Chinese At Political Cross Road : Reality of Malaysian Chinese Politics


By : Shen Yee Aun

The 13th General Election will be the deciding factor for the future of Malaysian Chinese. Although this article contains bits of politics, the writer is more interested in discussing the reality along with the real truth.

Speaking in general, we know that it is quite difficult for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to take over Putrajaya in the next general election. As good or bad UMNO it is, they are still a formidable political party in the reality of Malaysian politics. They won’t fall without a fight or in a blink of an eye.

This situation includes the eastern Malaysia where Barisan Nasional (BN) still upholds a strong presence. The writer is only writing about reality. Whatever that is propagated by PR is only a strategy. The PR politicians do realise that it takes a long time to gain the support from Sabah & Sarawak’s residents, though the writer do not deny the fact that the seats in the urban area is slowly going to the hands of PR.

Although that is what is happening, there are far more seats outside of towns compared to the towns. In a democratic system, those who occupies the most seat – even if it is only one more seat, they are still the winner.

The writer is quite confident that BN will remain in power even if MCA, Gerakan, MIC and PPP lost all their seats due to the fact that the amount of seats BN occupies in Sabah and Sarawak. If the readers are not confident in this, you only have to push away all the seats occupied all the parties I mentioned after MAC 2008 (MCA, Gerakan, MIC and PPP) and the readers will realise that BN will still in power.

Factors of why it is not time for PR to take over Putrajaya

Firstly, the support of the youth is not the deciding factor to winning the general election for PR. This is because there are still 3 million youths that have still yet to register themselves as a voter, and those who registered are uncertain if they will vote.

This situation includes the youngsters who are anti enstablisment but still it does not mean they will vote. As an anology, a person might fancy somebody but that does not mean the person will go after said somebody. And as it is, this have not yet include the adults and older folks who far out numbered the youths.

Secondly, the writer do not deny that PAS is the only political party that can go against UMNO in the context of getting the Malay votes. The reality in Malaysia now is that there are more Malays that prioritise race compared to religion and this will maintain the status quo of UMNO. However, the writer do not deny that given the opportunity, the Malay community would like to have both parties but that is nearly impossible in the reality of Malaysian politics. This have not include the fact that the lifestyle and mentality of Malays now is far more open minded.

Thirdly, PKR in reality is the weakest party in the coalition that is PR even though they occupy the most seats among them. If the writer’s guess is correct, PKR won’t be holding the most seats in the coalition for the upcoming general election. The truth is that there are not much differences between PKR and UMNO because a lot of the leaders and members of PKR are previously products of UMNO and this have been explained a lot of times to pin point the similarity of both parties.

As bad UMNO you may think it is, they are still a party which have a very strong system compared to PKR. A strong political party requires a political philosophy where the support is from the bottom up (bottum up politics) as opposed to the leaders pulling their support from the bottom (top bottom politics)

The weakness of PKR system still remains the most important issue in PR today. In that sense, is PKR still the best political party that oppose UMNO? The writer dare to come to the conclusion that is there comes a situation where PKR were to go against PAS or DAP, PKR will lose it’s place.

On the forth point, BN still holds the home ground advantage in the reality of Malaysian politics. If PR were to accuse BN or corruption, in the political sense, this only serve as a credit to BN by indirectly saying BN have the fiscal capabilities that is far beyond PR.

If PR were to accuse BN of playing dirty, in the context of politics this only means that there are official support for BN. If this is the offence that PR are going to use, what is it that they have in the near future to fight for Putrajaya?

Fiftly, all the factors that cause the tsunami politics of March 2008 are long forgotten and laid to rest. So, with only the cow issue and lynas at hand, thier ambition for Putrajaya will only remain a dream in the end. And keep in mind that they are facing Najib and not Pak Lah previously. The general election will only happen after both these issues are getting weaker day by day. The reality is that Malaysian will hook on to an issue for a relatively short period due to the fact that Malaysian will get bored of an issue real quick.

