Saturday, March 27, 2010
Questions for the MCA presidential candidates
Are you sick of the “Chinese Opera” in the MCA recently? I, for one, am suffering from an overdose of news, articles and opinions about the ongoing debacle in the MCA. It's silly: I should spare myself of such suffering, and just mind my own business and join many others out there who had written off MCA as being irrelevant.
After all, many have dismissed MCA as not representing its original cause, that is, fighting for the majority of the Chinese. So whether they support the party or not, it makes no difference: MCA has not been able to and cannot do much for them.
The easiest way out will be to join in the apathy. However, my idealism tells me not to give up hope just yet in seeing reforms in this 60-plus-year-old party. The fact is that whether we like it or not, the policy-making decisions and actions of some of these leaders can still affect the lives of many ordinary people. Hence, I have to claim my right in wishing that good, righteous leaders be fairly elected and not let the wicked thrive.
I am a typical youth who has been quietly following developments in MCA. I, am, perhaps, just one strange, naïve citizen who still appreciates the things that MCA has done all these years, no matter how little. I do not get paid for writing here and I have no interest in seeing whoever wins in MCA.
I wonder why is it that many writers and reporters have been diligently analysing, debating, even forecasting on the possible outcome of the MCA polls. But why is it that no one bothered to find out how do we, the rakyat, generally feel or think about each candidate running for the top posts in MCA?
Of course, the political savvy will tell me that it does not matter what the rakyat generally think because, after all, it is the MCA delegates who hold the power to decide who gets to lead the party. I accept that but I would like to remind delegates that there is no point electing the wrong people to helm MCA, and see the party wiped out in the next general election.
So, delegates -- why don’t you ask the people around you what do they think about each candidate? Find out especially what are the wishes of the younger generation (I try not to be biased here since I am a youth myself but surely, the electoral statistics ought to convince you why you have to adopt such an approach).
So many reports have been written about the ongoing MCA power struggle to the extent that we do not know which one to believe. So I have chosen to write for a more constructive purpose here.
For the benefit of those who do not have the luxury of time to digest much information, allow me to share with you some brief observations and the pros and cons of the three main candidates. I also have some queries for each of them.
I trust that you are all intelligent readers who can figure out who is who even without naming the candidates. I must admit that I may have my own prejudices as I am only human, so please forgive me if there is any mistake.
Candidate A : The saviour, healer or old recycled ‘administrator’ ?
● A crisis-healer to restore dignity to the party.
● A reluctant saviour who sacrifices his quiet retirement, personal pride and past glory to run for office.
● He can bring stability, peace, and unity to the party.
● He has a good track record as past president and can put in place certain reforms.
● He has the open support of certain veteran party leaders
● MCA lacked talents so this past leader needs to be recycled.
● He is seen as an obvious lackey of certain Big Brothers or tai kors.
● There is fear of recurrence of dynasty.
● Buried issues (for example, “snoop squad”, sex tapes) and other “old wounds” likely to be resurrected.
● Some believed it is unfair to let this candidate have a second bite at the cherry after having been in power for five long years.
● Some regarded this candidate as the ultimate trouble-maker, who was responsible for the current MCA leadership crisis by putting in the same people who created the chaos.
● Some observed that during this candidate’s tenure as president, there were no noticeable achievements, especially bold political reforms.
● There are allegations of media manipulation and infiltration of Chinese guilds and associations during this candidate’s rule.
● Some resented his trademark timidity.
● There are allegations of his links to contenders who have chameleon-like loyalty.
Queries for Candidate A:
Why could you not have done more during your tenure as president (when the length of time was considerably longer than the current incumbent president)?
Why did you not help to negotiate among the warring factions and offer advice and suggestions if you really meant well for party?
Have you been preparing behind the scenes for your return?
If you are such a principled man as some have claimed, why the about-turn? Why go back on your promise not to interfere?
Did you really retire with a “past glory”?
What good can it do for you to be openly supported by certain party veterans who had been involved in power struggles themselves in the past?
Should you win the presidency and the party lose in the next general election, are you going to resign again?
