By Thomas Lee Seng Hock
MCA president Chua Soi Lek has again put himself and his party in a very awkward, embarrassing and contradicting poistion by endorsing the Umno Youth street demonstration while condemning the march by concerned citizens initiated and led by Bersih leaders.
According to a report in The Star, when asked about the Umno Youth demonstration, Chua said that its chief Khairy Jamaluddin had a reason to do it as the youth movement wanted to "defend the current institutions and make known that the electoral roll was not tainted".
Chua and the other MCA leaders, including Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung, have been on record for saying that street demo is not part of the Malaysian culture, and that those protesting in the city are law-breakers, and are causing inconvenience and hardship to those doing business in the city, and damaging the image of the nation. The MCA Toursim Minister Ng Yen Yen has claimed that street protests will drive away tourists. And party vice-president Donald Lim wants to emulate Ibrahim Ali by forming a "Chinese Pekasa".
Yet, the hypocrites in the MCA have unilaterally and unashamedly given their approval to Khairy and his Umno Youth street protest, becoming their apologists to defend their demonstration as legitimate and necessary.
What sort of leaders are these? They claim to be representatives of the Chinese community in the country, yet they are subsevient to their Umno master and obsequious to everything that Umno does. They have to kow-tow to even the Umno Youth leader.
Of course, I firmly believe that Khairy and the Umno Youth have every right, like the Bersih leaders and supporters, to hold peaceful protests on the street to press home their views and socio-political agenda, but the discrimating manner in which Chua and the MCA endorsed Khairy and the Umno Youth, and condemned the Bersih campaign surely exposes their questionable ethical and moral character.
Instead of condemning and frustrating the Bersih efforts to bring about a reformation and transformation of the electoral process in the nations, with free, fair, just, equal, clean, and transparent elections, Chua and the MCA should be using whatever influence and leverage they have within the Barisan Nasional federal government to actively press for people-friendly changes to be made in the governance of the country.
Instead, what we see and hear is their interests in positions, power, and prosperity. There is nary a care or concern for the well-being of the nation and its people. When Chua and the MCA leaders talk about the next general election, they are more interested in getting more elected positions, so that they could bargain for more powerful posts in the government. They want the Chinese community to give their a political blank cheque at the next general election to demand for more posts in the federal cabinet and other levels of government.
There is no real vision, and no affirmative political agenda, to work for a truly righteous, harmonious, united, equal, just, fair, accountable and transparent system of government, with the long-term permanent interests of the people as the gerundive priority.
The massive turnout of concerned citizens on Saturday 9th July 2011 for the Bersih march should serve as the "yellow warning light" to the Barisan Nasional leaders, including those from the MCA, that the people are simply fed up, disenchanted and disillusioned with the misgovernment, the corrupt culture festering within the administration at all levels, the increasing decline of moral leadership, and the unpredictable runaway and uncontrollably economic mess and chaos.
There is nothing racial or religious about the Bersih campaign for a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren, although there are some racists and religious fanatics trying to desacralize and demonize the Bersih movement as such.
The turnout on Saturday 9th July 2011 has demonstrated how united and harmonious are the hearts and minds of the common citizens of various races. When I was assaulted and about to be grabbed by some policemen outside the Tong Shin Hospital in Pudu, scores of Malay and Indian youths surrounded me to protect me, and led me to safety. I also saw how people of various races helping each other climb over walls and fences to escape the police assault. We were all colour-blind that day and will be colour-blind always, except for the brilliant yellow ray of hope that we represent to our people, our children and their children.
The Najib government must take heed that each of us who went for the march for electoral reform represents at least dozens or more family members, relatives, friends, and collegues, and also the hundreds of thousands from outside the Klang Valley who were not able to come, or blocked from coming. It is not merely 50,000, but thousands and thousands more who want to see a transformation of our beloved nation into a better place to live.
I am proud I was there, to stand up and be counted, without fear or favour, with my beloved fellow patriots of all races and religions to register and demonstrate our love and concern for our beloved motherland. May God bless Malaysia real good. Amen and Amen.