I WOULD hate to be Chua Soi Lek at this point in time. With the general election looming, and Chinese Malaysian support for Barisan Nasional (BN) at an all-time low, it seems like the MCA is in for the toughest fight of its political life. So what can Chua do in the face of the seemingly insurmountable task to perform well in the elections? Here are some ideas that I would try, or would have tried, if I were him.
Nominate Ong Tee Keat for Gelang Patah
For sure, no politician would like to take on Lim Kit Siang in a Chinese-majority seat if they could help it. This means it would have been an excellent strategy to place Ong Tee Keat there, although the opportunity is now gone since the MCA has a nominated candidates’ list sans Tee Keat. If Ong had been fielded and won, it would have been a major boost for the MCA and the BN. And if Ong had lost, then good riddance to him. Either way, it would have been a win for Chua.
Praise the DAP’s Chinese credentials sky-high
The Chinese Malaysian vote seems to be lost anyway. So, this election is really about winning over fence-sitting Malay Malaysians. If these Malays sway to the BN, then it is all well and good. Otherwise, the BN itself would be at risk. So why not go after these fence-sitting Malays by promoting the DAP’s Chinese credentials? Tell everyone how great the DAP is to the Chinese. Publicise how the DAP favours the Chinese over everyone else. Explain in detail how a “Malaysian Malaysia” would ultimately be good for the Chinese over every other race. By this, Chua would be driving fence-sitting Malays to the BN, which includes the MCA, of course.
Zoom into individual candidates’ personal stories
There may be a general anti-MCA mood, but that does not mean people cannot favour particular individuals even if he or she happens to be from the MCA. Move away from big-picture issues. Focus on the candidates individually. Tell personal stories of their struggles, dreams, vision and ambition. Showcase them doing good to the community. Portray them as being humble, approachable and likeable. People may well conclude that since the MCA would fare badly in the elections anyway, why not give “this particular MCA candidate” a chance and a lifeline?
Moderate the propaganda
Propaganda is only effective if it is believed. And if the propaganda says there is nothing bad about the MCA and nothing good about the opposition, then people would just simply choose not to believe it. Effective propaganda must be a mixed bag. Some limited praise for the opposition, some limited critique of the BN, but overall steering people towards supporting the BN, is a better strategy. Continuing to shout that the MCA is the best of the best with an excellent report card is not going to get very far.
Tone down on Islam-bashing
The way Malaysian demographics go, there will simply be more and more Malay-majority constituencies. These Malay Malaysians are voters. They don’t like people who talk bad about Islam. And the MCA will need their votes. So, stop bashing Islam. Start demonstrating sensitivity and understanding of Islam. That would be just plain logical, wouldn’t it?
Start planning for the longer term
Like it or not, the elections are already underway. What can be done in the next few days would be limited. But a lot can be done in the next five years. So start working. Promote the Chinese language and culture to all communities. Increase the capacity of existing tertiary educational institutions affiliated with the MCA. Establish impeccable ties with China for economic opportunities. Start developing joint Malay-Chinese business co-operation in a genuine manner. Promote Chinese schools aggressively, even to the non-Chinese. Start developing private and international primary and secondary educational institutions.
In the words of one former Chief Justice now prominently displayed at the court buildings: “Buat kerja.”
Chan Kheng Hoe believes the Barisan Nasional will be the next federal government. Care for a wager, anyone?
Knowing MCA has lost the Chinese [Malaysian] support, even in BN’s stronghold Johor, and that GE-13 for MCA will be a washout, [in my view], Chua Soi Lek is driven solely by one desire, of a strategic nature – to nurture MCA for the inheritance of his son.
Agreed with you, kaytee. The way Chua Soi Lek went about ridding off all OTK’s [people] in MCA, and planting his “yes-men” revealed his ulterior personal motive – that of his son’s future. Just the same way he forced PM to give the present portfolio of Deputy Minister to his Chua junior when there are hundreds of MCA leaders more qualified and possess more experience. This man is the sole cause for the downfall of MCA, not only because of his sex adventure, but also for his ill timed and wrong policy. The impending death of MCA is because of him, and he alone has “Made Chinese Angry” with MCA.
Seems like another Adam is commenting here in the Nut Graph. I also agree that CSL has got rid of the unfriendly members and planted his own people. Who wouldn’t. But I disagree that he is the sole cause for the downfall of MCA. The main reason is the internal struggle for control of the party and the goodies that go with it. They even went to the extent of illegally installing spycams to tape the sexual activities of CSL. This criminal act of spying has in fact backfired and caused many members to give sympathy votes to CSL for the presidency. If I were CSL, I would just retire from politics and let another clean and capable leader take over. He may just do it after the elections.
If I were Chua Soi Lek, I would apologise to all Malaysians for the crap I have perpetrated and retire.
Andrew I says
Well, if you can’t even be bothered to change hotel rooms once in a while, why fix things if they’re not broke?
Not fixing things if they are not broken wouldn’t be half bad. The problem is, he is not fixing things even when they are totally broken.
If I were Chua Soi Lek, I’d retire from politics and concentrate on being an excellent doctor. Nobody will hate a doctor who tries to save lives.
As it is, he’s got a rotten reputation among the Chinese [Malaysians] in Malaysia. He is everything that the Chinese associate with a “gutless running dog who laps on his master’s poo and scream how fragrant the pile of dung is”. You see people like him in many Chinese movies and soap operas and viewers would curse such people.
As for MCA, looking at where the party and its leaders are, no Chinese with any dignity and self-respect will go near it.
The longer term plan for MCA is for its corrupt leaders to turn themselves in to law enforcement authorities, confess their crimes against Malaysia and return all the ill-gotten wealth. That way, they redeem themselves and save their families from living the stigma. If there are any MCA leaders remaining who has a heart out for their innocent children, they would at least do that.
JW Tan says
No bet. I think BN will form the next federal government, albeit with a vastly reduced majority.
I really don’t get Chua Soi Lek. All his incentives (nepotism, cronyism, political idealism etc) point to him needing to revive MCA as a political force. He’s not going to do that by being supine to UMNO. Even if he believes in the wrong ideology (separation of Chinese interests from Malay interests etc etc) he needs to act on it. Sitting back and goyang kaki is not the way forward.
If i were chua soi lek, i sweep my room for spycam everytime before i go to sleep. haha
Viktor Wong says
MCA is anti-communist. MCA has previous links with Kuomintang Malaya (KMT). [How can] MCA have ties with China? Maybe it can be done informally via the business community. The only political ties it could establish is with Taiwan which is now under KMT.
Kong Kek Kuat says
The compliant, well-trained-by-UMNO [Chua Soi Lek]: “Sir, MCA is ready for war. We are willing, able, and ready to go to war anytime Parliament is dissolved.
“(…) Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan ringkasnya YAB Perdana Menteri merupakan pemimpin negara yang pertama di dunia yang dipilih secara demokratik, tetapi sedia melepaskan kuasa dan senjata politik yang ada pada tangan dia. Misalnya pemansuhan ISA (…) Presiden di Amerika Syarikat dan juga Perdana Menteri di Britain juga gagal untuk berbuat demikian. (…) Presiden partinya, UMNO, dipilih oleh empat puluh ribu orang dan bukannya terhad kepada tiga ribu orang. Congratulations Sir. Sir, without being rude, if I may say, many people feel that you are too kind, Sir.” [speech at MCA AGM before GE13]
And after all the ads placed in the newspapers prior to GE13, you can now safely assume that Chua Soi Lek meant that “we are ready for war against other Chinese Malaysians for you, my UMNO master.”