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The Political Mess in Tanjung Piai

  • Goodbye, MCA.

By Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

By far, the Tanjung Piai by election is the most interesting one among all the others since May 9th 2018. No one can predict with absolute certainty who the voters would finally pick as the winner. If even there is a winner, the fractures in Semenanjung’s community will set many people writing and researching about it long after the ballots are cast on the 16th of November. I call this by election ‘a political mess’ because of so many interesting reasons and possible voter permutation.

Before the Kongress Maruah Melayu that saw racist and bigoted statements given ‘academic credibility’ I would have written off PH in the Tanjung Piai election. If the UMNO-PAS alliance placed a Malay candidate, the majority of Malay voters would have no problem giving their faith to these two racist parties. Why is this so? Well, because we have seen that racism is not only the purview of the educated but also the PhD educated Malays with rankings of Vice Chancellors and Professors. I have said many times that Semenanjung is a completely lost cause for the concept of Malaysia. For PH to win, they would have to put up a Chinese candidate from PKR or DAP but since the seat was allocated to PPBM, it will definitely have to be a Malay. The Chinese will still remember the smiling face of a young Minister posing with Zakir Naik, a PPBM MP organizing Zakir Naik to be the Imam of a mass prayer and now the Perak MB spouting his crusade against the Chinese DAP. Good luck to PPBM! Thus, it was no surprise that PH has resorted to the BN style of campaigning by awarding everything from Sim Cards to massive projects. It used to be bicycles for kids and kain batik for women.

If MCA were to come in the election as an independent party, I think most probably the Chinese votes would go to it. Now that Berjasa has put up its own candidate there is a strong possibility of a split between the PPBM candidate who is a religious school Head Teacher and the other Melayu. But MCA is campaigning as a partner to the UMNO-PAS alliance even though PAS has declared MCA as a ‘willing partner’ or a kafir dzimmi concept. It is obvious that MCA seems nothing more than an ornament on a mantle and not a strong voice in the coalition of UMNO-PAS. This election is NOT between PH and BN, but between PH and UMNO-PAS with shadows of BN represented by the weak MCA. Judging by the answers of the MCA candidate, I had to smile and surmised it as the famous phrase in civil service ‘saya yang menurut perintah’. No back bone at all. I felt really sad because I find MCA, despite them being a race based party, as not being racist. UMNO has been racist for 40 years but Pas has only been racist for the last 10 years. I do not remember any statement of MCA that would make me think that it was a racist party. But, the MCA leadership is the one showing very little for it to be considered a party with strong principles and integrity to lead Malaysia. Goodbye, MCA.

This election is also about Malays versus Malaysians. Malays are those who consider themselves Malays in Malaysia and have absolutely no idea what it means to be Malaysian. However, Malaysians of Semenanjung are Chinese, Indians, others and a few Malays who know that being Malaysian means appreciating all races and their contributions in building Malaysia in the past, the present and will continue to contribute to a greater Malaysia. Malays are those who have a warped understanding of Islam as a religion that encourages enmity in order to be a ‘true believer’ or mukmin and also the idea that Malays are the Tuan Tanah of this country, disregarding our brethrens in Sabah and Sarawak.

Where is GERAKAN in all this political mess? Will it come out as the Third Force or simply a spoiler like PAS was supposed to be in GE14? Out of nowhere, suddenly GERAKAN comes to the fore. Where was it during the Kongres Maruah Melayu and the racist statements of UMNO and PAS? I don’t remember any statement by its leaders, certainly not the one who has become a candidate for the Tanjung Piai election. There was a theory floating around that GERAKAN was ‘asked’ to be a spoiler by breaking up the Chinese votes and give PPBM an easy victory. I hope this is not true. I am looking for a Third Force and would like to think that GERAKAN might play that role, but we will all have to wait after the election to see if the party can play a significant role in Malaysian politics by putting their stand clearly and following up with actions. At this juncture, we in civil society have never seen even its shadow until now.

Who will win in Tanjung Piai? I really do not know. In other by-elections, I was able to guess accurately the winners, but in Tanjung Piai, the jury is still out. If MCA decide to denounce the UMNO-PAS coalition publicly, I think it would carry the day. The Malay votes have split between PPBM and Berjasa with PPBM having the edge in ‘handout politics’. Since no one believes that MCA has any backbone, so that would not happen.

At the end of the day, I think the ‘handout politics’ will win the day and Malaysians will not blame the Malaysian voters. Why? Because none of the candidates present any kind of principle that would rebuild this country. It’s a by-election without any principles of justice, integrity and dignity for all. Its same old same old and just another election day in Malaysia. Yawn.

(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)

 

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