Formation of Chinese Perkasa: A Dangerous Way to Win General Election

by Kee Thuan Chye
Malaysian Digest
11 July 2010 | Sunday

The call for the setting-up of a Chinese Perkasa to counter the Malay right-wing group’s racial attacks is one of the most outrageous things I’ve ever heard. Yet this is a call that comes from none other than Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim Siang Chai, who is also an MCA vice-president.

How can a deputy minister suggest such a thing? Is he speaking as an individual or does he have the endorsement of the MCA – or, worse still, the Government?

That he is part of the ruling administration makes the call suspicious. It seems to corroborate what many have come to suspect – that Perkasa (Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia) is linked in an informal way to Barisan Nasional, that the NGO is actually doing the dirty work that BN cannot be seen to be doing, i.e. championing Malay rights and taking a hard line stance against perceived adversaries.

Chauvinism has been outsourced to Perkasa, observers say. In light of Lim’s statement, one might be persuaded to see a connection.

What is objectionable about Lim’s call is that it will reinforce what Umno itself has been drumming into the minds of the Malays – that the non-Malays, particularly the Chinese, are a threat to them, that the non-Malays want to take over the country.

This has been the crux of Umno propaganda since the day after the 2008 general election, with even people like former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad going around the country spinning the myth that “Malay land has fallen into non-Malay hands”. Most days when you open Utusan Malaysia or Berita Harian or switch on to TV3, you’ll get reminders of this insidious message.

It is unlikely that Lim and the MCA are not aware that the call for a Chinese Perkasa will reinforce the fear of the Malays about a takeover by the non-Malays. They would also be aware that although it’s an imagined fear with no basis whatsoever in reality, if you tell it often enough, it can become real. Even more effective is when the telling turns into showing. And that is what will happen if a Chinese Perkasa comes into being. When it starts yelling at the Malay Perkasa and proceeds to quarrel with it, it will automatically reveal its own aggressiveness. That will certainly make the Malays feel even more fearful of the Chinese.

That will turn Umno’s propaganda into palpable proof of Chinese ambitions. That will then ensure that the Malays vote for Umno at the next general election. Which will also translate into victory for BN.

Lim may be thinking that his suggestion could help the MCA win back Chinese votes because to the less enlightened Chinese, this could show that the MCA is finally standing up for their race. But this is a dangerous way of going about it.

The formation of a Chinese Perkasa will merely cause deeper resentment between the races. As it is, the country has become more divided than it has ever been; Lim’s suggestion can only make race relations worse. What happens when relations become so bad that they reach a point of no return? What good will it do for either the Malays or the Chinese? What good will it do for the nation?

Didn’t Lim think of this before he opened his mouth? Such irresponsible talk coming from a deputy minister must be censured. If his party does not do it, Prime Minister Najib Razak should. It is one thing to think of winning votes for your party and another to cause greater strife in society. Because the call comes from what will be perceived as an authorised source, it may just turn out that some fanatical Chinese individuals or groups will respond to it. If that happens, we may all be in for tumultuous times.

Lim has hinted that the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) would be the proper body to play the Chinese Perkasa role. This is utterly misguided. The KLSCAH has been at the forefront of pushing for civil rights and social progress. It is by no stretch of the imagination a chauvinist body. It presents annual Civil Society Awards to individuals and organisations that promote multi-culturalism and multi-ethnicism.

I have attended several forums held on its premises that propagated the idea of working towards a better Malaysia for all Malaysians. Many of these activities are not organised by the KLSCAH itself but they reflect its broad-based leanings.

How could Lim even think of calling on the KLSCAH to perform a detestable role? Is it his ulterior motive to discredit the KLSCAH, whose orientation is antithetical to the MCA’s ethnocentricism?

For saying what he said, Donald Lim is not only prescribing trouble but also revealing how warped his thinking is. The MCA has been castigating Perkasa for its rightist, racist stance. How can he then propose the formation of something that is similarly rightist and racist? This is a clear-cut case of double standards and hypocrisy.

Is it any wonder, then, that if the MCA has leaders like Lim, Malaysians should have even more reason to reject the party?

  1. #1 by Fatty Doc on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 2:41 pm

    “Is it any wonder, then, that if the MCA has leaders like Lim, Malaysians should have even more reason to reject the party?”

    Indeed, it should be… probably in the next GE.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 2:47 pm

    After this, will there be more salary deductions for education, environment, road maintenance, security, ect?

  3. #3 by k1980 on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 2:53 pm

    pssst, Moo, the best way is rig elections is by……..

