Get a backbone, Kit Siang tells MCA

by Joseph Sipalan

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang today challenged MCA’s ministers to take a clear stand and demand for action to be taken against two headmasters charged for racism and the closure of the National Civics Bureau (BTN).

He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had already given them the green light to make their position known, when the latter said that MCA should be given “space” within the BN coalition when officiating at their annual general meeting last weekend.

“Here you have the prime minister saying ‘give space to MCA’, and although he said that, you don’t see any MCA minister daring to stand up to make a clear stand to demand that action must be taken against the two headmasters,” Kit Siang (right) said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby.

“Even after Umno gave space to MCA, they don’t use the space. I call on MCA ministers to demand that action be taken against the headmasters and close down the BTN, which is a poisonous anti-Malaysia organisation.”

Lim also took a swipe at federal chief secretary Mohd Sidek Hassan, saying the top civil servant contradicted the statement by Parliament speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, who when rejecting an emergency motion tabled by Lim on Monday, said he was informed by both the Education Ministry and Public Services Department that disciplinary action was on-going against the two headmasters.

Mohd Sidek (right) said yesterday that the government needs to follow proper procedure in dealing with the two headmasters and the BTN official, but would not say whether the trio had been found guilty or disciplined.

“This makes a mockery of the government transformation plan, when two months have elapsed and no action (has been taken) against the two headmasters. Two months and nothing has been done.

“Here the chief secretary declined to say whether they committed any breach of discipline. Has the speaker been misinformed?
“If the speaker is misinformed, then Parliament is misinformed and the chief secretary must be hauled up to Parliament to be disciplined himself,” he said.

  1. #1 by Loh on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 - 11:16 pm

    ///“Here you have the prime minister saying ‘give space to MCA’, and although he said that, you don’t see any MCA minister daring to stand up to make a clear stand to demand that action must be taken against the two headmasters,” Kit Siang (right) said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby.///

    Najib requested UMNO politicians to give space to MCA to air their grievances in public, but those complaints would not be acted upon. It is only talking space that was given given, and that MCA should know not to offend UMNO members. For example MCA is free to request for more Chinese schools, more funds for Chinese schools, more employment opportunities or even stop the 30%. That request would not be acted upon, and UMNOputras should pretend that they did not hear them. Giving space for them to make request would not include giving MCA the liberty to make suggestion that might hurt the feelings of UMNO members or Malays such as requesting action against the two headmasters.

    The statement by Najib is a direct insult to MCA as he implied that MCA on their own would not even dare to complain. Najib had to tell them it is alright for MCA to show the Chinese community MCA is allowed to talk, and to trick the Chinese to vote for BN. Najib said also that he is impatient to await response from the Chinese community. Is he telling the Chinese community that he would choose stick to carrot if MCA cannot deliver, in the coming election?

  2. #2 by tuahpekkong on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 - 11:41 pm

    I think the MCA will not push too hard for punishment to be meted out on these three racists, lest the Malay papers deliberately misrepresent or distort their stand. Many of their MPs and state assemblymen depend on Malay voters to win their seats, so they definitely do not want to alienate these voters. But MCA also need Chinese votes, so the reason for their perfunctory effort on this issue. I think the Government has no intention to censure these three culprits, otherwise action would have been taken long ago. Esok, lusa, lama lama sudah lupa.

  3. #3 by penang lim on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 7:23 am

    the problem is these goons are all “YES MEN” , they can never change and has been inheriting this culture for the past 50 years or so – don’t expect them to change as long as they are in power –

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 7:25 am

    YB Kit Siang’s challenge to MCA “to get a backbone” is a “poison fruit” to MCA because the challenge were accepted only at this juncture -after the ‘space and latitude’ given by Najib/UMNO but not pursued before (unlike what DAP has consistently done), it will not now prove at all that MCA has any “back bone” but actually prove, on the contrary, that it has none, since its action of pursuing disciplinary action against the principals appears entirely contingent upon permission and grace having first been given by Najib/UMNO.

    There is yet also another reason why I am not altogether that comfortable with Kit’s stringent and persistent call to government to punish the errant principals. For that we have to evaluate the pros and cons for such a course and do some soul searching why it is pursued with such vehemence.

