Component leaders must realise the true spirit of ‘power sharing’

Non Malay particularly Semenanjung-based Chinese BN component leaders seems to be rallying around MCA President Dato’ Seri Chua Soi Lek’s call for new or additional Federal Government policy shouldn’t be introduced during UMNO Assemblies.

The Sun’s story this morning:

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Koh defends Chua over ‘power sharing’ remarks

PETALING JAYA (Dec 9, 2010): Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has come out in support of MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, saying his remarks at the Barisan Nasional convention on Sunday, Nov 5, in a way reflect the perception of the non-Malay community.

“For example, announcing major government policies after Umno meetings and not just after cabinet and BN meetings has given rise to the perception that BN is not quite a coalition of equals as stated in the BN constitution,” said Koh in a statement today.

He was responding to criticisms of Chua’s speech, where he called for equality and genuine power sharing in the coalition. The MCA president has come under fire by several Umno politicians, including vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkash.

Hishammuddin had on Wednesday, ticked Chua off, saying BN leaders should focus on the political transformation agenda mooted by the prime minister instead of raising trivial issues to serve their own personal interest.

Chua had asked that Umno leaders not use the phrase “ketuanan Melayu” as it denoted a master-slave relationship and that any policy should not be announced at the Umno supreme council or Umno general assembly.

Koh pointed out that he had called for BN to be a party for democracy with responsibility in his speech at the convention.

He also emphasised that democracy must also be practised within BN and its component parties must be given the space to express views, but in a positive and constructive manner within the framework of the basic tenets of BN and major policies.

However, Koh, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said BN leaders should not overreact in this matter, especially in the open, but rather move on.

Instead, he said they should “make full use of internal mechanisms available to us like the cabinet and BN meetings”.

MCA central committee member and deputy chairman of the party’s publicity bureau Loh Seng Kok has also come out to defend Chua.

In a press statement, Loh said Chua was merely being forthright when he delivered his speech at the convention.

He said the MCA president’s comments reflects the views and opinion held by many people on the shortcomings within BN.

“BN leaders including Hishammuddin and Puad Zarkash must display an honest and humble attitude and accept the facts,” he said, adding that as leaders “we must be always ready to accept public criticisms and questionings”.

These BN component leaders must realise that the concept of ‘power sharing’ is ‘Malay leaders willing to ‘invite’ Non Malay leaders in the Government so that their communities be represented’. It was never about ‘equal’ share to power.

MCA performed poorly in the 12 GE 8 March 2008. Their representation in the Dewan Rakyat dropped from 31 MPs in the 2004-8 electoral period to 15. They remained in power within the ambit of the ‘power sharing’ concept because UMNO leaders gave face to the MCA BN component partner. MCA still enjoy 4 Cabinet Ministers despite of their inability to deliver the votes to BN.

Even right from the start, MCA is voted into power during the 1955 Federation of Malay Assembly elections is weighted on the Malay votes, since 80% of eligible voters then were the Malays. MCA were allocated 15 out of the 52 seats contested by the Alliance Party despite the Chinese majority area does not reach that number.

Similarly Koh and Gerakan should be thankful that they are still around, being part of the ‘power sharing’ in the current administration despite of the poor performance in the 12 GE 8 March 2008 is about the goodwill of the Malays, via their Leadership.

It is traditional that the Prime Minister, who the past five past the current is the UMNO President. That makes them de facto leaders of the Malays, who are the majority of Malaysians. No doubt Federal Government policies are meant for Malaysians as a whole. However, the Malays being the majority and ever since Independence the focus of Federal Government policies had always been on developmental economics, it makes practical sense that new and upcoming announcements be made when the Malays are hyped talking about politics and their concern how to chart the path on the nation moving forward.

Prime Ministers in the capacity also as UMNO Presidents making their announcements in traditional keynote UMNO Assembly address and AGM adjournment speeches by no means excluding or worst of all, discriminating the Non Malays. In fact, in the recently concluded 23 October 2010 UMNO AGM Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak did say “Focusing on the Malays without neglecting the Non Malays and the rest of the nation. UMNO will champion not only for the Malays but for Malaysia”.

It makes great economic sense. The Malays are the biggest consumer in the country. Increasing the socio-economy position and level of disposable income means the power of purchase of the majority is made available for a bigger market. Additional to that is that will naturally provide the comfort to the Malays, which is strategically beneficial in stability of the nation. That is one of the key success factor for the economic growth. That is was the New Economic Policy was set out to achieve.

In short, UMNO steadfast looking and protecting the interest of the Malays shall strategically propel the growth of the nation, by having racial harmony, political stability and economic prosperity.

Would them ‘challenging’ the Malay leadership at this point of them (crossroad and middle junction of an electoral period) makes them in a better political position amongst the communities they represent? That is a doubtful notion. The Chinese community already lost their faith on Semenanjung Chinese-based BN component parties long before the 12 GE 8 March 2008 ‘Political Tsunami’. And yet the MCA leaders conveniently blame newly formed Malay NGOs like PERKASA (which was formed after the 12 GE ‘Political Tsunami’) for poor Chinese votes on BN candidates in the post 12 GE by-elections just in the recent P094 Hulu Selangor campaign.

MCA leaders did go into areas that they should not have, in trying to make themselves look good. During the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selembau joint by-election campaigns April last year, MCA Youth Chief Dato’ Wee Ka Siong threw the notion of asking for a second Deputy Prime Minister (which should be slotted for the Chinese). Imagine in their position of being poor-performers they have the cheek to make such demand!

Did they consider the feelings of the majority Malays who actually enabled 15 of their Chinese ethnic representatives be voted in Dewan Rakyat in the current Parliamentary term?

Semenanjung Chinese-based BN component parties must always realise that they are in no position to demand anything, let alone make comments that would hurt the Malays. Slighting the Malay majority would naturally put them in worse conundrum where they are already in, especially not having the confidence let alone the support of their own communities that they are supposed to present.

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 12:07  Comments (10)