On the sixth point, if we were to take a few series of mini elections, an early conclusion can be made that the support from the Malay and Indian community are going back to BN. In the history of politics of the Indian and Malay community that in capable of threatening the support from the Indians towards BN is Hindraf. And now, Hindraf have disperse and hold no threat to BN’s influence in the Indian community as were previously before March 2008.

Honestly speaking, even if there were dirty politics played by Najib to make this situation a reality, the writer feels that a politic strategy is still a politic strategy even if it is good or bad in the reality of politics. Even then, the truth is that PR themselves, displayed in a sequence of events, had betrayed Hindraf.

The seventh point, the online media guerrilla war will only be beneficial to PR in the long run. The truth is that many Malaysia still do not use the internet as their main news/media provider, especially in the older generation. Also, the online media targets mostly the urbanites at the moment because there are still many area outside of the urban area that do not have Internet access. The opposition may say that BN hold power in most of the mainstream mass media but this only means BN have more advantages.

Why the Chinese is in a critical situation?

The reality now shows that the chinese hold on tightly to the what remaining power the PR have. The problem here is what if after the 13th General Election, BN still rule even without the support of the chinese. At that time, BN will mostly appreciate the support from the Malay and Indian cummunity.

The chinese at that time with the two party system will be labeled as the opposition. And which chinese wants to see in Malaysian history to have a government without a chinese in the cabinet or to be a higher ranked leader? MCA is already clear and firm on their stance to not accept any cabinet position in the government if the results in the upcoming general election is worse compared to March 2008.

What will come of the Chinese community if they want to champion their right and aspiration if they don’t even have their own entity to channel their suggestions? The Chinese should realise that no matter how liberal Najib is, he will arrive to a dilemma if he continues to support the Chinese even though the Malays and Indians are the one who actually supported him in the first place.

The truth is, UMNO will go against Najib if he continues to support the chinese if ever comes to that kind of political climate. So are the support from the Indians and Malays that bring them victory worthless? The chinese will lose their voice in the government. Some might argue we will have less power in the government, but at least less is better than none.

In PR itself, the chinese will face a dilemma when DAP and Lim Guan Eng before this was seen as champion for the chinese rights but now have turn to request support from the Malays and Indians. This means that DAP only concentrate on the Chinese at best 60%. On the other hand, PKR focus for the chinese is only about 20-30%. Then, PAS can’t be expected to champion the chinese even thogh they tried to win the hearts of the chinese.

The early conclusion can be said like the Malay proverb: “yang dikejar tidak dapat, yang dikendong berciciran”.

We understand that the Chinese do not want to support MCA, Gerakan and BN because they have been unsatisfied with them for a long time and now see this opportunity to express their unhappiness with them. If only the Chinese wants to punish MCA and BN, they have to be smart and realise the reality of the current political climate – this should not be the time they hand out their punishment. This will only come out as a lose-lose situation to all Chinese.

The writer feels that the best move now for the Chinese that do not support BN is to remain neutral at this critical time. For the smarter Chinese who knows how to manuever their way around the politic situation that the writer said, they would support MCA so that when BN comes into power again, the Chinese will at least have a party to champion their rights and voices in the government. We should know that the Malays are aready divided among UMNO and PAS and this is far worse compared to the divide of Chinese between MCA and DAP.

If the Chinese unite and support MCA in the event that the Malays are divided, MCA will gain more power in the government. This in turn Najib, UMNO and BN will realise their past mistakes against the Chinese and will now continue to support the Chinese more.

If the Chinese continues on with their risky sentiment to punish Najib, UMNO and BN and failed at the end, they will only be punishing themselves. Just a food for thought.

The Chinese now is actually gambling with their future with a very high risk. The reality of the Malaysian Chinese politics is as the Malay proverb goes, “yang dikejar tidak dapat, yang dikendong berciciran” if they continue to gamble and not set aside their differences for the benifit for all.

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