A Horse must run fast but not eat hay!

A horse must run fast but must not eat hay

August 10, 2010

AUG 10 — MCA President Chua Soi Lek has suddenly found himself the target of vicious attacks. The attacks from the opposition were expected since Malaysian politics is very much based on partisan lines, but ironically some of the most vicious attacks were from his own partner-in-arms, The Big Brother.

I am not going to go into whether what he said has belittled a certain religion or whether what he said has any merits. But whether what Chua has said was a form of posturing to gain the non-Malay votes or from his heart, I thought in the context of freedom of speech, he should be allowed to voice his opinion, as the head of a component party in BN.

A politician from the Big Brother, an ex-MB, told The Malaysian Insider that Dr Chua’s remarks could cause unrest within the country and disturb the “harmonic balance” created by the ruling BN government. “We do not want to start blaming each other, pointing fingers… this leads to religious arguments. This is dangerous,” he said.

The response is expected, as all this while, component parties are not given much space to express their opinion. Anything that implies certain wrong-doings would incur immediate wrath from members of the Big Brother.

It does not matter whether there is any truth in the opinion expressed, but as long as the person in question dares even to touch their “toes”, aspiring politicians from Big Brother will swarm over him like bees and attack.

This has resulted in component parties being subservient to the Big Brother, and this subservience is one of the main reasons why these component parties suffered such a big defeat in the 308 General election.

As long as this subservience persists, it is difficult to see how these component parties can get back the support they once commanded.

Within these constraints, how do you expect the leaders of the component parties to attract votes? The more backlash they get, the more they will get rejected by the very people that used to form their support base.

When the Alliance was first formed between Umno and MCA in the 50s, both had equal number of representatives in their joint council.

The equal representation has over the years been eroded and after the formation of the BN, the admission of more members into the coalition slowly but surely diluted the powers of other component parties.

Even though the pie has been made bigger and bigger over the years by adding more Parliamentary and state constituencies, the distribution of the pie was made so unequal that soon, except for the biggest component party, others had little say in formulating important policies.

This illusion of having more seats than earlier — but in actual fact less and less say in deciding the policies — was used to pacify party members of the component parties.

Over the years, some of the component parties have also adopted amendments in their party Constitution to concentrate the power in the hands of the elite few at the top.

In all these parties, the central committee members (CCs) are all elected, with only a limited number appointed by the heads of the parties. But over the years, important positions in many parties, like that of Secretary General and Treasurer have become the sole appointments of the party heads.

Many, if not all, of these component parties also formed the so-called management councils; in the case of MCA, it is called Presidential Council, and in other parties, it is called Central Working Committee or some other name. The names may differ but the objective of having these management committes is the same — to concentrate the power in the hands of the heads of the various parties.

These management councils consist of members appointed by the heads of the parties, either directly or indirectly. Over the years, the management councils have become more and more powerful, and in most cases, they have become the de facto decision-making bodies, usurping the power of the Central Committees.

Even in the Central Committees which are supposedly elected by national delegates in party elections, the elected members’ say is diluted by that of appointed members, including VPs, Sec-Gens, Treasurers or just ordinary CC members. Those appointed invariably are aligned to the respective heads of the parties.

By doing so, the power in each individual component party became concentrated in the hands of the heads, and grassroots influence has actually been eroded and declined over the years.

When the various heads become so powerful and entrenched in their own parties, they are invariably given government positions and with that, the trappings of power which can be very addictive.

Many of them toe the line in order not to rock their own positions which, in the Malaysian context, often meant not only power but wealth as well.

They in turn dispense goodies within their own parties. Ascendancy within the parties does not depend on merit but rather on how obedient a particular member is.

Eunuch politics was used to kill off those with ideals but who were not particularly subservient. Slowly, within these parties, a culture of “not rocking the boat” slowly takes root.

All these run counter to the principles of democracy. Once absolute power is concentrated in the elite few, the rot started to set in.

This has resulted in the tsunami of 308. After the tsunami, reforms were promised but whatever changes made has been merely cosmetic .