  4. #4 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 3:31 pm

    How to create satu malaysian? the american model or the brazilian model? our current boleh model is the american model. each one of us can maintain his/her own identity. in brazil, majority of people are mixed, and there is now a different new race of people called brazilian. but their religion belief is titled toward catholic.

    i think in the long run, after many many generations, we may end up with the brazilian model. but still, the religion aspect will remain divided?

  5. #5 by Mr Smith on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 4:18 pm

    Donald is playing with fire. He is deliberately pitting the Chinese against the Malays.

    This is in the ingredient for anarchy and eventual destruction of this country.

    Shame on you Donald! Shame on you MCA!

    Any respectable party will shun Perkasa and Ibrahim Ali like one would a leper or as the moon ignores the barking of a dog.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 5:05 pm

    Cowhead did not work.
    Burning of churches did not work.
    To me Donald is thinking of an idea to please his UMNO B Lords….as BN is in bad shape…so racial disharmony.. if ever succeeds should give BN the edge to start over gain.
    Upset everything for emergency rule..if BN cannot win control.
    Fear and tensions are the two best desperate low class racist corrupted politicians.
    Donald is trying to impress to be chosen for the bigger stage..the 13th GE.
    I am sure the vast majority Malaysian Chinese do not care what MCA say or do.
    MCA has ever got vast majority Malaysian Chinese supports….before now and much lesser after 12th GE.
    Donald needs do do or say something …to be noticed….and he is doing it right now…for his own personal selfish idiotic reasons.
    Ignore best.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 6:36 pm

    Whether Donald’s suggestion of Chinese Perkasa is good or crazy depends on one’s standpoint & objective,

    On the surface, any Malaysian wishing for racial harmony in the country will say the 2 Perkasas pitted against each other will only exacerbate the pre-existing deep fault-lines of race and religion and lead to a dangerous climax. Here it may be argued that if the Govt allows Perkasa to openly champion communal interests of malays, why can’t, from standpoinmt of equality of opportunity, Donald’s pseudo one (KLSCAH) be equally allowed to balance things and champion encroachment of Chinese interests? The counterargument is two wrongs don’t make a right. The counterargument to counterpart is, yes, though that may be the case, howeven if KLSCAH does not play the role of a Chinese Perkasa, the government does not appear to evince political will to stop the original Perkasa from continuing a one sided harping of communal issues, so whats the difference?

    The above concerns looking at issue from standpoint of the country’s interest (on the surface of things).

    From MCA’s point of interest, MCA blames Perkasa for alienating Chinese support. Which of course is questionable since MCA has lost Chinse support before advent of Perkasa. So the real reason is more to recover lost Chinese votes by showing that MCA cares enough to sponsor KLSCAH to stand up against Perkasa in the face of UMNO/govt’s impotence to Perkasa’s antics.

    This is where Kee Thuan Chye’s “good cop and bad cop” argument begins. He looks at it from the wider UMNO planned and BN’s objective of winning the next general election. Kee assumes that Donald owes his minister position to UMNO president and for reasons of access to gravy train’s crumbs MCA has been traditionally subservient to UMNO. In the premises there’s no way Donald will suggest this Chinese Perkasa’s idea without collusion and blessing of UMNO. This implies the two main parties of BN are playing good and bad cop to try get back voters lost. It implies both UMNO and MCA will play “moderate” good cop to retain maintream support whilst outsourcing extremist chauvinistic bad cop rhetoric to the original Perkasa in case of UMNO and KLSCAH in case of MCA to win support of the more chauvinistic elements of both communities. In other words everything is a pre-planned political strategy on UMNO led BN to win next election, and who knows the 3rd Perkasa from MIC is afoot!

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 6:40 pm

    My personal sense is that the preceding senario of outsourcing for good cop and bad cop gams to win electoral support is unlikely the case.

    I have said before that just because many UMNO members or even ministers give tacit/oblique support to Perkasa, it does not mean that Perkasa is sponsored as an outsourced unit to play bad cop with UMNO being good cop for electoral games…

    It does not make sense because of various aspects relating to Perkasa that are inconsistent with this theory:

    (i) Perkasa’s activities especially the hard time it gave PM Najib in the Bumi Economic Congress to retract on his 1 Malaysia Govt Transformation Road map/NEM make him lose face;

    (ii) outsourcing bad cop may win some Malay votes but its counterbalanced by loss of non malays votes, as happened in Sibu by election, when UMNO the good cop is seen not doing anything to check the bad cop. If winning Malay votes is everything, and non malay votes don’t count, why UMNO itself can be th bad cop all the way : why outsource when one can do this itself?

