Grassroot MCA, particularly Wanita had a problem with having Dato Dr Chua Soi Lek as President. However, we have a certain respect and admiration to ours fellow Batu Pahat man. Not so much of his ability to sustain erection, but for several reasons.
First and foremost, he is fearless and not afraid to shoot from the hip. He is not someone to mince his words. For a politician, he is the nearest thing to a WYSIWYG.
Yesterday, we came across a Malaysiakini tweet in which he accused Tun Dr Mahathir for making UMNO strong and BN weak. Read here.
Before we comment on that there is a second quality of Soi Lek we must compliment.
Unlike Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was caught on video and had been twice charged, proven and only free on technicality, but adamantly refuse to admit and called it as political prosecution, Soi Lek is far more honourable gentleman.
He did not prolong the speculation but called a press conference with his wife by his side and admitted to the blurred and unclear video. Subsequently, he resigned his position in government and party, and placed his political fate to party members or more precisely delegates and receive the mandate.
Something many politicians particularly Anwar should emulate.
Before we could comment on what he said, we are quite cautious of the short and suspected to be a spinned report. Not so much it could put our compromising position on video, but our of respect for Soi Lek's ability to argue and debate.
Complimenting his brevity, we personally witnessed how he made mince meat of Lim Guan Eng and silenced the DAP boo boys in the second debate with facts at the tip of his fingers and argument. Guan Eng could only reply by name-calling MCA as UMNO poodle and content-less repetition of "Shame on you".
His third quality.
So we found an expanded report on his comment in The Malay Mail Online:
MalaysiaNow we appreciate the essence of his comments.
Soi Lek now blames Dr M for overbearing Umno
February 3, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The Umno-centric approach that drove the non-Malay community away from Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fold began under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has said.
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek arriving at Wisma MCA.Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek arriving at Wisma MCA.
Disputing a recent blog entry by Dr Mahathir that faulted the embrace of liberalisation under successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration for the country’s current woes, the former MCA president instead said the problems traced back to the former’s tenure as prime minister.
“However, in the 21 years of Tun Mahathir’s leadership, we see that the growth of Umno’s political strength has made its coalition partners to become powerless in BN.
“Decisions made in the Umno Supreme Council were often become the Cabinet’s decisions and I had mentioned it before in the BN Convention that, to the people, Umno is the ‘taiko’ and if it becomes arrogant and dictatorial, it will have adverse impact on its component parties,” Dr Chua wrote in a recent Facebook post.
Saying that this approach had undermined the previously effective power-sharing model in BN, Dr Chua added that it also allowed the abuse of pro-Bumiputera affirmative action such as the New Economic Police (NEP) that further alienated non-Malay communities.
This and a fear of the growing concentration of power in Umno’s hands as demonstrated by the steadily increasing seats won by the Malay party in successive general elections since 2004 had driven the Chinese, in particular, towards DAP and away from MCA.
In Election 2013, Umno won 88 federal seats from the 133 that BN managed to retain to become by far the most dominant party in both the coalition and Parliament.
Speaking up again for market liberalisation, Dr Chua assured the Malay community that making the economy more competitive was for the benefit of all the country rather than a concession to Chinese businesses.
He also added that the inequality that policies such as the NEP sought to address were not only inter-racial, as often depicted, but was also prevalent even within the Malay community itself.
“Hence, affirmative policy must be based on need, we should help those in need regardless of race; otherwise such policy will be interpreted as an unfair policy because poverty does not exist in just one community,” Dr Chua said.
Earlier last week, Dr Mahathir had targeted the embrace of openness that began under the Abdullah administration for encouraging the increased demand to abandon the political and economic power sharing established in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 race riots.
“Taking advantage of liberalisation and the weakened BN government, the conflict between the races heated up. The situation in Malaysia is tense as never before.
“Malaysians by and large are not violent people. But for how long can Malaysia remain stable in the face of persistent violation of the good understanding and the sharing of power between the races,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog today.
The country’s longest-serving prime minister also said that BN has exacerbated the issue by persisting to move away from the power-sharing ideals from previous administrations to no avail, resulting in its worst electoral performances ever in Election 2008 and again five years later in Election 2013.
We know Soi Lek is pro-business and adopts a pragmatic attitude to the current globalisation trend. He is rebutting Dr Mahathir's consistent blame on Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for "liberating" the nation from his brand of policies and leadership.
So much for the three compliments.
Soi Lek have seldom viewed affirmative action directly or indirectly as a hindrance to progress. He argued that NEP was fine in principle and at the early stage but he claimed it's "implementation" was later hijacked.
However, he offers no solution to rectify the problem. He gave the impression that market forces, with unfair and discriminatory monopolistic trade practice imperfections is the answer to solve the Malay's socio-economic woes.
Nevertheless, we agree to disagree. Respectfully, we are not posting this to offer our critic or rebut his arguments which smells of parochial interest rather than a wholesome solution for all Malaysia.
Returning back to his remark, it smarks of selective blame for Soi Lek to blame UMNO for wanting to strengthen their party. He should realise that three fingers points back at anyone pointing fingers to others.
