From 7-Eleven To Extinction – With MCA Leaders Like Liow & Wee, Who Needs Enemies?

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Mar 19 2018
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During its heyday in the era of Malaysian First Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, MCA was given vital federal cabinet posts such Minister of Transport, Minister of Health, Minister of Labour and Social Affair and Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Posts. More importantly, MCA was also entrusted with Minister of Finance and Minister of Trade and Industry.


Clearly, MCA was once the most respected component party of the federal government under Tunku Abdul Rahman. But that’s water under the bridge. Today, MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) is a dying species waiting for extinction. The once glorified Chinese-based political party can only commands – three “pariah” cabinet posts.


Currently, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai is the transport minister, MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department while MCA secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan is the second minister of international trade and industry. If Prime Minister Najib Razak could have it his way, MCA should only have had one cabinet post.

Wee Ka Siong and Liow Tiong Lai

Even though known as the lapdog of UMNO (the dominant party led by Najib Razak), MCA had always been able to win more than half of the federal and state seats it contested since it first competed in the elections in 1959, except in 1969 and 1990 elections – until the 2008 and 2013 tsunamis which swept the once biggest Chinese-based political party to oblivion.


In the first tsunami of 2008 started by ethnic-Indian, MCA, which is part of the governing Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, won 15 out of 40 parliamentary seats and 32 out of the 90 state seats it contested. At least they won a third of the seats. Unfortunately, the political landscape continued to change with the second tsunami, arguably the Chinese tsunami, in 2013 general election.


Five years ago in 2013, MCA only managed to win 7 out of 37 seats it contested – less than 20% success rate. The party also did horribly in the state seats, winning only 11 out of 90 seats – that’s 12% success rate. The 2013’s pathetic performance resulted with the now comical “7-11” moniker (seven MPs and 11 assemblymen). But even the 7-11 insult is fast slipping away.

MCA Malaysian Chinese Association - 7-Eleven Political Party

MCA could only do worse than what it had achieved 5 years ago, so much so that PM Najib had warned at MCA’s 64th annual general assembly last year that unless the Chinese party could win at least 15 parliamentary seats, which is a “mission impossible”, there’s no way the party can be rewarded with 3 cabinet posts, no matter how pariah the portfolios will be.


In the same breath, Mr. Najib also warned the Chinese community not to complain about bias allocations to ethnic-Malay since the ethnic-Chinese refuse to vote for his government, never mind the Chinese are paying 90% of total income tax. MCA, under the leadership of Liow Tiong Lai and Wee Ka Siong, can only pray they could at least maintain their “7-11” status.


Since the humiliating defeat in 2013, Mr. Liow and Mr. Wee have done nothing but drawing salaries, perks and projects from their cabinet posts. They have pretended that 1MDB scandal was none of their business. They also dared not defend billionaire Robert Kuok when the Malaysian born tycoon was threatened, insulted and bullied by UMNO – until it was too late.

Robert Kuok Hock Nien

When MCA, despite having three cabinet portfolios, albeit pariah ones, could not even defend a philanthropist such as iconic Robert Kuok, how could the Chinese-based party defend ordinary Chinese community? Even against a lower ranking minister such as Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, both Liow and Wee have shown little courage.


Former MCA President Chua Soi Lek has finally spoken and he is right in condemning the leadership of Liow Tiong Lai and Wee Ka Siong. What little dignity which was left under Mr. Chua’s leadership was thrown out of the window by Mr. Liow and Mr. Wee. That small piece of “dignity” was Chua’s decision to not join the government if the party did poorer in 2013 election than in 2008.


Of course, the Chinese community had chosen to vote – as much as 90% – for opposition DAP despite Chua’s threat of having zero Chinese representatives in the cabinet, creating what is today mocked as “7-11” MCA party. Chua was subsequently defeated in December 2013 MCA party election. And what was the first thing that new MCA president Liow and deputy president Wee did?

Chua Soi Lek - former MCA President

Both greedy Liow and Wee quickly reversed the party’s initial decision to reject government posts. Had both leaders honoured the pledge, in the name of dignity, there’s a chance the party could do better in the next election. Chua was absolutely right when he said – “I think if MCA had insisted on staying out of the cabinet, we would have had more room to manouevre.”


Chua Soi Lek, himself was caught with his pants down bonking a woman friend in a hotel room 1301 of 4-star Katerina Hotel in Batu Pahat, Johor, back in 2008. But he was courageous enough to admit he was the man in a widely circulated sex video, a scandal of which some speculated was architected by none other than Liow Tiong Lai.


Delivering a punch to Liow’s leadership, Chua said – “If we had stayed out, then our political situation would be different today. Now the people blame MCA for everything because MCA is part of the government, this is the burden that we have to bear. If the party did not rejoin the cabinet back then, then we would have more room to express our opinions on current issues.”

MCA President Liow Tiong Lai with Prime Minister Najib Razak

What Mr. Chua meant was MCA could freely condemn not only UMNO warlords for playing racial issue with the respected Robert Kuok, but even premier Najib himself on the 1MDB scandal, had the party refused to make the U-turn. Essentially, without any interest in the government, UMNO can’t threaten, let alone insult, the leadership of MCA simply because the party would have nothing to lose.


Chua may sound like someone who has an axe to grind but like it or not, he’s right that MCA has shown neither courage nor political wisdom. Perhaps Liow and Wee thought the smart way to survive the political onslaught is to – hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. But to the bully UMNO, such pretendence and ignorance are taken as a sign of weakness.


There’s a reason why UMNO thugs like Nazri Abdul Aziz, who demanded Robert Kuok to surrender his Malaysian passport and called the billionaire a “coward with no testicles”, has shown more respect for political opponent DAP than political ally MCA. The level which MCA leaders are willing to stoop in order to “kowtow” to UMNO just for some crumbs is just mind-boggling.

Nazri Aziz Showing Finger Gesture

Liow and Wee’s subservience to political master UMNO is so despicable and extraordinary that even a badass Nazri has nothing but disgust. Clearly, Mr. Nazri, one of UMNO supreme council members, has zero respect for MCA. While Liow and Wee might think beggars can’t be choosers, Nazri considers the MCA leaders as stray dogs rather than precious pets such as poodles.


Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had openly criticised MCA for their failure to turn up at a Barisan Nasional vote-fishing campaign in Rembau. MCA president Liow dares not fight back. Now, Najib wants his aide Wong Nai Chee to represent MCA in Alor Gajah in the coming general election, interfering with seat allocations and obviously bulldozing the traditional power-sharing agreement.


As the second largest Barisan Nasional component, MCA should at least be allowed to mind their own internal affairs and have some sort of say in decision-making as far as seat allocations is concerned. Under Liow and Wee leadership, not only the big bully UMNO barge into MCA home and take away whatever they like, they also steal MCA’s lunch and even kiss Liow and Wee’s girlfriends.

MCA President Liow Tiong Lai – Too Afraid To Fight For Chinese


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