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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DAP, not MCA, is where the action is

Selena Tay

I used to respect MCA. In its heyday it had good and credible leaders and was looked up to and well-respected. But is it still relevant today?

Although MCA stands for Malaysian Chinese Association, my family members and relatives had never really felt enough of a sense of belonging to join or support the party.

Instead, to them DAP (Democratic Action Party) sounded much better although the word 'Chinese' is not in DAP's name.

Since the dawn of time, MCA was, is and always will be the rich Chinese businessman's party. Although it claims to champion Chinese causes, it has never really been the voice of those Chinese who are poor and downtrodden eventhough it has done good work for the cause of Chinese education, for instance in getting recognition for TAR College which has since been acknowledged and become known as UTAR. MCA has failed to capture the soul of the poor and downtrodden Chinese. In this aspect, the other Chinese-based party, Gerakan has also failed miserably.

It cannot be denied that DAP is a Chinese-based party as many of its leaders and members are Chinese although there are top non-Chinese leaders and members, namely Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz and Karpal Singh in the present era. Currently too, there are a good number of Indian leaders in Perak DAP who are Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen. Well-known non-Chinese DAP leaders in the past were P. Patto, V. David and Ahmad Nor.

Since the late 1960s to the current era, DAP has always been known as the poor Chinese layman's party, a great contrast to MCA being known as the rich Chinese businessman's party.

DAP leaders wearing their trademark short-sleeved white shirts and black trousers are still a symbol of the no-frills party since its founding date on 19 March 1966. It still champions the cause of the poor to this very day and recently the party has embarked on an ongoing signature campaign to protest against the constant price hikes of petrol and daily foodstuffs which are burdening the poor and the low-income group.

DAP has always been credible and relevant to the Chinese. Even when it has little support, especially in the 11th General Election in 2004, it still managed to soldier on. Its leaders have fought on relentlessly for the cause of justice for all races, not just the Chinese alone. A case in point is A. Sivanesan (currently State Assemblyman of Sungkai) who has been fighting for minimum wage since 1985! That's more than a quarter of a century! Another example is Lim Guan Eng who had to endure a prison term for fighting for the rights of a girl, a Malay, who was a victim of statutory rape.

No way is DAP anti-Islam or anti-Malay! The facts speak for itself. That sort of accusation is done with malicious intent. No sane person should ever believe such blatant lies.

In regards to MCA, this once great Chinese party has now degenerated into a small fry, ever-fearful of UMNO, its big brother in Barisan Nasional. It dares not speak out against UMNO and only knows how to parrot UMNO's words.

The Chinese in Lim Kit Siang's blog refer to MCA leaders as 'running dogs'. 'Running dogs' is a derogatory term used to refer to the Chinese in Malaya during World War II who betrayed their fellow-Chinese to the Japanese forces. In its current usage, it simply means that the MCA leaders are traitors to their race. There are worst names being used to label the MCA leaders but which are not printable here.

The Transport Ministry headed by a MCA minister has allowed the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue to sink to the bottom of the ocean while the Tourism Ministry which is also headed by a MCA minister has allowed all sorts of shenanigans to go on.

Yes, MCA is no longer credible. And no longer relevant to the Chinese except to the rich Chinese businessmen and its cronies whom it looks after very well in exchange for their patronage.

On the other hand, DAP continues to be a beacon of hope to the people like a campfire in the night (which happens to be the symbol of its founding date in the Chinese almanac). In the night when it is dark and cold, many people need the campfire and crowd round it for warmth and sustenance (cooking food).

Yes, DAP has and will always have an important role as the voice of the poor and the oppressed in the Malaysian political scene. DAP is where the action is, now more so than ever in this era of the new political landscape post-March 2008.

Selena Tay is a member of PAS Supporters Congress (DHPP).


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