The last 48 hours in Malaysia saw the power of democracy. At MCA’s EGM on October 10, 2009, Ong Tee Keat was knocked out by a no-confidence motion; but Chua Soi Lek was not reinstated as Deputy (though re-admitted as member). Just a few hours ago, Mr money-politic Mohd Isa Samad won the Bagan Pinang (BP) by-election by a landslide.

The people of BP have spoken. The people at BP want development (ie, money in their pockets) without bothering the fact that the man they elected has been proven to be corrupt. I must now say (and I don’t say it with venom or anger; but with gentle assertion) – that unfortunately the people of BP have lost the moral authority to question corrupt practices prevalent in Malaysia, particularly at that constituency. They have lost the moral right to question the police officer who demands “coffee-money”. They have lost the moral right to demand a non-corrupt land office.

I suppose we deserve the Government we get. Despite the clear corrupt conduct of Isa Samad, he won. Pakatan Rakyat would have to study the situation and understand why they lost so badly. But in fairness, this was an UMNO seat to lose, though the higher majority won by UMNO raised eyebrows.

If we look at the UMNO machinery, Najib announced that Port Dickson located at BP as an “Army City” with incentives etc. Muhyiddin announced a new land for an Indian school. Najib attended the Makkal Sakti Party inaugural assembly. There was the usual promises of development etc, but the combination of Isa’s selection and Najib’s movement with the Indian community swung the votes to UMNO.

Pakatan’s perceived in-fighting is not helping. PAS Selangor’s antics in recent weeks have fueled talks that all is not well in Pakatan.

As for MCA, they are in deep waters. The members have ripped apart the party, and in my view, it will take many years for MCA to recover. Perhaps MCA should just leave BN and join Pakatan, that would give them a little more credence with the Chinese community. But one must respect the courage of the MCA members to take this step and rid the party of 2-fighting men. They now have the chance to start again, though (as mentioned earlier), I think, it will take some time before it gets back on its feet again.

We can’t really complain about BP’s decision to revive a corrupt man’s political career, as even the Americans were dumb enough to vote in George Bush for the 2nd term despite him clearly lying to the Americans. Whilst I don’t think the Americans are any better than us; but if the self-proclaimed world’s-best-democracy would vote a man in who lied, I suppose it’s alright to vote in a corrupt person.

2 replies on “The Enigma of Democracy: MCA and UMNO”

  1. You know what I've been hearing about the results at the MCA EGM? "Yes, OTK has been doing a good job in fighting corruption, but why is he picking on our fellow Chinese? UMNO, MIC etc seem to get away with it. Why does he hantam our own people but he cannot do anything about the other bahgers!" They resent this and consequently vote against OTK. We've gotten to the stage when we no longer protest the wrongful deed itself; instead we look at whether other people are as corrupt as we are and get angry when they don't get found out. So if we are looking at the loss of a moral compass, it certainly afflicts more than just the people of Bagan Pinang.

    And MCA joining PR is going to do squat to help their credibility. PKR, the driver of PR, is nothing more than a protest vehicle for DSAI and their lack of depth and grassroots support has been cruelly exposed. The "political tsunami" was nothing but a massive protest vote against the BN, not a vote for the PR. Anwar's stained mattress could have run in March 2008 and taken its place in the Dewan Rakyat.

  2. My dear Loyar Bagus

    I agree with your view that the “tsunami” of March 8, 2008 was nothing but a “negative” vote against the National Front parties, not a “positive” vote for the Pakatan Rakyat parties.

    Do remember that there was a convergence of several factors, all acting in unison, that threw up the volatility in the voters in the urban areas, although some rural areas in the periphery were also affected.

    What our learned friend Richard Wee was trying to say in not so many words is that “democracy” is not perfect. It never was, although Sir Winston Churchill says that it is the best system that the West has invented.

    But Sir Winston did not live to see the “bureaucratic paralysis” that attended the big storm in the United States vis-a-vis “the milk of human kindness” that oozed out of the Chinese Communist system when China had its earthquake.

    Yes, my dear Richard, democracy is never perfect. Like any camera, it depends on the person behind that camera. Give an idiot the best camera and generally he will still produce a stupid photograph!

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