Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
It is with great humility that I make this announcement today to say that I shall offer myself for the post of MCA Deputy President in the upcoming MCA party elections.
There comes a time when one realizes the importance of service to the community, party and ultimately the nation. It is only a question of what you have to offer.
I have led a life of service in MCA, and I believe I continue to have the energy, the ideas and most importantly the leadership to bring about the change and reforms necessary for the progress of the party and more importantly the country.
As most people already know, I relinquished all party posts early this year. However, many grassroots members encouraged me to stay on and serve the party and the nation. Hence, I went back to basics again as an ordinary member, and participated in elections from branch to division levels in the party.
I have also been meeting with grassroots members from all over the country. I have had many discussions and consultations with them about what they, as the backbone of the MCA, feel should be the direction the party should take. Many of these ordinary members also encouraged me to continue serving and contributing to the MCA and to the country, because of my experience, particularly in dealing with party members, government leaders, Cabinet members on community and national issues.
They feel that my capability and experience in these areas will be strongly needed to help reform, re-engineer, rebuild and revitalise the party, in order to meet the needs and demands of the community and nation at this critical period of change in Malaysia today. The grassroots strongly feel that MCA should have a strong team at this critical period to be a force of change - to have real change and real politics, taking into consideration the political reality and landscape in Malaysia today.
Hence, I have come to a decision and pledge not to let down the expectation of the grassroots for me to work closely with the other to-be-elected leaders as a team to put MCA back into its position of leadership and reform, from the dismal state it finds itself in now.
As I declare my decision to seek the support and endorsement of party members and delegates in this coming party election, I wish to reiterate that the way forward for MCA is to be a real political party, which can fit into the new political landscape, and to reflect the political reality of the day. Hence, the party election campaign should be a battle of ideas, to introduce reforms for the party to go forward based on 3 platforms:
1. Real Politics, Real Influence;
2. Real Equality, Real Rights;
3. Real Socio-economic Growth
I believe that the new direction for the MCA must be all encompassing. The party must look into all issues that are close to the hearts of the people and to take quick and decisive measures to resolve them. The MCA must be able to reach out to the people to listen to their concerns. The party must have relevance, enthusiasm and vigor.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The widespread dissatisfaction with the arrests, especially with what happened to Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, shows the time is right now for the ISA to be reviewed.
I am glad that at last some leaders in my party, the MCA, and also from other Barisan Nasional (BN) parties have come out strongly against the ISA.
The detention of individuals without trial is fundamentally unjust. In Malaysia we have other laws, including many other security legislations, to deal with issues which are sensitive.
The issue of the ISA does not just affect one race. It affects all Malaysians. Many of us here have, of course, criticised the United States for detaining suspected terrorists without trial at the Guantanamo military base.
And while I believe right-thinking individuals are a majority within the police, the ISA is still subject to abuse. Politically, this is also a chance for the BN government to regain some initiative in competing for the support of Malaysians.
The opposition parties have for years been using the repeal of the ISA as a rallying cry. Perhaps it is time for us in BN to seize the initiative once and for all and review the ISA. This will show the people that we have a government which listens to them.
The ISA can be replaced with some other legislation which offers protection against abuse and which allows judicial review.
I would also like to take this opportunity to call on the police to immediately release Seputed MP Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin. Justice is a bipartisan issue. It does not matter if Teresa is from the DAP and if Raja Petra is a fierce critic of the BN government.
We as Malaysians are mature enough to debate issues in a mature manner. The Malaysia we all aspire to is one which is mature, open and progressive. After 51 years of independence, let us move forward not backwards.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Not many people are aware that most of the MCA central delegates come from MCA parent body rather than Youth and Wanita.
In terms of numbers, they are small. But in terms of perception, it is important and those that do not know MCA politics may feel demoralized by the lost.
In fact I think the Youth candidate who lost had done creditably well in securing nearly 46% of the votes. Considering that he comes from the parent body being a divisional chairman and preparation for the elections was done barely 5 days prior to nomination, whereas his opponent had been Youth secretary for 2 terms and had the backing of 2 deputy Ministers who also hailed from the Youth movement in Johor.
As for the Wanita candidate who lost by 51 votes, she lost because of the extreme poor turnout by the delegates (of less than 65%). This however appears to be the trend in all states as far as the Wanita component is concerned. There is a pressing need to look into the root causes of this phenomenon.
Since the delegates have decided, we will have to respect their choice. Life has to go on, in the same way, politics has its ups and downs and it is how you handle the downs rather than the ups that determine your lifespan in the political arena.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
What I do know is that there are many Chinese voters supporting the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance. These are the voters who turned away from MCA and gave us a real bloody nose in the March elections.
But PR appears to have support also from the Indians and even a significant number of Malays.
In short, the PR alliance is turning into what BN used to represent.
To most Malaysians, the BN coalition had always been associated with moderation and multi-racialism even though it was recognized that Umno was the dominant party in the partnership.
Right now, BN is associated with racism, arrogance and corruption.
And while all BN component parties should take responsibility, it is Umno as the dominant party which is most tainted by such a perception.
Such was Umno's poor standing, especially among the Chinese, that the DAP had one major rallying cry which won them and lost the MCA the Chinese votes: "A vote for MCA is a vote for Umno."
Six months down the road, MCA is still fighting that perception.
But of course, we in the MCA can never hope to achieve a turnaround in public perception if Umno does not actually change.
Recent events show that Umno, when backs are against the wall, resorts to playing the race card.
It is a matter of public perception that the recent UiTM protests was instigated by quarters within Umno.
The racist comments of Bukit Bendera Umno chief Ahmad Ismail is another example.
So what can MCA do?
Pull out of BN? Will that really help, beyond satisfying our egos that we can help stick the knife into the backs of Umno.
Unfortunately, there is no direction within the MCA now.
We are busy with our party elections. I am worried that once we in the party finish deciding who our next leaders will be it may already be too late.
That is why I so wanted the party election campaign to be a battle of ideas instead of the slander and dirty politics which so turn people off.
Anyone who wishes to be MCA president, or be part of the senior leadership, must be able to convince Umno that multi-racialism is the only way out to save BN.
The BN must become multi-racial and moderate again. We must re-seize that branding back from PR and Anwar Ibrahim.
BN should eventually turn into a single-multi-racial party which really represents the interest of all Malaysians.
Realistically this cannot happen immediately of course.
But we must set it as a real target, instead of brushing the suggestion aside.
Perhaps the MCA should suggest some structural changes within the BN framework to reflect a more multi-racial outlook, to shake off the perception that BN is merely a coalition of race-based parties.
It pains me to see that it is the acting Gerakan president who has come up with suggestions to introduce a code of conduct for BN parties, while the current MCA leadership and those endorsed to take over the party do little to save MCA and BN!
其实让我难过的是，连民政党代主席丹斯里许子根已开口呛声，建议国阵推行一项行为守则，反观马华现任领导层及那些被钦点的接班人，至今还没有提出任何挽救马华及国阵的行动。(Updated on 5/9/08)
Welcome to my Blog
Therefore, I welcome party members and members of public to post your constructive suggestions and opinions on my blog on how to rebuild and reform the party, eventually enabling MCA to regain support from all party members and the community.
Thank you for your suggestions.