MCA ‘s three-ring circus rolls around

By Kee Thuan Chye

Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat just doesn’t know when to quit, does he? Despite his bravado in promising to step down before the mess hit the fan at the MCA’s extraordinary general meeting last Oct 10, he is still adamant that he will be an asset to a beleaguered party split apart by his high-handedness as president. He has declared — the first candidate to do so — that he will defend his position at the coming party elections on March 28.

This is the very man who promised to quit as president if the no-confidence vote against him at the EGM was passed by just one vote. It was actually passed by a margin of 14, with 1,155 delegates voting for it and 1,141 against. He should have kept his word, and done the honourable thing; instead, he chose to stay on.

That more than 600 members attended the party’s annual meeting on March 7 indicates that he enjoys their support, but that is only a quarter of the 2,379 delegates who will vote in two weeks. Besides, some of those 600 could have attended the AGM just to hedge their bets; there may be opportunists among them who will switch loyalties if another faction looks the surer winner. Furthermore, the political complexion has just changed, now that former president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting has also announced his candidacy.

This is another pathetic twist to the MCA soap opera. In 2008, Ka Ting was the one who led the party to its worst general election defeat ever, losing more than half the seats it had held. In his tenure as president, he was not noted for having any gumption in standing up to Umno’s trampling over Chinese concerns. He also didn’t stand up for Tee Keat when the latter was reprimanded in 2006 by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, then deputy prime minister, for urging the Education Ministry to act on corruption in Chinese schools.

What will Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who have been touted as likely candidates, do now? Chua had been considered the front-runner because, pundits say, he could rely on the support of at least 900 delegates. How will his chances be affected with Ka Ting’s entry? As for Liow, since a large chunk of his supporters are also those of Ka Ting’s, will he settle for the number two position?

What about Ka Ting’s brother, Ka Chuan? Surely, there would be something in all this for him? But Ka Chuan’s track record is not impressive: he was trounced in the 2004 general election in Batu Gajah and managed to win in 2008 probably because Tanjung Malim was a safe seat. And in the MCA elections of 2008, he lost to Chua for the deputy presidency. Why would the delegates want him this time?

The MCA is in for intriguing times. There will be a lot of horse trading right up to the elections as the factions scramble to make up the required figures. Liow was an ally of Tee Keat’s till he apparently betrayed the latter after the Oct 10 EGM. Are we likely to see further betrayals by any of the others? Will Chua the “magician” be wily enough to pull off the art of making the impossible possible, and the possible impossible?

It looks like the same circus is back. You can almost hear the orchestra striking up the opening strains of Send in the Clowns. The sad part is, the delegates may be faced with only these options – of a man who broke his promise, a man who betrayed his friend, a man who cheated on his wife, and a man who lacked courage when he was president.

In the past, there was only a Team A vs Team B; now there are Teams X, Y and Z. With the party already so split, will the March 28 elections lead to unity? There would be animosity even if Ka Ting becomes president again. If Tee Keat wins, the party would be back at square one. All the grief and disgrace the party has experienced would have been much ado about nothing. And Tee Keat was the one whose open contempt for Chua, his deputy then, from the moment he stepped into the presidency led to the unravelling of the whole mess today.

Where does the solution lie? One doubts whether the team leaders know the answer. As it is, the whole MCA “dramedy” has shown up the reality that the MCA is no longer a force in Malaysian politics. The world of the Malaysian Chinese didn’t end while the in-fighting went on. Life in the Chinese community continued, debunking any claim that the MCA still matters to the Chinese.

Its days are nearly over. Why fight over a dying cause? Time to move on. Time to heed the words of Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik who has suddenly wised up now he’s been out of the Gerakan leadership for a couple of years: “After March 8, politics is going towards an ideological base that is multi-racial in approach.”

Perhaps it’s time for the MCA to implode and start all over again.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 2:38 pm

    With Ka Ting throwing in the hat, MCA problems can only end one way – it must leave BN first..Otherwise, its just a question of money runs out and they die..

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 2:47 pm

    “…….Ka Ting …..was not noted for having any gumption in standing up to Umno’s trampling over Chinese concerns…..”

    UMNO just loves people like him. To them, people like Ka Ting, Tee Keat etc are “assets”. The more the merrier.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 2:54 pm

    Ka Ting re-entering the fray?

    Usually, sequels are not so interesting or effective than the original.

    And if the original was a bomb, then …

    This guy just don’t want to accept that his expiry date is long past.

  4. #4 by bond007 on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 2:59 pm

    Uncle Lim,
    This is really a very good summary of what’s happening over at MCA. I salute you for this excellent excerpt.