    There is no doubt that the racial epithets made by the 2 errant principals and deputy BTN director were insensitive and wrong having regard to the former’s position as principals of a multiracial school and the latter’s role as educator of civil servants. What they have said reflect their “racial” mindset and how far race relations have deteriorated when minds of these civil servants have been poisoned by UMNO’s hegemony politics against Non Malays…

    That they should be held accountable and ‘punished’ in some way is necessary – but how and in what way or by what process having regard to ‘proportionality and severity of punishment’ is now the real issue.

    The way the racial epithets of the 3 public servants are under public scrutiny – even to the extent of a motion being moved in Malaysian Parliament by Opposition demanding for action to be taken- sounds like many people offended are braying for blood of these civil servants for their infractions.

    They are braying for blood because had the racial epithets been made by Non Malays against Malays, the offenders would have been straightaway been punished by the authorities, if not already investigated by police for sedition like the case of Namewee instead of excuses like following general orders being cooked up. Non Malays are fed up with the selective treatment and justice and many are using the mistakes of these 3 civil servants as an example to demand in the first instance equal treatment and justice for the offence of being racially insensitive to others and in second instance as deterrence against future infractions by those indoctrinated by BTN!

    To pursue and hound the civil servants for these larger political objectives – to do justice to Non Malays – whilst understandable may be counter-productive in relation to the larger end result of trying to make Malaysia a racially more harmonious place as in the time before TDM’s NEP and BTN.

    Non Malays should do first by example of being not so petty as to be so collectively incensed by insensitive things said by ignorant civil servants as to make theirs a capital crime warranting matter being raised in Parliament.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 7:28 am

    Continuing from preceding post: There is nothing wrong with a Non Malays voicing his displeasure and offence at racial epithets being made to them and demanding some accountability – as the students and their parents have done- but to go all the way and have their community leaders or parties whether MCA DAP etc to make a big issue in the face of a lack of quick action by authorities will only show that Non Malays are petty and could not rise above these kind of petty infractions and mistakes by civil servants who should have known better.

    It also shows people are seizing the mistakes of 3 civil servants to make a political point to the government that it should not to administer selective racial justice, never mind if the row kicked up is disproportionate to the gravity of these offences of these civil servants. Even if they apologise, it is now not enough, we want their blood, want them to be sacked, lose their pension etc which is also reflective of a vindictive and petty nature of the one crying for justice.

    We should start the healing process. The culprit is racial politics. In a larger sense, its not just the Non Malay students who have been victimized. Even the 3 civil servants and ‘victimisers’ have been victimized by racial politics in the sense of having their mindset skewed that way by the courses that BTNM conducted and the racial political culture of the day.

    Whilst making the 3 servants accountable in some way does making their scapegoats to make a political point helpful?

    There are already too many racists in our midst. To hound the 3 civil servants for racial corrective justice is to deepen the racial schisms and invite counter actions of offended Malays demanding for blood from a Non Malay who has inadvertently or otherwise made a racially derogatory statement against malays.

    40 years ago if 3 civil servants were to make such racial epithets, others would have just laughed it off or ignored them for being something wrong “upstairs”. Malaysians were not so sensitive. However today it’s the opposite: everyone has to be careful in not offending members of other racial groups because otherwise it would provoke an inter-community and inter political party contest of strength using the offence as a leverage point, blowing the whole issue of punishment out of proportion.

    We are SO sensitive now, a measure of how far race relations have deteriorated over 40 years. To take the corrective steps to unwind damage and start the healing process we should go the direction of being less sensitive and more forgiving and resist temptation of politicians to capitalize on this issue to score points….

    I urge Non Malays to do by example – and take this moderate stance of forgiving since we all say moderation is preferred to extremism. If you want to rail and demand blood direct your vehemence against BN’s communal politics and the BTN and its indoctrination courses. Don’t direct your ire at these at the 3 civil servants to make them examples and scapegoats of larger unresolved controversies.

    We should show by example that we can rise above such petty offence so that those of the other side inclined to racial mindset can learn from our example of how to behave!

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 8:36 am

    MCA – Malaysian Coelenterates Association.

    Membership confined to Hydra, Jellyfish, Anemone, Corals.

    UMNO, MIC, GERAKAN are all associate members.

    They are all invertebrates and so have no backbones.

  7. #7 by ktteokt on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 9:00 am

    It will take MCA another 1 billion years of evolution before it can acquire a BACKBONE! It was born an INVERTEBRATE!!!!

