Either you're politically naive or you've been well paid to polish OTK's shoes as a columnist in The Star. Which is it, KKP?

Winston

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the rationale in the blog.
It seems that is the MCA way in sacking the Vice President: Set him up in a sex scandal and sack him on moral ground. The origin of the whole low down process by top MCA mandarins has been twisted on virtue of public morality. I think the eunuchs who set up the scandal are immoral and ought to be sacked from the party instead. Who is being protected here? Where are the cameramen who were infringing into the privacy of someone? They are also protected by MCA? This is real dirty politics and will be cited by everyone from this day forwards. Our children will be taught the denial of natural justice from the case. Forgive the mandarins; they are eunuchs afraid of thunders striking the truth on them.

Anonymous said...

To me, it's 2 crooks fighting to be the big boss of a crooked legalised gangster. What old vs new? Nonsense.

Ask any biz-men and see how many believe Ong Tee Keat took the RM10 mil and it was for a purpose.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with Anon 12.53 that someone has been pro certain person lately.

Noted a certain new column in the Toilet paper called "Yum Cha".

Anonymous said...

I use to disagree with you in many issues, nevertheless I agree with you on this one.

However some MCA people seen to be proud of their actions by putting tinted Politician the like of CSL who's moral behavior being question to their top leadership, with that kind of mentality, they expect the community to support them. Either is a joke or insulting the intelligent of the society.

To me, the accusation on OTK is a conspiracy from Tiong King Sing and Dr Chua's gang to dispose off OTK to cover up their own interest, it is obvious isn't it. Any sensible people will support OTK to complete the investigation of the PKFZ scandal. The accusation on him is other matter and have to be deal separately.

Of course MCA's enemies would prefer Dr Chua to lead MCA as he will be easier to slaughter compare to OTK who may revive MCA fortune which will be a threat to his political opponents.

Anonymous said...

Where are the Chua Soi Lek's supporters..??? You voted him in....
Now make your stand..!!

OTK is playing the "Art of Bush"...!!
American George Bush..!

I don't even trust my "own shadow".

Khoo Kay Peng said...

Winston,

You must be learning very fast from Tiong. Accusing someone of taking money is the easiest way to hurt someone's reputation. But it does not work on me.

Who said that Chua's case is not politically motivated? It is politically motivated. It includes Chua's reaction, the planned EGM by his supporters and everything else. I leave these problems to a MCA member like yourself to worry.

As a Malaysian public, we want the current president of MCA to be given a chance to see through his promise to deliver us transparency and accountability in the PKFZ investigation. To us, the RM12 billion is more important than Tiong's RM10 million donation or Chua Soi Lek's sacking.

Two consenting adults? Not okay if one is married or both are married but not to one another. Moreover, if the person is a public figure. Dare you conduct a referendum only in Johor?

My advice to you is to catch the 90% MCA leaders who were involved in adultery on video. The fact that his privacy is violated in true. I support for the culprits to be caught. But his sex scandal is also wrong and morally damaging to his career.

Winston, you should prove that I was paid to write the articles. If not, your action is just going to tarnish your image.

Am I politically naive to support a minister who has promised me and other Malaysians to get to the bottom of the biggest financial scandal in Malaysia or a person who is fighting for his own political survival and is very acceptable to UMNO?

You must be kidding me.

CKSF said...

Dr KKP says:
It is a tussle between the old and new MCA
it is the eternal hegemony between the chinese in general in the world LOL

Anonymous said...

KKP,

You like many others been deluded by Ong on PKFZ. He was never at the forefront of getting to the bottom of the financial scandal. All he did was to allow the release of the PWC report under pressure from the opposition. That's as far as his contribution goes.

The 3 task forces he set up were to improve PKFZ's governance and performance. Their scope of works was never to dig for wrongdoings and this was made clear to the task force. (If you want proof, I'll dig up LKS's blog on this). However they went ahead and revealed the shady deals anyway. It was beyond Ong's control. He was an accidental anti-corruption crusader for PKFZ and undeserving of being labelled as such.

As a Minister who solicited free jet rides from a contractor under his jurisdiction, his moral integrity is questionable. Such acts would have justified being pulled down from office in a real democracy but this is Malaysia.

Why did Ong open another battle front with Chua at a time when he was engaged in a do or die battle with Tiong? He knew full well the turmoil it would cause and he needs another do-or-die fight like he needs a hole in the head.

To divert attention from the RM10 million allegation? Is this a reasonable analysis of the situation?

Winston.

Anonymous said...

Is easy to make accusation without proof. So it is unfair to blame OTK just based on accusation from Tiong.

Further more , Tiong is an interested party , i.e his company is being investigated over the PKFZ issue. Therefore , his accusation of RM10Million is also not genuine , meaning that he may be using this allegation to blur the efforts by OTK.

My view is that :-

1) let OTK to continue with the investigations of PKFZ ;

2) on the RM10Million donation , let the police and the civil to decide ;

3) on Dr. Chua's expulsion from the party , let the central delegates to decide.

Kudos to you KKP for coming up with this good article.

Anonymous said...

This is time to scrapped the human barnacles off MCA.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

A SHOWDOWN TO FROWN UPON

In the final grand showdown
Will it be a fight with the pants down
Providing a show that most people frown
To see the whole organisation structure drown

(C)Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 030909
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Thur. 3rd Sept. 2009.

Anonymous said...

In Malaysia unfortunately we do not have the culture in which tainted politicians/public figures should leave office/withdrawn from the glare of publicity.The deep rooted political system in MCA's delegates of 2k persons to picj the leadership ended un a tainted leader been picked as its deputy president.

I fully agreed the drastic actions initiated by OTK but cautious how far he can go without the undue pressure from MCA big brother in UMNO.I hope he can persist and get rid of all the rottens MCA had since its founding 60 yrs ago.

I got the feelings that without erternal interferences,OTK will have a free hand to go all out and win big in the current tussle.
Good luck to a very very clean MCA