Malaysiakini Letter

Umno’s refusal to condemn rally is MCA’s failure

Howard Lee Chuan How  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Post Bersih 1, 2, 3 and 4, memories and fears of the May 13 incident are no longer something MCA or Umno can use to scare and bully Malaysians into submission and silence. Malaysians have proven time and time again that the people hitting the streets can be, and have been peaceful; and so it should be.

Umno, in facing the biggest internal party crisis it has faced in decades as well as the fear of the loss of power, it has resolved to employ the oldest tactic in the playbook. Since the people are now immune and inoculated from the fears of the past, Umno feels a desperate need to unleash another ‘fear factor’ to reignite that fear.

MCA, in its struggle to maintain a shred of relevance, has no choice but to reconsolidate forces with its paymaster Umno in a last fight for survival. It is for this that the proposed Sept 16 Bukit Bintang gathering was organised; to reinstill fear and animosity between the races as without it, Umno and MCA would no longer have any reasons to exist.

It is absolutely senseless and shameless that MCA chief Liow Tiong Lai is blaming DAP for the emergence of the red shirt race rally’, just to appease Umno, its political master.

Perak DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) is of the view that, if MCA still wants to remain relevant in Malaysian politics of today and tomorrow; and want to preserve what minute dignity it may have left; nothing short of an ultimatum to Umno will cut it.

On the premise of the rally being racially provocative and promoted as an anti-Chinese act of vengeance, MCA must demand the following:

  • That Umno condemns the ‘red shirt race rally’ as un-Malaysian,
  • That Umno orders all party cadres to stand down from attending the rally, and
  • That Umno apologises for condoning a racially exclusive ‘public gathering of vengeance’.

Continued refusal by Umno to meet these demands by Sept 14, (two days before the rally) will be solely and squarely the failure of MCA; thereby MCA must relinquish all cabinet positions and executive appointments in both federal and state governments for their failure to uphold their party’s founding purpose.

Fear as an electoral instrument

MCA’s modus operandi for all these years has been to use the racial fear created by their partner in crime Umno, to keep the Chinese community under its tight leash. MCA’s claims would be, that only MCA can ensure Chinese rights are protected and Chinese interests are defended. The trade-off for the said protection and defence is the acceptance of an unequal and unconstitutional citizenship labelled as the social contract.

Umno’s standard operating procedure is to show that the non Malays can be controlled by showcasing the obedient, fearful and silent MCA, MIC to their base, denoting Malay supremacy with Umno at the helm. It is much easier to appease the MCA, MIC elites than to be truly inclusive of all Malaysians; plus the Umno base would never fully accept a non-race based, equal citizenship under the law.

DAP’s founding dream has always been to build a Malaysian Malaysia where WE unite, regardless of race, to celebrate OUR differences and leverage all that we share together for success. This dream became more and more REAL, after each Bersih rally. Umno/BN sees that; and that is their ultimate nightmare. The more united Malaysians become and the less divided we are, the more irrelevant Umno, MIC and MCA becomes.

The psychological instrument of fear they have been using against the people for all these years is turning around to bite back at their own insecurities. Umno and MCA are now shaking in fear; they need a new bogeyman to regain control.

Pot calling the kettle black

MCA’s use of the ‘red shirt rally’ to bring back fear among the Chinese, is nothing more than fear-mongering. It can’t be denied that is genuine fear on the streets of untoward incidents happening, judging by the provocative way in which the rally is promoted. But let’s not for one second be duped into thinking that the racial hatred projected by the organisers are the views of all, or even a majority of our Malay brothers and sisters.

It is bad enough that Umno is sanctioning the racially-charged rally through its refusal to condemn it. But it is equally bad, if not worse, that the opportunistic MCA, is joining the Umno chorus in blaming the DAP for sowing the seeds of racial discord, thereby being the instigator of this proposed rally.

DAP does not, and has never gone around telling the Chinese community that only DAP can defend and protect the Chinese from Umno and the Malays. It is the MCA that has been doing that and MCA’s sole raison d’etre has been that for decades. DAP has been steadfast and consistent that it upholds and defends the rights of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, gender or background.

DAP does not claim to exclusively represent any single ethnic community; and neither does it treat the very community that it claims to represent, as incapable of defending its own rights or interest; It is the MCA who claims that the Chinese community would be worse off if not for MCA. DAP believes in the ability of all Malaysians to safeguard and protect the Malaysian identity together, regardless of ethnicity and cultural differences.

The MCA chief’s baseless and idiotic accusations seem like nothing more than a leaf out of Utusan and Umno’s book. Being a spineless and racially exclusive party with the sole purpose of existence being to fatten its ruling elite, MCA should take a look in the mirror before it accuses anyone else of such nonsensical charges.

If MCA wants to play the idiotic blame game of scapegoating DAP for its own failures, it only has itself to blame for the punishment it will get through the ballot box.

What to do on Sept 16

On this Sept 16, fear not of the hatred and discord sowed by Umno, MIC and MCA and their divisive race-based politics; fear not of those who are gathering on Sept 16 as the good and the righteous will always prevail.

On Sept 16, each and every Malaysian should be celebrating the union of three nations to form Malaysia. It is not a day to fear anyone or anything; it is a day for us to rejoice that we are a plural, colourful and vibrant people who remain resilient despite negative powers at play.

I urge Malaysians of all races, if you want to defend this sweet land we call home; if you love your fellow Malaysians of all colours and creeds; on Sept 16, give those who are out to provoke and incite a wide berth, and allow them the space to vent their baseless rage. They are after all Malaysians, and it is after all their constitutional right that we will defend even if we abhor in their cause.

On this Malaysia day, with an open heart to listen and learn, ask a fellow Malaysian from a different ethnicity, something deeper about their culture and heritage. We may be more racially polarised than ever as a nation; but perhaps it’s not too late to start closing that gap. It is certainly never too late to get to know a fellow Malaysian; what better time to start than on Malaysia Day.


HOWARD LEE CHUAN HOW is Perak DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) chief and state assemblyperson for Pasir Pinji, Perak.

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