    In my opinion, MCA is the root of all racial problems in Malaysia. Without it there would be no UMNO.

    Sometimes people are just so selfish and short sighted.

    Wish there were more Lim Kit Siangs in Malaysian politics! (not trying to polish you, but that’s as true as it can get)

  5. #5 by frankyapp on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 3:39 pm

    Ka Ting I was a failure in the box office. Now Ka Ting II,directed by UMNO,would it be a hit or a miss again by the people ? I think like sheriff singh said,sequels are not interesting and hence it would not be popular with the people except Umnoputras. What a joke,of all the hundreds of thousands of members in the MCA ,NR has chosen a loser to lead the wounded lamb.

  6. #6 by SENGLANG on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 3:53 pm

    All those who join MCA was for one and all for one, ie money. Other wise what so many factions. During the waring period of China history, there were many many camps simply that time they fight for survivors ie for foods and security. MCA in Malaysia was fighting all the time no because they want to serve people but they want money. Once enter politic and become minister or even a head of division then they have the right to many contracts etc. Wise up all the dokeys in MCA and stop the foolish infighting. What a name of call of duty? It was call of money that have make a come back kids.

  7. #7 by donplaypuks on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 4:11 pm

    Unlike Ong Takut, UMNO probably finds Ka Ting easy to Kow Tim!!

    Or maybe, Ka Ting did not get a good pension or ex-gratia gratuity on retirement! The desperation in this man.

    Whatever the outcome of the MCA elections, there will be no peace for a long time. The permanent demise of MCA is now cast in stone!

    We are all of 1 race, the Human Race

  8. #8 by k1980 on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 4:18 pm

    Imagine a mca led by brothers Ah Ting and Ah Chuan Sdn Bhd— the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of Underland, oops I mean Bolehland

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 4:40 pm

    What a choice – “a man who broke his promise, a man who betrayed his friend, a man who cheated on his wife, and a man who lacked courage when he was president”?

    On who is the least bad choice, I guess bottom line, it is he who dare to be angry, speak up and take principled stand against big brother UMNO’s hegemony on national issues gone awry than just someone good at backroom negotiations for concessions related to chinese education, scholarships, hawker licences… On this criteria all 4 also don’t evince any prospects.

    Something like 85% of its supposed constituency have left it. MCA couldn’t make its big partner honour Bangsa Malaysia and Wawasan 2020, whats the reason to think its in better stead to make it honour 1 Malaysia, when its own president is having a hard time doing so?

    UMNO is the biggest problem to MCA’s problems, and naturaly UMNO is the party most concerned with its survival in context of present leadership tussel, which is no use because the persons that matter most – the ordinary Chinese voters, all 85% of them – are not concerned whether the leaders fight till kingdom comes, implodes or explodes.

  10. #10 by steven chan on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 4:48 pm

    Whoever is president is irrelevant n a mere waste of time n resources. The exercise is redundant n instead they should focus in how to help the ppl rather than themselves.

  11. #11 by ch on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 4:55 pm

    Dear All,

    MCA is now into such precarious situation simply because of its own doing. We can see many of its leaders are jostling for positions and somehow lost focus championing the rights of the Chinese as they actively indulged in such power play. The Chinese in general been left to fend for themselves. Numerous major issues affecting the Chinese remain unresolved after 53 years Malaysia achieving its independence. Old broken records were played and heard to an extent the Chinese has lost faith in the overall system originally agreed by UMNO, MCA and MIC or during that time, the Alliance. The current system is extremely unfair to the non-Bumiputeras. After 53 years of Merdeka, old record like the Malays still being marginalized in their homeland is played up again loud and clear as demonstrated by Ibrahim Ali. Only fools will believe that Perkasa is currently operating independently without the financial and other supports from UMNO. UMNO is playing up to the gallery by championing 1 Malaysia and left these ultra demands to Perkasa. Demanding as the way they normally do would scare away the non-Bumis and throw 1 Malaysia into tatters. My question is where is MCA in fighting off Perkasa’s unreasonable demands? Tee Keat, Soi Lek and Tiong Lai had been extremely quiet and it is about time for them to come out from their respective shells and say something.

    Ka Ting had performed poorly as MCA president. To me, he had almost brought MCA down from a political party defending the rights of the Chinese to just a mere educationist party. We could not afford to have him helming MCA as the Chinese in Malaysia are going through a very difficult and extremely crucial period. In fact, the country and the non-Bumis are at a cross-road. A wrong steer would lead us to an extremely disastrous situation in future. A stronger leader should be elected as the MCA President.

    But the question is who fits into this?

    The ultimate question to all and sundry is how on earth we are still talking about race representations when we are in fact going for 1 Malaysia?