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 9:07 am

    Our former PM TDM does not use racial epithets. He’s more sophisticated, smarter in advancing the racist mindset than the two errant principals and BTN deputy director. He was reported by ThealaysianInsider on 13th Oct to have just said in his CheDet blog that Malays still neededhandicaps because they including himself could not otherwise compete with other races; for in the case of the Chinese, they have 4000 years of civilization headstart – and in order for Chinese not to be offended he even took it one step further to magnimously agree that it was not shameful of him to admit that the Chinese have developed Malaysia and had UK the proportion of Chinese population that we have here, UK would be more developed that what it is….He also said it was not shameful to lose out to the Chinese but to catch up would require handicaps and to be given handicaps which were to ensure fairness and not prove discrimination…..He also said Najib’s 1 Malaysia was confusing and created problems as it meant different things to different people.

    As YB Kit says he’s no.1 racist in sense of advancing the ideology of race and communal politics. He patronises Malays by insisting they still need handicaps even when the PM is proceeding the other way to say ‘maybe they don’t’ by 1 Malaysia and NEM. He denigrates “1 Malaysia” – it means different things to different people because precisely many people are confused by him and made to think they need handicaps.

    Now look at it : surely his intellect and stature far exceed that of the 2 errant principals & the BTN Director. The 2 errant principals & the BTN Director might have used racial epithets and caused offence to the sensitive but no where can they be anywhere near to TDM in terms of advancing, entrenching and perpetuating racist ideology and mindset in our political and social culture. In fact what TDM said was precisely the ideology that had influenced the 2 errant principals & the BTN Director.

    Here again we punish the students for kurang ajar but exempt their master who taught them.

    So I ask who is the principal offender and culprit in promoting racist ideology – the former PM or these 2 errant principals & the BTN Director?

    You know the answer, and yet we bray for the blood and hound right to Parliament the secondary offenders – 2 errant principals & the BTN Director just because they were not that sophisticated to avoid using racial epithets – and yet keep harmless the principal one who still spews his ideas on race to the general public and has influence over some sections of the public.

    It is my turn to ask – where is the justice or proportionate justice?

    In pursuing racial equality why are we braying for blood of the rabbits who chewed on our grass right to the august chambers of Parliament and yet not do the same for the Big Dog that is tearing down our whole house????

    Where is the proportion about the correct party/direction to direct our legitimate ire and anger ? Think it should be on 2 errant principals & the BTN Director whose severe punishment we demand and yet as far as the principal ideologue of race based politics, we only engage in criticism and civilised contradictions over the Net without demand for punishment???

  9. #9 by baochingtian on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 9:13 am

    #6. Anemone and clown-fish depicts mutualism relationship. Clownfish gets the protection on such issue from anemone and in return anemone gets the food that the clownfish pocketed in.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 9:22 am

    I am of course not saying that we demand punishment for TDM : he has freedom of speech though we may not agree with what he says. However my point is that if he were not punished should we demand capital punishment for the 3 small offenders – right up to Parliament?

    This is not to say that the trio should not be accountable. At least one of the principals have apologised. If they say that the Public Service Commission has instituted disciplinary proceedings, then provided that that is true, we should chill out and leave the issue rest. Further clamour does not help the situation in the country at all. More harm than good will ensue.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 9:29 am

    Per #9 – so we try destroy the little clown fish with extreme prejudice and leave the Anemone to its deliberations and think that the overall ecology will improve???

    Won’t every clownfish destroyed lead to 2 other clownfish being bred to the satisfaction of the Anemone???

    It is not exactly an inspiring and clever strategy to improve the ecology is it? Why don’t you tackle the Anemone (the source) direct?

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 9:33 am

    And by Anemone-clown fish I don’t use it in the sense depicted in # 6&10 context!

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 10:03 am

    MCA’s inaction against the two headmasters charged for racism and the closure of the National Civics Bureau (BTN) is to help UMNO garner Malay support in the 13th GE so as to make sure BN “win big” in the GE.

  14. #14 by Godfather on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 10:17 am

    “Whilst making the 3 servants accountable in some way does making their scapegoats to make a political point helpful? ” Jeffrey

    Try restating the question in simple English. An offence is an offence is an offence, so why should we think that the 3 servants commit a lesser crime than their master ? And who says that we are exempting Mamakthir ? By dismantling BTN, it is a direct slap in his face, and he knows it. He has other crimes (bigger ones) that he must face judgment for – corruption of the judiciary, abuse of power, conspiracy to fabricate evidence, etc etc.