Within BN itself, there must be more tolerance towards criticism from members of the component parties.

Good medicine is often bitter and hard to swallow, but to get well, even bitter medicine must be swallowed. There must not be a knee jerk reaction if leaders of the component parties voice out or point out certain deficiencies.

There must be more consultation and discussion on national policies; these should be undertaken by the whole BN and not by just the dominant party alone.

Within each component party, changes must be adopted to make the parties more democratic. Elected members should be given more say. State leadership should be elected.

By being more democratic, the people’s voices will be heard louder and changes can be tailor made to the aspirations and needs of the people.

We are now living in a different era, people’s expectations are very different from the days of our fathers. The people on the street know about this but unfortunately certain politicians are still living in the era of the past!

The situation now seems to be: on the one hand, component parties are being pushed to get votes, on the other hand, they are attacked whenever they express an opinion that may not suit the ears of members of the Big Brother.

It reminds me of a Chinese saying: A horse must run fast and steady, but at the same time, it must not eat hay!

As is often mentioned and repeated, it is either change or be changed and time is really running out this time!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 12:25:24

    Tony Pua push to abolish Bumi discount for luxury properties, why are Gelakan & MCA quiet like mouse? ARe u so afraid of the rich n famous Bumi while seeing the less fortunate Bumi suffer in vain. Looks like equality only exists among the poor while the elites of all races party with joy riding on the ignorance and uninformed poor. That is the joint mission of NTR, CSL and KTK.

    Why the fuss over this 50years old problem of bullying by Big Brother ? Are u incapable of reasoning or too worry to rock the boat, because that may destroy your comfort of living on the sufferings of others? So, the often praises showered on party members being intelligent enough to weigh the pro and cons is actually a form of lie and the party members are actually stupid enough to be manipulated. U shall not blame those fish heads but your ignorance and stupidity.

    KTK, while u ask MCA and Gelakan not fight over Tanah Rata seat, why r u stubbornly glue to your Minister seat despite being labeled as Back Door Minister? Do u use your brain before uttering those holy commandment ?


  2. observant
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 14:42:26

    MCA is facing a very harrowing time. Maybe, ..maybe it is going to be the beginning of an end to this second biggest party in BN. There are 3 factions and infighting is dividing MCA.

    The party is losing votes and popularity. It is in danger of even losing many more seats that they won in the last election, comes the next election.

    There are little respects for this party.Recent statements by CSL has met with stinging rebukes and even reprimands from foes and BN. Ironically, DPM praised PAS but criticised MCA.
    Recent statements by Ibrahim Ali and Nijar about his pasts have created doubts about his suitability to helm his party.


  3. mykantree
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 15:06:51

    So long as MCA and Gerakan remain in-situ, its fate, as far as the Malaysian Chinese’s support are concerned, is sealed. The perception is such that by being a supporter/member of either MCA or Gerakan, one is either an emasculated stooge of UMNO or is there just to be on the gravy train. In every incident since the last GE, these 2 parties has not been able to shake off that perception.

    The only way that they can salvage themselves from the inevitable is to leave BN and seek another path towards their objectives. And if those objectives are not what is as perceived.

    The balls are in their courts, and it is up to them how they wish to play and return it.


  4. klm
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 15:28:09

    Because of his DVD acting fame, Chua Soil Lek has no respect from all quarters. His words have no meaning. The delegates who voted for Chua Soi Lek had done MCA a big big damage.


  5. A Single Vote
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 18:24:37


    At a fund raiser by an NGO for a centre for children with a debilitating disease, the invited VIP openly asked why the inmates were predominantly of a particular race.

    Encouraged by this, his entourage continued this same line in the crowd like it was a right denied.

    Sadly it only ended when a distraught mother of an inmate, in tears and loud enough, said, “even a disease they want”.

    Hopefully they learnt something positive here, as when the supporters realized that the centre was unlikely to get support from this VIP then dug deeper into their pockets.

