Politics for dummies in new Malaysia

Pakatan Harapan

I had the opportunity to witness the argument of dumb and dumber. There’s so many of them around. Intelligent people giving lame arguments for the sake of arguing.

Some of these arguments are provided and tailored to suit their sentiments by political narrators. Surprisingly there are so many successful people buying these arguments without being critical or analytical.

Shall we blame this on our education system again? Or blame MCA or Barisan Nasional (BN)? The problem is some of these people are highly qualified, successful in their own right but they are not educated locally. Thus, we cannot blame our education system anymore.

One such argument is that the BN government was granted more than 60 years’ rule, thus we should allow the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to continue to rule for a longer time or a similar period.

When a friend said that the PH government had failed to deliver its promises and was making too many U-turns on ministerial decisions and policies, another lambasted him by saying:

“Why can’t you use your common sense? PH has just ruled for nine months whereas BN ruled for more than 60 years.”

He added common sense will tell you that PH needs more time to deliver its promises.

This flawed argument was generated by PH propaganda machines to buy more time and to escape from delivering their promises. It is not a masterpiece but so many intelligent, critical and sensible Malaysians bought this argument per se.

This has been repeatedly quoted and generated to shut down citizens who are critical or beginning to be more critical by calling for PH to deliver its promises or taking PH government and ministers to task for clear failures.

So you see, common sense is sometimes not very common. And common sense varies from person to person. What’s obvious to some may not be so to others. It further shows that some “common sense” is neither common nor does it make sense.

This argument of BN’s more than 60 years’ rule is a classic example. How can so many Malaysians swallow this argument to defend the present PH government’s failures, neglect and avoidance of duty, responsibility and integrity?

Firstly, the BN government ruled less than 60 years as its predecessor the Alliance Party consisting of Umno , MCA and MIC ruled from 1957 to 1969 . The Alliance Party evolved into BN in 1973 when Tunku Abdul Rahman who stood for secularism, multiracialism and multiculturalism was forced to step down by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the May 13 racial riots in 1969.

Thereafter, BN was formed by embracing the then opposition parties Gerakan, People’s Progressive Party and PAS and also some regional parties in Sabah and Sarawak.

True to the “ultra-Malay” movement initiated by Dr Mahathir and Tun Musa Hitam, BN walked the path of nationalism by bypassing the spirit of secularism, multiracialism and multiculturalism that Tunku Abdul Rahman and the Alliance Party stood for.

Thus there’s a period of Alliance rule under Tunku Abdul Rahman which was founded and supported by Umno, MCA and MIC which was challenged from within by “ultra-Malays” in Umno and questioned by opposition parties Gerakan, PPP, PAS and DAP then. Alliance failed to win popular support then and collapsed.

This is common knowledge but not very common in the eyes or minds of many young Malaysians who were told by DAP propagandists to ignore past achievements by MCA and look at the present racial quagmire in Malaysia with a tag “Blame it on MCA and BN”.

Let’s than look at the present racial quagmire in Malaysia and see who is to be blamed.

First, who was opposed to Tunku’s leadership of secularism, multiculturalism and multiculturalism then? It was PAS, Gerakan, PPP, Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM) and DAP. These parties banding together destroyed the very fabric of ethnic power-sharing and equilibrium propounded by the Alliance. Unfortunately, this equilibrium was destroyed by DAP when they campaigned against MCA along with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s Malaysian Malaysia.

DAP launched an attack against MCA by campaigning against bumiputra privileges accorded under Article 153 of the Constitution and took MCA to task. They went on to win 13 Parliamentary seats from MCA and together with Gerakan wrested power from MCA by winning the majority state seats in Penang in 1969.

Thereafter DAP’s success paved the way for ultra-Malays in Umno to force Tunku to step aside when Dr Mahathir wrote an open letter accusing Tunku for being soft and failing to protect and help the Malays to progress. Together with PAS, the new Umno without Tunku formed BN with a stronger Malay agenda leading to the Ketuanan Melayu era.

MCA was not responsible for the political predicament of having to choose between being with a new coalition or forced to stay out of a new government under the umbrella of BN. Upon the pressure of the Chinese community leaders through the guilds, associations and chambers of commerce, MCA opted to be part of the BN government under a new political umbrella with a lesser say or voice unlike before.

MCA made the decision to continue to be in the government not because our leaders then wanted to be in the cabinet but to continue to be a bridge to close the racial gap and to uphold the racial and religious harmony of the Alliance days.

Thereafter, it was a BN era from 1973 to 2018 which is about 45 years out of which about half of the period was under Mahathirism.

MCA had to fight against all forms of extremism in the beginning years of a rocky interracial relationship post-May 13. The amount of political concessions in terms of political representation, educational opportunities and economic suppression were all part and parcel of the hard times that the ethnic Chinese in particular had to suffer under the bumiputra-driven New Economic Policy in the name of restructuring the wealth of society.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. When you go deeper into the matter, you will no longer argue along the “Politics for Dummies” of BN having ruled 61 years, why not give PH the same?

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.