Monday, March 15, 2010

MCA polls : Insulted by 'tau fung' label

The Hainanese clan is famous for their cuisine, especially their chicken rice, and they like to be referred to as suu-kee (neighbour).

But the name-callings in the run-up to the MCA polls have hit a raw nerve among them when they have been referred to as tau fung (eccentric, in Cantonese).

The remarks were reportedly made by Petaling Jaya Utara MCA division advisor Wong Leong, following a flurry of calls for former party boss Ong Ka Ting to return to mainstream MCA politics and take over the reins once again.

It was reported that before incumbent president Ong Tee Keat made his announcement to defend the post he was having second thoughts about the presidency.

In the midst of the speculations, Wong Leong reportedly said about the president: "He's Hainanese, and they are known to be tau fung."

ong-tee-keat-hainanese-wong-leongA 'Concerned Hainanese', who declined to disclose his name, said he is perturbed over the statement by the PJ Utara politician.

Misery and disgust

He added that his his clansmen are 'extremely appalled and concerned' that such an irresponsible comment by a politician had made its way into the media.

"This, in return, has caused much misery and disgust among the Hainanese in the country.

"The blatant comment to stereotype the Hainanese in such a degrading and humiliating manner is highly uncalled forl and warrants the strongest condemnation and objection from not only the many Hainanese but all right-minded Malaysians of all races," he said.

He described the remarks as "unprofessional, humiliating, hurtful and of no basis."

He hoped there would be an apology from Wong Leong and the media that carried his remarks '"to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again."

According to the Federation of Hainanese Associations of Malaysia, there are about 300,000 Hainanese in the country, which makes up 5% of the Chinese population in Malaysia.

The Johor chai-tan

Interestingly, in another development, the campaigning by former deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek has also taken a provincial twist when he called on Johor delegates to support candidates from the state.

He had reportedly said that "one of them' would be contesting for a top post."

Chua, a former Ledang MP and minister who had started his political career in Johor is speculated to announce that he would be going for the presidency in the March 28 party polls.

Chua had also reminded the Johor members to support the state's chai-tan (menu list) – which would be disclosed before nomination day on March 22.

The former deputy, who made a comeback to MCA politics after being tainted in a 2007 video sex scandal, stunned party members when he announced his resignation and reportedly aligned himself to vice-president Liow Tiong Lai.

However, the grapevine has it that Chua would also pull the carpet from under Liow's feet and take as his running mate, instead, former first vice-president Kong Cho Ha.

Ong became party president at the party's last triennial elections in October 2008. The next polls is due next year but have been put on 'fast forward' mode after Chua and 21 central committee members resigned. — Malaysian Mirror

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