PERHAPS one of the worst insults for anyone holding public office would be to be labelled as “spineless”, which simply means you’ve no determination and not willing to take risks.
The prolonged war of words between Malaysia’s leading Chinese-based political parties literally went to the spine when the DAP (Democratic Action Party) whacked that they would never be as “spineless as MCA” (Malaysian Chinese Association) and “will not hesitate to leave Pakatan Harapan if the pact abandons its goals of building a new Malaysia”.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang (above) hit out at MCA for not leaving Barisan Nasional despite Umno’s “partnership” with the Islamic-based PAS said DAP leaders would stick to the party’s ideals.
“DAP leaders are in government because we can play an important role to build a New Malaysia and save Malaysia from becoming a sham democracy, a kakistocracy, a failed state and a global kleptocracy,” he said in a blogpost.
“We represent all Malaysians, whether Chinese, Malays, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli, while the MCA represents or claims to represent only the Chinese in Malaysia.”
He made it clear that DAP leaders will never be as spineless as MCA leaders. He added: “DAP leaders, whether in government or outside, will have no hesitation in leaving the coalition government if the objective of a New Malaysia is abandoned.
FIGHT FOR A BETTER MALAYSIA
The Iskandar Puteri MP was responding to a Facebook posting by prominent businessman Tan Sri Clement Hii. Hii had shared an anecdote about Lim becoming agitated when he suggested that DAP could be perceived as another MCA.
The businessman, who recalled the incident in the 70s, when he worked as a journalist, also praised Lim’s perseverance in fighting for a better Malaysia, saying “lesser mortals would have given up”.
Lim thanked Hii for the compliment and said: “DAP has no intention and will never become MCA 2.”
Lim said the party was multi-racial and fought for all Malaysians, and its leaders were in politics to serve the nation and not themselves. He said its style of multi-racial politics was the only way to build a united and successful Malaysia.
Citing the case of his elder son, Lim Guan Eng, the DAP Secretary-General and currently Finance Minister, as a classic example of a politician who sacrificed his political rights. He came to the defence of the rights and dignity of an underaged Malay girl in the 1990s, when he was disqualified as a Member of Parliament and jailed in Kajang Prison for a year and disenfranchised of his right to vote and to hold elective for five years.
“Lim Guan Eng is the only case of a Malaysian political leader who had crossed racial and religious lines to sacrifice himself,” said the elder Lim Kit Siang, who is respected as a Malaysian statesman. “DAP want its leaders and members to be in politics to serve the nation and not to serve themselves, whether for wealth, titles or position.”
MCA: WORST TRACK RECORD
He even accused MCA of not representing Malaysian Chinese, having done badly in the last general election. MCA only won one Parliamentary seat, its worst track record in recent years when former Prime Minister Najib Razak had earlier challenged MCA to win 15 parliamentary seats, after holding on to only seven in the 2013 election.
End of the day, who truly earns the genuine trust of the Chinese community?
MCA and DAP are struggling to maintain their parties’ core agenda while adjusting to accommodate contradicting ideologies upheld by different political parties under their respective coalitions.
As Malaysian politics still revolve mainly around ethnicity, it remains a challenge for both parties to maintain an equal partnership with their coalition allies.
At stake is a ruling multi-ethnic alliance to serve the interests of all Malaysians and as Lim Kit Siang hammers home the point of DAP’s “Malaysia for Malaysians” agenda.
And to stay true and consistent to that longer-term goal, you definitely need plenty of spine!