    Proportionate justice is too fuzzy a concept here. The basic tenet here is that an offence has been committed in public, and the perpetrators have not been punished for the offence.

  15. #15 by Godfather on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 10:20 am

    The main reason why Mamakthir is so vocal about Malay rights, NEP, etc is because he is fearful of Najib dismantling his legacy, and in the process of dismantling his legacy, the can of worms he so carefully nurtured and ensured that it remained unopened would be open for all to see.

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 10:34 am

    Lucky miners were trapped underground in Chile where their President n gomen did a fantastic job in rescuing all 33 miners, regardless of nationality
    Imagine miners trapped underground in M’sia n rescue work organised by IBRAhim & MMK
    God/Allah has mercy on nonMalay miners trapped underground

  17. #17 by Cinapek on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 11:29 am

    Lest it be overlooked, the first racist principal made her racist remarks in her school in Kulai, which happens to be the parliamentary constituency of Ong Ka Ting, the previous MCA President. Until today, we have hardly heard a squeek from him regarding this contentious matter. He is content letting others do the fighting for him. As a former MCA leader, if he has any backbone, his voice could have lend much weight to the demand for action to be taken against the racist principal. Instead, his continued silence are the stuff that made Perkasa described the “pendatangs” as “cina tidak berbola” . These spineless leaders are the people who have disgracefully destroyed the leverage and legacy of MCA that giants such as Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin had painstakingly built up.

  18. #18 by BoycottLocalPapers on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 12:14 pm

    I hope YAB Lim Kit Siang will not close his eyes to the atrocity and racism committed by the PAS government in Kelantan towards the Orang Asli.

    Today, Raja Petra revealed that:

    The Orang Asli in Galas are not happy with the state government. This is because the district office demolished their church. Why they would demolish a church deep in the jungles, which is of no threat to anyone and is off the beaten track, is anyone’s guess.

    The Orang Asli took the government to court and won. But the district office is appealing the court’s verdict so the matter is still unresolved. Why can’t the district office admit defeat and allow the Orang Asli to rebuild their demolished church? I don’t know. Maybe it is because the government hates losing.

    Now, PAS needs the support of the Orang Asli to be able to win the Galas by-election. But will the Orang Asli give PAS their votes or will they use this by-election to punish PAS for what the district office did to their church and for stubbornly still fighting to overturn the court decision?

    It is a predicament that PAS is soon going to face. If PAS can ‘pull rank’ and instruct the ‘Little Napoleons’ in the district office to withdraw its appeal and accept the court’s verdict and allow the Orang Asli to have their church then it is possible that the situation can still be salvaged. If not, then this seat may fall to Umno.

    It is perplexing that the district office refuses to allow the Orang Asli their church when the state government gave the Hindus in Kelantan permission to build a temple. In fact, the Hindus did not ask for a temple. It was Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat who summoned the Hindus for a meeting and offered permission for them to build a temple. Why now make a big deal out of the Orang Asli church?

    Since the Tsunami, we have been singing praises to PAS and we have been telling others how good PAS is if compared to UMNO. Is PAS really that good and better than UMNO? Or is PAS using us to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state? Are we being deceived by PAS?

    I hope DAP will not be silence on this important issue as Orang Asli are Malaysian too and they have the rights to build churches just like everyone else.

    If I am MCA president, I would use this fact raised by Raja Petra to counter attack. Unfortunately, MCA couldn’t care less about the Orang Asli as it is a racist party that only care about the “Chinese.” I hope DAP will not be like MCA. If YAB Lim Kit Siang can’t speak out, then I hope YAB Karpal Singh will speak out against PAS like he always do.

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 3:31 pm

    LKS tells MCA 2 get a backbone
    So easy meh? It takes a long time 2 evolve fr an invertebrate to a vertebrate
    MCA prefers 2 remain as a soft invertebrate eating soft rice fr UmnoB

  20. #20 by Loh on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 5:19 pm

    ///We are SO sensitive now, a measure of how far race relations have deteriorated over 40 years. To take the corrective steps to unwind damage and start the healing process we should go the direction of being less sensitive and more forgiving and resist temptation of politicians to capitalize on this issue to score points….///– Jeffrey

    Was the call for disciplinary action to be taken against the two errant principals and the BTN deputy director because the Chinese community felt the words as hurting, and hence the Chinese could be said to the too sensitive or indulgence? Is there no other valid reason to call for their punishment?