    (iii) not all ministers are united to acquiesce with Perkasa’s activities. Some like UMNO Youth chief Khairy & Minister of parliament/law Nazri have spoken out against this so called outsourced unit playing bad cop.

    It is just as likely that the Perkasa, as it professes, comprises old guards and backers defending vested interest in Ketuanan status quo to check Najib from effecting real change/reform.

    Whether I am right or wrong about this, there are certain other implications about Donald’s suggestion of “Chinese Perkasa” that will, if implemented, bring about greater difficulties for UMNO/BN as a whole – that in that sense favourable to Opposition’s Cause, and to some, ultimate nation’s intrerest (depending), which I will explain more fully, not now, but in my next post.

  9. #9 by yhsiew on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 6:57 pm

    I hope Donald Lim Siang Chai is not looking forward to another May 13!

  10. #10 by Thor on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 7:26 pm

    First, we have a hairy monkey.
    Then, a mad cow.
    And now,a stupid duck!!!

  11. #11 by limkamput on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 8:12 pm

    To follow Donald Duck is to follow the par!ah way. Is Perkasa your teacher, Donald? That is the problem with bankrupt politicians coming from bankrupt political parties. Multi-culturalism, multi-lingualism and cosmopolitanism are the only way forward. I will hate Chinese Perkasa as much as Malay Perkasa. These are all wayang kulit played out people whose essence is parochialism, bigotry, and racism. I hope gullible Malaysians will not be duped by this ass duck.

  12. #12 by yhsiew on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 8:19 pm

    Dear Donald Lim,

    We Chinese are not racists/extremists, why make us racists/extremists?

  13. #13 by ktteokt on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 8:31 pm

    So, finally, we have a hero from MCA who dare to retaliate against the bullying of UMNO! But this retaliation is a bit too late don’t you think so, Mr. Donald (Duck)?

  14. #14 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 9:56 pm

    Whatever allegations of ‘good cop & bad cop’ to the contrary, UMNO has never admitted that it has anything to do with Perkasa, the NGO.

    The case of the “Chinese Perkasa” is entirely different from the Malay counterpart. Here a MCA vice-president Donald Lim directly and publicly suggested the idea. He even suggested Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) should play this role as “MCA was not suited to take on such a responsibility as political parties and NGOs operate at different levels” – (Source Malaysiakini, Siah Choong Yan Jul 10). This is a public admission that MCA is involved in the initial conception of the ‘Chinese Perkasa’ and outsourcing its role to KLSCAH! This means that whatever bad and unfortunate that befalls this outsource entity KLSCAH, MCA will similarly ‘kena’ the full brunt of the flak and fall out!

    A few ‘bad or unfortunate’ development may await this “Chinese Perkasa” idea from conception to implementation (if at all):-

    1. First it may be ‘still born’ – aborted at the outset (no implementation) because rest of MCA leaders won’t support this harebrained scheme or even if they do, UMNO/govt would not support such an idea, either because its against ‘1 Malaysia’ motto or a leading component party like MCA should not be seen to be sponsoring or affiliated with such an organisation whose activities add to racial divisions. If the argument were raised by MCA leaders against UMNO/Govt why it is not saying “no” to Malay Perkasa’s activities for the same rationale of causing divisions, UMNO/Govt will say that it did not sponsor Perkasa, is not affiliated to it and that Perkasa is an independent NGO unlike the “Chinese Perkasa” (KLSCAH) which all can see is the brainchild of a MCA vice-president supported by and affiliated to MCA by outsourcing, something a component party of BN should never do.

    2. The original Perkasa itself will have none of this idea mooted by Donald. The very platform of Perkasa is Ketuanan Melayu which means (to it), Donald’s “Chinese Perkasa” is a direct and fundamental challenge to the substratum of Perkasa’s platform. Likely Perkasa’s Ibrahim will say Donald’s idea undermines constitutional provisions protecting Malay rights, is seditious and KLSCAH’s members – and their sponsors MCA’s leaders – should be ISA-ed! From here the scenarios will be:-

    (a) if Ibrahim’s Malay Perkasa does not challenge or quarrel with Donald’s “Chinese Perkasa”, Ibrahim’s Malay Perkasa will lose credibility amongst its adherants – which is a good consequence!

    (b) If UMNO/Govt abides by Ibrahim’s Malay Perkasa’s demands and takes action against Donald’s “Chinese Perkasa”, it will lead to a fundamental rift between UMNO and MCA – which is also another good consequence!