    Will we ever achieve this aim of 1 Malaysia?

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 5:17 pm

    MCA – Manyak Cham Association..

  13. #13 by bennylohstocks on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 5:25 pm

  14. #14 by bennylohstocks on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 5:26 pm

  15. #15 by son of perpaduan on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 5:54 pm

    The past MCA leaders know that many chinese youth hook into drugs like ecstacy, syabu and many more. Easily available like purchase panadol, who should be blame for killing the chinese youth, parents so hard raising the kids was took away by this so called chinese leader who care for their ownself. Worst connivance with goverment is setting up 4 digit number forecast outlet in only chinese area. Think!!!!again b4 you think again to save your generation!!!!

  16. #16 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 6:16 pm

    ///As it is, the whole MCA “dramedy” has shown up the reality that the MCA is no longer a force in Malaysian politics.///

    How can MCA champion for the Chinese community in Malaysia when they cannot even sort out their internal problems?

    Today’s MCA is no more than a social club of a few warlords locked in a perpetual cycle of in-fighting and power struggle.

    MCA has brought shame and disgrace to the Chinese community.

  17. #17 by chengho on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 6:47 pm

    That show in MCA democracy kicking and alive
    ,may the best man Win..

  18. #18 by sotong on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 6:58 pm

    There are great opportunity to exploit from holding position of trust, power and influence with decades of bad leadership and management of the country……nobody cares of the basic rights and welfare of ordinary people.

    With bad leadership, the fast track to wealth culture had done enormous damage to our people and country…..sadly, there is no quick fix.

  19. #19 by Ramesh Laxman on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 7:50 pm

    May be, we have to be careful when we get an agreeable sensation from the misfortunes of other political parties. Like a good golfer we must learn to keep our head down and make sure that we execute a good shot.

    I am still waiting for an explanation how it came to past that one ADUN brought the might of PR in one of the states.I hope that with the GE 13 coming anytime we keep our house in order so that we will be in order after the elections.

  20. #20 by Bunch of Suckers on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 8:36 pm


    Yeah! Please wait for NR to open his a*s for you to lick like candies and suck like ice-creams! It’s nice to see you sing karaoke with good holds of those dicks from NR, OTK and etc.. What a good karaoke singer and sucker? “Lick it.zz…. Suck it zzz… Yes, suck it! suck it!!!” Then your next song will be “I feel good,,, so good… so good…” Your final episode will be acted like Jame Bond “My name is sucker, cok sucker… call me sucker!” Sucky sucky sucker pompom…

  21. #21 by limkamput on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 9:20 pm

    This candidate, that faction, and that strategy! Can’t we see we are wasting time and energy discussing and debates matters which have no consequences. Malaysians, particularly the Chinese, must make one final decision – bury the party. This is the party that through all years of its existence conspired to stifle and deny the right to equal citizenship of all Malaysians. MCA, the earlier you go into oblivion, the better. Don’t even try; all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.

  22. #22 by cseng on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 9:35 pm

    Mr. Chengho;

    The problem with MCA man like you is this “you really can say anything as long it has sound”, people like you doesn’t not differentiate word and noise. “MCA democracy kicking and alive, may the best man win…” that is noise! The best man left in MCA are one of the following “a man broke his promise, a man cheated his wife, a man betrayed his friend and the eunuch”.

    Shall I rephrase it for you “MCA democracy process maybe alive but kicking in strangle to survive! May the worse among the worst men win…” This sound more like a sentence to ordinary no MCA member.

    The other point that most non-mca member could not understand is, what make the eunuch think he can save MCA, where he fails miserably during his tenure? Why in a sudden the eunuch wear the underpants outside?

    Anyhow, this power struggle shows MCA has no more leaders with value and principle. They can trade their mother in exchanged of political advantage. As a Chinese Idiom said “gentlemen stay as team and appreciating differences, petty men stay as team but practicing their differences”.

  23. #23 by tanjong8 on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 10:18 pm

    Remember Chengho was an eunuch during the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century.

  24. #24 by a2a on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 10:55 pm

    In MCA, people are for sell at the right price.

    If you have the billions dollar, you can offer to buy those for sell hiddenly to win the election.

    Most likely sound like a My Corrupted Association.

  25. #25 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 11:50 pm

    Mr. Kee, who si your pick? or shall I say, hero from the MCA group?

  26. #26 by Godfather on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 12:22 am

    Ong Ka Ting was handpicked by Mamakthir to be MCA president due to the meekness of the person. Mamakthir needed a Chinese leader who is subservient, who Mamakthir can control. Mamakthir was aghast at the shenanigans of Ong’s predecessor whose son lost billions in the stock market, connived with known manipulators and ultimately had to be bailed out by orders of Mamakthir.