    Had the two principals been ordinary persons making those remarks against others who have no hierarchal connection with them, the remarks could be ignored. But the principals are supposed to set examples. The words used by the principals do not constitute guidance to students; they exude hatred. That sets bad examples to the public in general and the students of the schools if no action is taken to demonstrate that it was unbecoming of the principals to be careless in their remarks. The demand for punishment is not petty. It is for the greater good of the society that every person has to be responsible for his actions.

    The healing process is not needed since there is no conflict and animosity. It is just that politicians choose to take the racist stand to gain name recognition and now that teachers are allowed to enter into active politics as UMNO members, one wonders whether those were their maiden showoff as Champion of Malay race, similar to what Mamakthir has been doing based on a different script.

    When UMNO leaders pretend to be more accommodating and less racist in approach, it is an excellent occasion to call their bluff. UMNO should demonstrate whether they treat all Malaysians with the same standard, before the rule or law.

    UMNO is ever ready scoring point that they serve Malay interest. Asking UMNO to deal with the errant principals serves to stop UMNO scoring political point. If it is called capitalization of an issue, then the issue serves its unintended benefits.

  21. #21 by Godfather on Thursday, 14 October 2010 - 6:41 pm

    It’s very simple. The Speaker has gone on record as saying that action has been taken against the two school heads. In the interests of transparency, which these UMNO goons are so happy to brag about, tell us what sort of action has been taken. If none has been taken, as is the suspicion of the general public, then the Speaker has lied, or has been misled. Either way isn’t good for the future of this country.

  22. #22 by Jeffrey on Friday, 15 October 2010 - 6:45 am

    It is not that there is no public call for disciplinary action to be taken against the two errant principals and the BTN deputy director.

    There is.

    And the Question is how far we want to push and escalate it – and the wisdom of continuing to press so (in the interest of capitalizing on this issue to so called stop UMNO from scoring political point) against the backdrop fact that we are by now a very polarized society/country. (I mean ‘healing’
    in that context).

    Well if escalating an issue like this up to Malaysian Parliament is deemed justified – now that the speaker does not allow motion, shall we consider next bringing it up to (say) the International Conference of Members and ASEAN Parliamentarians and other international forums under the pretext of illustrating how Malaysian parliament protect racism of bureaucrats or their racial epithets ?

  23. #23 by Jeffrey on Friday, 15 October 2010 - 7:13 am

    I forget that it is also a pity that we just missed the opportunity afforded by The World Conference against Racism organized by the UNESCO held just last year or else it could also be another ‘appropriate’ forum to bring up for international discussion of various participating countries what the principals said as against the apparent nonchalance of the Malaysian govt to address racial epithets.

  24. #24 by Peter on Friday, 15 October 2010 - 11:56 am

    MCA is irrelevant since 0308. It was made completely irrelevant when a porn star took over since. That poor ex-president Ong had now been sidelined because he at least dare to tell the truth esp that Billions$$$$$$$$$ PKFZ fiasco.
    To be fair and honest you will end up as a dead duck politically to say the least.
    To expect the present bunch of MCA oppo_tuni_ts to call for actions against those racialistic dickheads school headmasters and that equally BTN coward is like telling them to go to hell.

  25. #25 by dagen on Friday, 15 October 2010 - 1:12 pm


    There. A backbone. Nice and new. Ready and good for use. Just ermm ju…just shaft it in … well. (Psst come closer pls will ya, shaft it into your rear. It might hurt a little. So remember to apply some K thing. And dont worry. There will be no sign of penetration.)

  26. #26 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 15 October 2010 - 6:02 pm

    After the past 30 years or so, I don’t think the majority of the CDs are tready to change; that being the main reason they chopped off OTK in the firat instance. One thing I am rather perturbed is their refusal to realize that the Community they claimed they represented is no longer interested in what would happen to them, now or ever! If their main objective is to take us for a ride, they will never have a chance from now on.

  27. #27 by Loh on Friday, 15 October 2010 - 6:11 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Mahathir’s words

    By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on October 13, 2010 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (36) | TrackBacks (0)

    It is quite a long wait for moderation

  28. #28 by boh-liao on Saturday, 16 October 2010 - 12:15 pm

    MCAputras r not there 2 represent Chinese or M’sians
    They r there 2 enrich themselves n their cronies by kowtowing 2 UmnoB n picking up d crumbs (better than nothing)
    D only way nonMalays can demand 4 their rights is 2 throw/vote BN out

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