Is your return to helm the MCA meant to protect and appease those who hate reforms?
Will your return really help MCA to woo back rapidly declining Chinese support?
Is there any truth to allegations of your past misuse of power in relation to the change of fire extinguishers in buildings, and awarding money-lending, pawnshop licences and the Indah Water consortium contracts to cronies?
Can you please declare that you have no interest whatsoever in the PKFZ (Port Klang Free Zone) project?
Candidate B: The seasoned politician or a wife betrayer-cum-porn star?
● He is said to be enjoying wide grassroots support going by the frequent media coverage of him shaking hands, patting backs and hosting dinners.
● He is praised as somenone who never admits defeat.
● He achieved an amazing feat for having won previously as deputy president, notwithstanding his admitted infidelity
● This candidate is plagued with a sex scandal, thus, party image will be damaged if such a person is allowed to continue being a leader; voters in the next general election who value faithfulness in relationships may punish MCA for keeping such “baggage”
● There is an allegation that the sex scandal involved acts that are punishable under existing laws.
● The general public perception is that this candidate was hardly remorseful for betraying his family, thus creating serious doubts about his ability to handle party and national affairs faithfully).
● Some perceived this candidate as a sly strategist who was instrumental in calling for the EGM on Oct 10, 2009, and then pushing for fresh polls.
Query for Candidate B:
Can you consider retiring soon and allow your junior to take over (you can still guide him to serve the party well if you really love the party)?
Candidate C: The bold reformist or arrogant tyrant ?
● This candidate is described as dynamic and outspoken.
● He is consistent with his stand to deliver what were promised.
● He had initiated plans to give more voting rights to members, hence signalling his determination to introduce democratic practices.
● His famous quote : “What is truth cannot be false, what is false cannot be truth, what is true cannot be untrue and what is untrue cannot be true.”
● He claimed to have the support of the man in the street (but not tycoons).
● His notable efforts to reach out to both English and Mandarin-literate community, and even to non-Chinese communities.
● He is perceived by some as a believer in truth, integrity and equality for all.
● He is best known for his role in revealing the details of the colossal PKFZ fiasco.
● He enjoys the open support of certain distinguished community leaders.
● He lost a “no confidence” vote in the Oct 10, 2009 EGM.
● His internal reshuffling of the party has ruffled too many feathers.
● Is perceived by some to be “foolishly courageous” in stirring the hornets’ nest over the PKFZ fiasco.
● Perceived by some to be a lone ranger, with an abrasive personality.
● Regarded as a tyrant who hardly listened to followers and could not stand being challenged or questioned.
● He was repeatedly betrayed by comrades out to destabilise his reforms.
● Some blamed the chaos in the party on his personal vendetta with a scandal-tainted senior party leader.
● An obvious underdog against certain mainstream newspapers (controlled by tycoons and tai kors who disliked him) which have been spewing out negative and lop-sided reports.
● He has no open support of certain party veterans who may have skeletons in the cupboards themselves.
● Has no time to form alliances to garner grassroots support like shaking hands, patting backs, and hosting dinners.
Queries for Candidate C:
Why did you hold on to your post despite having lost a “vote of no-confidence” (many recalled you saying that you will quit even if you lose by one vote)?
How can people be convinced that you should still stay as president after what you have said? Was there any apology or clarification in the media about this?
How else can you convince your delegates that you should be given a chance to realise your true potential and capability as a leader of integrity?
Have you really buried the hatchet with your former deputy or will you forgive your detractors and dissidents and let them off the hook, should you become president again?
There were allegations about your free jet ride from a tycoon who is under MACC investigation and about the RM10 million contribution – was any investigation carried out, and if so, what was the outcome ?
What exactly are your promised “unfinished reforms”?
Should you lose in your MCA presidential bid, will you continue to fight on for the rakyat as an independent MP or will you consider joining Pakatan Rakyat ?
comments of ST Don, a local political observer, hopes that whoever wins the MCA presidental election tomorrow will be able to steer the party to the right track again. Courtesy of Malaysian Insider