    We all know Ong Ka Ting as the “nothing” man, a guy with zero charisma, but he was UMNO’s ideal candidate.

    After March 2008, Ong Ka Ting gave way to Ong Ta Kut who turned out to be a loose cannon in the eyes of UMNO. Ong Ta Kut not only did not listen to “friendly” advice from UMNO, he was telling the whole world that he is his own man. The last straw was his spat with Tiong (over PKFZ) who is infinitely richer and politically more savvy that anyone in the MCA. In UMNO’e eyes, Ong has to go, but since Ong doesn’t want to go quietly, UMNO has to make certain “adjustments” within MCA to ensure that Ong doesn’t get re-elected.

    Chua would be the ideal candidate for UMNO. A guy so publicly tainted, but with no action being taken by the authorities over his transgressions.

  27. #27 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 1:08 am

    chengho: “That show in MCA democracy kicking and alive, may the best man Win..”

    Sure, it’s so alive and kicking that it kicks MCA’s leadership in the behind until it needs to hold party elections because of too many disgruntled factions.

    But whoever wins, whether the best or the worst, Umno is still MCA’s boss that calls the shots…

  28. #28 by monsterball on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 2:37 am

    This shows chengho interpretation of democracy is full of sheet.
    MCA is at it’s best…all running wild…all performing to the delights for Malaysians…especially the Malaysian Chinese…to last…dogs in MCA are fighting for their lives…and chengho..should take up nursing to help save few.

  29. #29 by pwcheng on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 2:38 am

    We really do not need a Messy Chinese Association. Most Chinese if put to vote would like to MCA to be dissolved as MCA is more of a liability than and asset for the Chinese. It has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that it is only giving false security for the Chinese. OKT as somebody had called him “Or Kooi Thow” has proven to be a no balls and disgraced ex-president and yet he gleefully entered the fray as though he is a hero and a savior. We are not sure whether UMNO is the one that is pulling the string for this puppet as any sensible Chinese will spite him on the face.

  30. #30 by monsterball on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 3:02 am

    MCA have always been a disgrace to the Chinese community.
    Time to change…yet contented to support race and religion politics….to allow UMNO…to divide and rule…accepts Malaysian Chinese to be second class citizens.
    That’s MCA..where all dogs get fat…millions…selling off the Chinese dignity and rights by a group of double headed snakes…30 years ago..and still on going.
    Voted out at 12th GE…..feeling no shame…making no changes for the better…but instead….carrying UMNO balls much much more than shown by Ong Tee Keat.
    No right thinking Malaysian Chinese will ever support MCA.
    Many who supported for past years.with no choices……cannot see the changes nor refused to change…are foolish racists. win some…and loose some….but vast majority Malaysian Chinese are determine to vote MCA out forever….no matter what MCA say or do.
    It’s politics…like Najib..always politics. to save their own skins.
    Looking for politicians in MCA and UMNO to serve Malaysians truthfully???
    You must be joking.
    Lets enjoy the traitors performing…and not let chengho ever convince you anything.

  31. #31 by ekompute on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 3:35 am

    “As it is, the whole MCA “dramedy” has shown up the reality that the MCA is no longer a force in Malaysian politics.”

    MCA… Malaysian Cheapskate Association? Whatever it is, it has been hiding under UMNO’s petticoat for far too long that many young Chinese no longer know nor bother to care about it.

  32. #32 by chengho on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 7:33 am

    when you want to replace Anwar as the chief opposition in parliment , with Zahrin disclosure yesterday Anwar has no credibility to become CO or you can start groom Deo.

  33. #33 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 9:10 am

    North, South, East, West,
    Anwar is the Best.

    Otherwise why do all the BN MPs and their lackeys go all out to focus on him and attack him personally? He is a big threat to the survival of UMNO and the BN government.

  34. #34 by jus legitimum on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 10:10 am

    Don’t let the sucker chengho here to tarnish the great chinese navigator of the Ming Dynasty Admiral Zhenghe(the only correct and accepted spelling for his name in China).He led a powerful fleet to South East Asia,South Asia and Africa 7 times.He could have colonised Malacca if he wanted and history of Malaya would have been rewritten if he had.

  35. #35 by Godfather on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 10:48 am

    The eunuch chengho chooses not to highlight the fact that Zahrain’s beef with Anwar and Guan Eng was that Zahrain kept wanting to push for his RM2 company to be given a multi-million Ringgit contract to manage a state asset. This UMNO-type mentality is not welcomed in any PR state.

