Ijok/Machap – Umno more concerned than MCA about swing of Chinese votes to Opposition?

It would appear that UMNO is more concerned than MCA and Gerakan over the swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in the Ijok and Machap by-elections.

MCA national leaders continue in their denial that there is any significant swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok and Machap by-elections, continuing to attribute the “little swing” of Chinese voters in Ijok to dissatisfaction with the former MIC State Assemblyman, the late Datuk K. Sivalingam.

In contrast, the Umno-owned New Straits Times have come out with an editorial today, “Wooing back the Chinese” which said:

“Based on the two recent by-elections in Machap and Ijok, the mood on the Chinese ground should be of concern to the Barisan Nasional. In Machap, a semi-rural area, MCA won in its traditional stronghold, but with a reduced majority. In Chinese polling districts, there was an estimated five per cent vote swing in favour of the opposition. In Ijok, the signal sent by the country’s second-largest ethnic group was more apparent.”

The NST editorial added that the outcomes in Machap and Ijok “appear to accord with the Merdeka Centre’s research findings earlier this year, to the effect that two to three Chinese would vote for the opposition in the next polls”.

The independent opinion research firm Merdeka Centre conducted a poll between October and December last year involving 1,025 respondents aged 16 and above in an attempt to examine the voting trend in the next general election.

According to its findings, two in three Chinese are likely to vote for the Opposition in the next general election while 32 and 33 per cent respectively of the Malays and Indians are likely to vote for the opposition.

While continuing to deny that there was any significant swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting continued to put the blame primarily on Sivalingam’s track record while acknowledging that a secondary factor was the unhappiness of the Chinese with “certain statements which had hurt their feelings”.

But what Ka Ting failed to explain is why the these “hurtful” statements and actions were defended by top MCA leaders and Ministers during the Ijok and Machap by-elections?

As a first step, is Ka Ting prepared to take action to ensure that all the top MCA and MCA Youth leaders who had publicly defended these “hurtful” statements and misconduct in the Ijok and Machap by-elections should retract their apologia and tender public apologies?

One of the MCA Ministers who had defended these “hurtful” actions is the MCA National Vice President and Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah has asked MCA and Gerakan to explain the reasons for the swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition.

Are MCA and Gerakan leaders prepared to tell Abdullah that one powerful testimony of such unhappiness is a new exodus of the best and brightest non-Malay talents overseas, after one to two million Malayaian “brains” had emigrated to foreign lands in the past three decades as a result of the injustices and abuses of the New Economic Policy?

Most important of all, are MCA and Gerakan leaders prepared to tell Abdullah and the Umno leadership that the swing of Chinese votes in Ijok and Machap to the Opposition is not merely an expression of ethnic unhappiness and grievances but their sense of disaffection and alienation as Malaysian citizens at the failure of the Prime Minister to deliver his 2004 general election pledge to lead a clean, incorruptible, accountable, transparent, efficient , democratic and people-oriented government at all times and not just during by-election or general election time.

A month ago, the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Khir Toyo told the Selangor Barisan Nasional Assembly members that the next general election will be held in March next year before Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes eligible to stand for elective office in April 2008.

The Ijok by-election result would have changed the dynamics and timing for the next general election, as Umno has found that it cannot be so certain of support of the Malay voters — as illustrated by the fact that Abdullah had to make a last-ditch visit to Ijok by-election to salvage Barisan Nasional’s fortunes as the by-election at that time was too close for call despite the pouring of some RM100 million goodies by the Barisan Nasional by-election machinery.

With the Ijok by-election result, the case is now stronger for Barisan Nasional to have an earlier general election than in March next year, which may fall in October.

  1. #1 by Libra2 on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 9:39 am

    Every election or by election is actually UMNO vs Opposition, regardless of who the candidate is. Every MIC,MCA and Gerakan member is there to lend support to UMNO. Surely they are not there to fight for their race.
    There is only one way to win back the Chinese and that is by frightening the Chinese voters of another MAY 13.
    Only by instilling fear can they win over the disenchantered Chinese voters.

  2. #2 by sotong on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 10:49 am

    You have criminals threatening the safety and well being of innocent, non violent and non political Chinese with aggression, hatred and violence, MCA and Gerakan see it fit to do nothing.

    For not coming forward to strongly and publicly express their outrage to send a strong and united message, BN leaders, including UMNO leaders, are irresponsible and a total disgrace.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 10:53 am

    MCA is definitely concerned as much if not more than UMNO on swing of Chinese votes for the Opposition. MCA’s bargaining position within coalition depends on garnering sufficient Chinese voters’ support. It is telling UMNO in the wake of Ijok to be careful in what has been said by its delegates in high profile UMNO General Assembly because it has repercussions. It is saying to the senior partner of coalition that they can’t expect MCA to deliver the votes from its traditional constituency if the senior partner is not cooperating and in fact sabotaged that support by hurtful statements against the Chinese community.