As far as we can recall, MCA and MIC is besieged with endless in-house quarrel. In the case of MCA, we cannot forget the quarrel between Tan Koon Swan and Dato Neo Yee Pan that ever since had culminate into a string of Team A versus Team B phenomenon of factional fight in MCA.
During the tenure of Tun Ling Liong Sik, there was Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek, who now has his boy, Dato Liow as MCA President. Backing Liow is Tan Koon Swan.
After Ling, Dato Ong Ka Ting was Ling's choice to be President. Dato Ong Tee Keat arise to challenge. He won.
Then the rematch with Ka Ting returning back to take on Tee Keat but both lost out to wild card Soi Lek.
Tee Keat is still in fry when he tried the Presidency again. Liow was due for the seat when Soi Lek had earlier announced his willingness to vacate the Presidency. Recently, Tee Keat twittered to suggest Liow run for the Kajang by-election. That suggestion smark of political vengence.
Soi Lek also made some remarks against Liow. The Malay Mail reported sometime back:
MalaysiaCome to think of it, Gerakan was formed out of internal MCA squabble in the early history too.
Now Soi Lek accuses Liow of reneging on power-sharing deal
BY JOSEPH SIPALAN
January 16, 2014
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek claims a power sharing-deal was signed on November 28,2013 to ensure party elections proceeded smoothly.. — Picture by Saw Siow FengPETALING JAYA, Jan 16 — Former MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today accused his successor of disregarding a power-sharing agreement to instead consolidate power within the ailing party.
Dr Chua claimed that Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had allegedly turned his back on the deal, which he claimed was negotiated and signed by the two leaders barely a month before the hotly-contested party polls last December.
“The agreement was signed on November 28, 2013, to ensure the party elections proceed smoothly and all voices are represented,” he said at a press conference here.
“We spoke on (appointments of) vice-presidents, on the central committee and state chairmen. Unfortunately, he never honoured his word,” Dr Chua added.
This is Dr Chua’s first salvo against Liow since the election, which was preceded by months of bitter infighting in the run up to the party polls.
During the polls, Liow won the presidency by a slim majority, winning by just 186 votes ahead of challenger Gan Ping Sieu, who secured 1,000 votes.
Dr Chua opted not to defend his post.
The former MCA chief today claimed that this was not the first time Liow had reneged on a formal deal, accusing the current president of having disregarded an agreement of mutual support prior to the previous party polls in early 2010.
Dr Chua claimed that the agreement, which was allegedly signed on March 4 that year, was to give each other support for their respective bids for the presidency and deputy presidency.
“But two weeks later he went and proposed (Tun) Ong Ka Ting for president. He (Liow) can propose anyone, if he did not sign the agreement.
“But I let it go because I thought he was a young man, and that he was under pressure and being told what to do,” he said.
Dr Chua, however, denied that he was trying to reignite previous rivalries barely a month since the new leadership took over, arguing that it was his “right and duty” to reveal Liow’s alleged lack of credibility.
“I’m not trying to start another crisis. I am trying to prevent another crisis from happening.
“I am here to tell MCA members to be careful of the current president’s words. He may say something that you want to hear, but he does not walk the talk.
“From his appointment, I can see that he is only interested in consolidating power... yes, he has the prerogative to make appointments, but what’s important is not the prerogative. It is the wisdom in politics,” Dr Chua said.
MCA has a history of infighting, with factional feuds lasting through successive presidencies.
Prior to his spat with Liow, Dr Chua had survived a bitter rivalry with former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat - who went to the extent of expelling Dr Chua from the party over his infamous sex video.
Dr Chua’s expulsion was later overturned, paving the way for a slim victory over Ong in 2010, with the help of Liow and his faction who themselves had an axe to grind with Ong over his alleged authoritarian rule in the party.
Names that is synonymous with Gerakan like Tun H.S. Lee, Tun Lim Chong Eu and Tun Lim Kheng Yaik came out of the belly of MCA.
In fighting in MCA never cease to stop and take a breather. If only, Tun Ghaffar Baba is still with us.
There will be those that argue no political party is not without it's own internal squabble.
Yes, UMNO has it's history of squabble too. From UMNO, other political parties came out of it like PAS, Berjasa, Semangat 46 and PKR.
However, Dr Mahathir's "dictatorship", if that is what they wish to describe him as, managed to hold the fort together. With an endlessly feuding MCA as partner, another partner must pick-up the slack to provide the strength and sustainability.
Dr Mahathir is not wrong to blame Tun Abdullah for the cause for weakening UMNO. We do not need to rewind old postings from the 2003-2009 era.
Many today is blaming Dato Najib for prolonging the malaise of Abdullah. To be fair to Najib, he is saddled with problems accumulated by Abdullah which even during the time of Abdullah's administration, it was said Najib need 15 years to reverse it.
Abdullah wanted to bring big ideas but he could only be rhetorical. He could not envisage the end game, the process and the management of that change. That was how it started and the blame to be laid upon.
* Edited 4:50 PM