    (c) If UMNO/Govt does not abide by Ibrahim’s Malay Perkasa’s demands and does not take action against Donald’s “Chinese Perkasa”, it will imply UMNO/Govt does not believe in ‘1 Malaysia’ in tolerating the two 2 Perkasas to quarrel and divide races further, and it may also lead to a yet greater rift between Ibrahim’s Malay Perkasa and UMNO for tolerating a “Chinese Perkasa” – which dual consequences are also not that bad!

    (d) If UMNO/Govt uses the opportunity and excuse of banning the “Chinese Perkasa” in order to also ban at the same time the Ibrahim’s Malay’s Perkasa on grounds that both are bad for the country – this is also a good consequence.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 10:04 pm

    Because of so many “good” consequences I say to Donald Lim, good idea, please proceed. You’ll be the champion for yourself – and the Opposition as well!

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 10:52 pm

    Look forward to the quarrel between Ibrahim’s Perkasa & Donald’s Perkasa:-

    Ibrahim’s Perkasa : these people are sh*t, sh*t and sh*t

    Donald’s Perkasa: these people are (in cantonese dialect) shee shee and shee!

  17. #17 by drago2008 on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 11:03 pm

    By his own stupidity, Donald is now a lame Duck in whatever future political venture he dips his webby toes into. If Paul the clairvoyant octopus were to be consulted on Donald the Lame Duck’s political future, I’m sure the tentacled oracle would say this fella will be served on a hot plate as a Peking duck.

  18. #18 by johnnypok on Sunday, 11 July 2010 - 11:26 pm

    I guess KJ is making use of the duck to fight the E-Ali. MCA has nothing to lose. Afterall, it is already a dead party, and Donald Duck can say good by anytime now.

  19. #19 by wanderer on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 1:20 am

    Again coming from the Opposition, sensible and constructive arguments were offered….unlike, the mud head from MCA his proposal was simply, shallow and dangerous.
    What good can come out from this MCA dumb ass’s
    suggestion?…only giving grounds to racist swines to sing more old racist tunes…

  20. #20 by blue_chikaro on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 2:19 am

    politics along racial line is very dangerous, so i thought everybody knows it. lately during my free times i browse some of the well known malaysian bloggers and all of it full of racism. what is wrong with malaysian, i am still in limbo about the answer. you all better see a movie by adam sandler “ZOHAN” and it will open your mind a little bit. helll yeahhh.

  21. #21 by Bigjoe on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 7:20 am

    Its obviously is a stupid idea. But, if it inflames situation, it plays into the hands of the authority who uses it as an excuse to exercise extraordinary power. This is obvious the possibility that is in the minds of Donald Lim.

    Warning should be given to Najib and Muhiyiddin – ANY INFLAMATION OF SENTIMENTS is the fault of UMNO/BN. They are responsible even if a third party actually lit the flames. Forget about blaming Perkasa or other groups or throw suspicion on opposition. They have had 50 years to fix the situation. Its been a decade since they promised reform and instead they grew birth and continue to support the likes of Perkasa and now their very own component calls for Chinese Perkasa. They should resign if any violence occur. They lose ALL legitimacy if situation turns violent.

  22. #22 by dagen on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 9:44 am

    Donald duck is stupid and ugly. That makes donald duck kinda cute. But donald lim you are stupid and ugly and not cute.
    Huh? Oh! Errr. Well.

  23. #23 by Peter on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 1:38 pm

    Now we have a Donald Duck in Bolehland who is only fit to be in the company of Mickey Mouse in Disneyland. Actually, how can this bum can be a MCA DP in the first when he was thrown out after talking cock last time?? Is MCA trying to tell the rakyat that they do not have anyone with integrity, brains and tact??
    Anyway, the rakyat is not surprise if they do not have, judging from their last party election result.

  24. #24 by tak tahan on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 1:51 pm

    Now i know who(Donald duck) is termed prostitute by some umno rep.Selling his soul for his own agenda.Shame on you,ur ancestors n generations.

  25. #25 by on cheng on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 3:52 pm

    stupidest suggestion/proposal, while we criticize perkasa, then we want to be like them, what is this??
    on the other hand, all dis could be a sandiwara between mca n perkasa only??

  26. #26 by on cheng on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 4:02 pm

    It could also be a prelude for Op Lalang 2 (ref. 1987), if Msia Chinese get too heated up

  27. #27 by monsterball on Monday, 12 July 2010 - 4:43 pm

    We have two fat asses fighting for their own race and both are in BN…yet Najib said his “1Malaysia” is working.
    Where is ISA for these two?

  28. #28 by steven chan on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 - 12:17 pm

    Donald Duck has no balls to call Najib to close down Perkasa so instead use his tiny brain to start another perkasa to get cheap publicity n support. What stupidity is this from a Deputy Minister? The whole cabinet is a circus!

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