MCA and UMNO-PAS are not democratic forces

Speech by DAP National Political Education Director Liew Chin Tong at the opening of DAP Ayer Keroh Centre, Malacca, on 1st December 2018 

MCA Youth at its general assembly today attempted to ignite ethnic sentiments among Chinese by claiming that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng refused to recognize himself as a Chinese and that Lim is selling out ethnic Chinese interests. Many other statements were made at the expense of DAP, which was accused by MCA of selling out the Chinese cause and kowtowing to Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad and the Malays etc.

At the same time, UMNO and PAS are gearing up its racial campaign to attack the Malay leaders in Pakatan Harapan for kowtowing to Lim Kit Siang and DAP and for DAP to dictate Government policies to the extent that there was a leader who proclaimed that he “rindu” (misses) the May 13th riots.

It is regrettable that MCA and UMNO-PAS are separately stoking ethnic sentiments of the respective communities against the Pakatan Harapan Government and sowing distrust between communities.

Clearly, this is not a strategy to win power through elections in the next five years. It is a strategy to inflict damage on the Pakatan Government in the hope to introduce enough chaos to make it impossible to govern and therefore causing the government to collapse before the next general election.

I want to remind MCA and the UMNO-PAS pact that the Opposition coalitions since 1999, namely, Barisan Alternatif, Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan, were all centred on the idea of defeating Barisan Nasional through democratic electoral means.

And, in order to win power through election, DAP and other parties had to work together in multiethnic coalitions to convince as many voters across ethnic lines.

When I debated Dr. Wee Ka Siong on Astro in August, I half-jokingly said that if I were strategizing for MCA, I would invite Khairy Jamaluddin to be president of MCA and to bring about a new multiethnic party with many Malay moderates from UMNO and PAS, to challenge Pakatan Harapan on the policy front and not on racial terms.

I was not exactly joking. We need a new Opposition that is not playing racial games that burns the nation but challenges the Government on policies. Given that UMNO-PAS cannot do away with Najib Razak and other tainted leaders who were the reason why UMNO-Barisan National lost in GE14, for the sake of having checks and balances for the nascent Malaysian democracy, there needs to be a multiethnic Opposition that is prepared to be a democratic force.

MCA and the UMNO-PAS pact are not forces for the future. They are parties attempting to benefit from fears and anxieties of various communities. They are sowing mistrust in the hope to reap the fruits of discord.

I believe that Malaysians are more mature than what MCA and the UMNO-PAS pact thought they are, otherwise the change on 9th May would not happen. In a new democracy, the Pakatan Harapan Government would have to be prepared to be voted out one day. But let’s make sure that when Pakatan Harapan is voted out one day, it is not replaced by racial and undemocratic forces of the past, namely MCA and the UMNO-PAS pact.

Liew Chin Tong

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