  36. #36 by jus legitimum on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 11:07 am

    The fat and thick lipped katak of course has very good appetite with his just RM2 company.The pathetic economic situation today is mainly caused by the prevalence of such mentality among the BN Umno opportunists.

  37. #37 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 11:27 am

    chengho :Kit,when you want to replace Anwar as the chief opposition in parliment , with Zahrin disclosure yesterday Anwar has no credibility to become CO or you can start groom Deo.

    It’s unfortunate that there are those who can’t seem to understand Pakatan Rakyat’s collective leadership which has agreed to Anwar’s position as the parliamentary opposition leader.

    Zahrain should build up his own credibility as an independent MP by not just resigning from PKR, but also by resigning from his MP post and then seeking re-election as an independent candidate contesting for the same seat in the same constituency. Then only it can be seen whether the rakyat had voted him because he was a Pakatan Rakyat PKR candidate or solely because of his character & personality.

  38. #38 by johnnypok on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 11:46 am

    The entry of OKT will cause MCA to die faster.

  39. #39 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 2:30 pm

    Zahrain venom should tell voters how ulterly selfish UMNO/BN politicians are. There is no logic to arguing about Sept 16 when he was elected on 3/08. Blasting Malaysiakini when he was a bumpkin willing to sell his principle for a useless farcical trip to Washington is all about selfishness in the end.

    The shame and destruction they are willing to inflict for the comforts and pleasures they want knows no bounds. That is the beastiality that is UMNO/BN poiliticians which are everywhere..

  40. #40 by frankyapp on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 3:34 pm

    Like I said b4 and saying again,MCA should close shop. MCA’s role of carrying Umno’s leg is over and done.The malaysian chinese ‘s struggle now needed a kind of realistic and dynamic leadership to lead them to be at par with the malays and bumiputras.The ultimate goal should be ” anak bangsa malaysia ” for all races irrespective of religion and culture. I think should malaysia really wish to be a devolped country,then the only choice is to be united under one bangsa,an anah bangsa malaysia. I think under Umno/Bn the possibility is very slim,but under PR,there’s a pretty lots of chances.

  41. #41 by Cinapek on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 5:08 pm

    What the central delegates should do is to boycott the party elections of March 28 as a protest against the bunch of losers put up as candidates.

    Until and unless MCA can put up a new group of leaders with no baggage around their necks, it is just prolonging the agony. If they do not self implode now, they will soon as the cancer, if not excised, will only spread.

  42. #42 by johnnypok on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 9:42 pm

    50% join DAP

    50% join Gerakan

    Gerakan join PR

    PR take over the government

  43. #43 by sotong on Friday, 19 March 2010 - 7:48 am

    The Chinese had always fended for themselves…….MCA needs the Chinese, not the other way round.

  44. #44 by rockdaboat on Friday, 19 March 2010 - 8:00 am

    So the THREE STOOGES are contesting for MCA presidency?

    Yes, Jeffrey is right, the Malaysian Chinese don’t care who are contesting and the outcome. Malaysian Chinese don’t need MCA to represent them!

  45. #45 by Thinking Two on Friday, 19 March 2010 - 9:38 am

    All MCA members and delegates are just as stupid as the three stooges.

    Just get whoever wants to stand for the presidency election must proof these:

    1. Must help all the people of malaysia and not just the UMNO.
    2. Must list out all his agenda so that all the people of Malaysia can monitor of his promises.
    3. Must fight coruption till the last drop of blood.

    If not, what is the point of electing a MCA president for Malay Control Agent.

    I think all of you better vote me in!!!!!!

  46. #46 by Yee Siew Wah on Friday, 19 March 2010 - 10:40 am

    I repeat, MCA is irrelevant to the whole rakyat since 308. Just look at the situation they are in. Its all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!.
    That ex MCA leader “ding dong ding a Ting” thought he is a hero and come to the rescue. This guy is still in dreamland as he has been kick out by his own community since 308. His announcement on his comeback puts a final nail on the MCA coffin.

  47. #47 by Thinking Two on Friday, 19 March 2010 - 4:00 pm

    At first, without OKT, both Chua and Ong fight like dogs.

    But now, with OKT is going for the top post, both Chua and Ong gang-up!!!!

    That’s why Malay Control Agent (MCA) kept saying “If you don’t vote for MCA, there will be another May 13th”

    So, the truth is, there is no May 13th for the Rakyat but the MCA itself. The rakyat of Malaysia is now so well informed of and only these three stooges are creating the problems.

  48. #48 by Thinking Two on Friday, 19 March 2010 - 4:04 pm

    MI = Mission Irrelevant.

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