    This was reported on Thursday May of The Star : “Party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said several factors led to the swing in the votes, including their dissatisfaction with the service provided in the past as well as several sensitive national issues. He said the Chinese in Ijok told MCA campaigners that since the 2004 general election, they had also been unhappy with certain statements which had hurt their feelings. We tried to explain to voters the statements and views that created unhappiness in the community did not reflect the top leadership’s stand. But some people still could not forget these issues,” he told reporters after attending the Wesak Day celebration at Kwan Inn Teng temple here yesterday. See link http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/5/2/nation/17605565&sec=nation

    So I suppose that in saying “top MCA and MCA Youth leaders …publicly defended these “hurtful” statements and misconduct in the Ijok and Machap by-elections”, it is in the context of not intending to mean that the hurtful statements were all right to be uttered or that the statements were not actually offensive or improper but that though they were, they were NOT reflective of BN/UMNO’s top leadership stance and by virtue thereof would not be translated into policies.

    This statement is not wrong. There is no evidence that the seditious statements uttered by some delegates in the GA were endorsed by Pak Lah or the very top leadership of UMNO unless one infers it from the kid’s glove treatment/reprimand meted out to the offenders. Again this is attributable to the prevailing Ketuanan ideology not contradicted – and indeed supported – by the top leadership!

    The MCA and MCA Youth leaders who had publicly defended these “hurtful” statements and misconduct in the Ijok and Machap by-elections would of course not retract their apologia and tender public apologies in the context above.

    What else can we expect MCA leaders to say but for these excuses (of ‘hurtful statements’ not reflective of top leadership)?

    For the mercies of political positions and crumbs of patronage tossed out by UMNO masters, this is the best they could do, in diplomatic and oblique language.

    But it cannot be said that the message is not delivered (obliquely)home to UMNO. It is for all to see from analysis of Ijok’s results and interview of voters there of their sentiments.

  4. #4 by dawsheng on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 10:58 am

    Vote BN and we will continue to have rising crime rate, our economy will going down slopes. I hope all Malaysians understood that BN is no longer a trusted govt to begin with. Their mistakes are all over and it wil take them ages to rectify it, that if it ever get done. Sorry BN, you can go to hell.

  5. #5 by ah lau on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 11:25 am

    Perhaps the main reasons are the inequality in job and education opportunities that lead to frustration, like many !

    Simple reasons but few would like to accept. Instead, they are all out to try providing guesses only.

    Furthermore, there are a few gods in Malaysia, how to rank ?

  6. #6 by Jimm on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 12:19 pm

    Any team of coalition can form the government in Malaysia as we have a great system of control in terms of social economic right up to the business world. This country is so rich with natural resources that there enough wealth to go around for every Malaysia. It’s the ‘management team’ that have the veto power to decide on the distribution of the wealth channel that become the concern issue here. They have put too many high profile name of individuals related to higher authorities into companies as directors and ‘parked’ their proxies to cover up their presence. These package were then ‘parked’ under OSA. Would these be the reason that they are ‘powerful’ and ‘protected’ ?????

  7. #7 by kelangman88 on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 12:20 pm

    Its because the UMNO is the culprit that causing the Chinese vote swing. Siapa makan cili, dialah rasa pedas. Maybe MCA and Gerakan plan to keep quiet until the dissatisfaction grew until UMNO realise they are losing Chinese support.

  8. #8 by Godamn Singh on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 12:55 pm

    Goddamn it!

    Kelangman88, if you want others to understand you please learn to express yourself in English properly. It is clear that you think in Malay and write in Malaienglish.

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 1:42 pm

    What MCA should do is tell the PM that Hissamuddin should apologize by approving and allocating the land and resources all the new Chinese primary schools that have been promised in the past – about 100 of them.. Don’t need to talk – just act.

    Otherwise, as the Chinese say – mo cheng yee (not sincere).

  10. #10 by tsn on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 1:51 pm

    Just not sure whether they are pretending or real dumb, day in day out commit/repeat the same wrongs, asking moronic questions, looking for even morons known answers. Knowing they are very snob and sensitve lot, MCA just has to tell them subtly & politely.

  11. #11 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 2:11 pm

    When senior UMNO leaders raises their kerises and threaten the Chinese, you expect the Chinese still to vote for them?

    Why would any non-Malay support UMNO or BN if they continue to feel unwanted, marginalised and treated as second-class citizens?

  12. #12 by Jimm on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 2:25 pm

    Well, UMNO does show concern as their own membership is only around 3 Million (I read it somewhere back through newpaper) only and there have been too many effort and campaign to lure in more new member. Together with MCA, MIC,PGRM,PPP and those in EM, BN can unite to ‘push up’ the force. With signs of the Chinese votes starting to swing, I can bet you that HHO (Specky) will start to behave ‘nicely’ from now until the coming GE. He will tell stories of unity, Malaysian Malaysia and all from the TDM library of GE strategies books. This guy always reminds me of Jim Carey. PM is like Bruce Willis, DPM like JR Ewing … Kak Fidah like Everybody Love Raymond’s mother. Somehow, I can see that they carries the somehow same character in their duties.