    That’s the difference. But then will the blind see?

    All those Presidential Councils, CWC’s are just as blind? Nay, they are so self-serving they just simply fail to see beyond themselves.


  6. disgusted
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 22:58:46

    MCA is already a dead horse, so no point flogging a dead horse. Since it is already quite dead, it cannot run much and no point pinning hopes on it running fast. So save the “hay” for the sunshine, since dead horse can’t eat either.


  7. Lai
    Aug 09, 2010 @ 23:11:14

    Unfortunately, what you have pointed out is true. The gG movement in Gerakan has, in an article, pointed out this very thing. Since the first step to affect change is to identify the changes needed, we must continue with the process of renewal. The next opportunity to make changes will be next year when Gerakan hold elections from the branch level to the national level. If Gerakan members still believe in the party, next year will be critical.


  8. AcHoo!
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 14:07:08

    Mahathir’s blog says it all. MCA cannot be equal until all UMNOputras become rich fat cats.

    Of course they will only say when the Malays becomes rich enough in Malaysia. But really you think people like Mokzani or Mukriz or Mahathir will share their secrets of success?

    They rather park their wealths elsewhere!


  9. CYC
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 17:48:07

    MCA & Gelakan, both sinking into a dilemma of their own creation called Moral Hazard.

    Mother Teresa once said ” If I ever become a Saint, I shall be a saint of darkness.” Why ? Because she genuinely understand the needs to help those live in darkness unlike politicians who always prefer to party under neon light naively thinking they are illuminates with God’s radiance of love. And they often equate themselves as Saint if not God.


  10. wisely
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 19:09:49

    I see more and more from ur angle about M..N. I am more convince now. Dr. M blog says it all. What u wrote above is nothing new to me and many readers here esp the later part.

    I start to believe it may stay the same until next GE and spell doom for all non Bumi BN component parties. Sentiment on the ground have not change much.

    I think is time for CSL, KCH and YTL and KTK to do something or face the fated blow!!


  11. wisely
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 21:56:49

    Dr. Hsu,

    What CSL says are factual, infact he quote from an opposition book which has its source out of research!

    I believe CSL said it well and he did the right thing. I fully support him even he faced opposition from UMNO or some Malay NGO.

    MCA and Gerakan should be brave enough to says such word.

    What LGE and Anwar said are just sentimen or feeling. We should be wise enough to know the different.

    To me this is the greatest ‘revelation’ by MCA leader since 308 and I strongly believe this should be the way to go for all non Bumi BN component party.

    I am glad to hear from the news YTL back CSL up!
    Forget and forgive him for his mistake – the DVD. If we were to read the wikipedia, all American presidents, except George Washington and The curent one, Barack Obama, all have sexual issue including Abraham Lincoln!

    We should be mature enough to seperate personal and professional life as no one is perfect. Everyone has his or her own weakness and so do I!


  12. wisely
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 21:58:41


    Fatal blow instead of fated blow


  13. A true Malaysian
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 00:02:16

    Whatever, I stand by what I always say, MCA, Gelakan all these whiles been survived on Malay votes for Umno. Both parties never won on votes of Chinese Malaysian they so-called represents.

    So, it is never a vote to MCA & Gelakan means a vote to Umno as they never won on Chinese Malaysian votes.

    With the emergence of Pakatan Rakyat which is of multiracial ideology, most Malaysian irrespective of race and religion are awaken that racial politics of Umno, MCA, Gelakan and the rest in BN is not the way to go for a better and brighter Malaysia.

    Sorry, Umno and BN, dooms are at your doorsteps, but that do not mean it is forever as Malaysian voters are becoming more matured with wider penetration of internet. Once you guys ‘reform’ sincerely and truthfully to one of multiracial, transparent, meritocracy, non-corrupt practices, the votes shall swing back to you guys ultimately.

    By then, the real 2-party system will be formed and ultimately a 3rd force acting as the balancing force.

    This is the direction Malaysia need to go to ensure a better and brighter future for our future generation.


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