  13. #13 by jbhlee on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 2:27 pm

    DAP and other opposition component parties should capitalise on this swing. There is no need for DAP to inform MCA what is wrong. Let them be in denial mode. At the same time, DAP, PKR and PAS should start working out strategies especially in closely fought constituencies in the the last GE. DAP should highlight more issues affecting the Malay, Indians, Kadazan and others. Start recruiting good candidates in the mould of P.Patto, V David, Ahmad Nor. Start membership drive especially among youths. I am sure BN has planted new voters in places where they lost narrowly, so the Opposition should also do the same……Sun Tzu art of war!

  14. #14 by a-malaysian on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 3:02 pm

    Calling all mca members, you all know the real and the true reasons, no need to talk cock anymore.

    Leave mca and join DAP or PKR or any opposition of your choice. Forget about bn which in actual fact is only umno. mca have no say whatever concerning the chinese population in bn.

    Be a man face the truth leave mca and join the opposition now.
    If you are concern with the little crumps left behind by umno that you may miss, then by all means remain in mca and be their running dogs.

    May GOD bless you all in your decision.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  15. #15 by Godfather on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:17 pm

    MCA is nothing more than a useless eunuch. It feeds off the scraps that fall off the UMNO table. It’s time to send the UMNOputras a strong message that we will not tolerate the waving of the keris, the use of Mat Rempits to disrupt, the theft of public property, the misuse of public funds, the tilted playing field.

    Show the BN that we are angry, we are hurt and we do not tolerate the nonsense that has been ongoing for so long.

  16. #16 by Godfather on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:20 pm

    And I also call on my Malay friends to send the BN a strong signal – that you will also not tolerate the theft of public property, the issuance of licences to cronies, the misuse of public funds, and the widening gap between the have and the have-nots.

    Send them a message that we do not tolerate daylight robbery.

  17. #17 by Fort on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 5:42 pm

    I wonder what are the statements that had hurt their feelings?

    The injusties and abuses of the NEP have caused the sense of disaffection and alienation! They do not feel they belong. That is why those who are able have move on to other lands.

    Why still many vote BN? If we cannot beat them, we join them! Many do well in Ali Baba business. What they want is bread and butter.

    Why the PM is not fulfilling his 2004 general election pledge? He obtained 91% of the seats in 2004 election. With such an over whelming support he could have use the mendate to bulldoze through the reforms he wants. Alas! He lost the window of oppotunity to do so.

    The question is why he did not take the one chance to leave a legacy? I wonder if he had been promoted to the level of his incompetency! After all UMNO did not pick the top and best to be the president.

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 6:45 pm

    “When senior UMNO leaders raises their kerises and threaten the Chinese, you expect the Chinese still to vote for them?” Sheriff Singh

    Don’t be naive!

    The Chinese are the most practical of all races that walk this earth. Their attitude is best summed up thus:

    “They can raise the keris all they want and as high as they want, just give us what we want.”

  19. #19 by sammyvellu on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 11:32 pm

    People in Ijok, Machap and Central Pahang are so darn stupid to vote for MIC, MCA and UMNO

    A vote for the opposition will in fact bring more development for the constituency from now until the next election.

    Hate to say this but they really lack vision and education!

  20. #20 by ethnicmalaysian on Friday, 4 May 2007 - 6:10 pm

    The Chinese is closely associated with ‘pragmatism’ and being the ‘most practical of all races to walk the earth’. And rightly so, as evidenced by the so-called ‘social contract’ and compromises that had been made for the last 50 years. But who is to say that that is an attitude that will be forever cast in stone? In today’s society, change is the only constant. If this pragmatism leads us down the slippery slope of compromising on chronic corruption, hypocrisy, bigotry and greed, then I feel that a line has to be drawn. Yes, we are threatened with May 13 constantly (and by implication with all forms of racial genocide ala Rwanda, Bosnia etc). But if what we are so fearful of losing – peace, security, livelihoods and tolerance – are being lost anyway, what else have we got to lose but to ditch this ‘pragmatism’ and go for broke?

  21. #21 by sammyvellu on Friday, 4 May 2007 - 7:26 pm

    There is a limit to the word tolerance

  22. #22 by Loh on Saturday, 5 May 2007 - 11:27 am

    ///But if what we are so fearful of losing – peace, security, livelihoods and tolerance – are being lost anyway, what else have we got to lose but to ditch this ‘pragmatism’ and go for broke?///

    Well said.

  23. #24 by DiaperHead on Sunday, 6 May 2007 - 3:09 am

    “Yes, we are threatened with May 13 constantly ..”

    Fear not. Loh is around. He’s not going to take it lying down on his back with his legs in the air.

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