The Missing Godfather

 The Missing Godfather (Why Chinese Support DAP and not MCA)

So, there was an interesting question that was asked the other day about why the Chinese community does not support MCA at all. After all, we saw MCA losing all the seats they contested in Sabah, right?

Before we get into the discussion, it helps to read up on my previous write ups on Umno and MCA to get a foundation of all the stuff I am going to address here as well.

Firstly, let's address the general sentiments of why MCA sucks from the Chinese community perspective. 

Sentiment 1: A vote for MCA is a vote for Umno. 

Just as a large segment of Malays think that DAP is antithetical to the Malay identity, a lot of Chinese think that Umno is antithetical to the Chinese. 

Sentiment 2: MCA has no say in government.

The Chinese have been conditioned to believe that MCA is incapable of speaking up unlike DAP. Where MCA prefers to have a 'give and take' attitude, DAP has fostered the image that they are the brave and daring ones that can voice all issues without fear or favour. Issues like 1MDB are often used as an example of MCA's ineffectiveness in curtailing government excesses. 

Now, it does not matter whether the sentiments are true or not, all that matters is that this is the prevailing sentiment, kind of like how many Chinese perceive PAS to be religious extremists that cannot be reasoned with even though most of them have never sat down for tea with a PAS member to verify that perception first hand. 

Part of the reason why this perception persist is that what's left of the MCA membership is meek and timid. They do not know how to lead, which exacerbates the point about MCA not having a say in government and are often ignored even when what they say actually makes sense.

The other problem is that a lot of issues MCA used to stand for has been adopted and subverted by DAP, like the right to Chinese schools.

Where MCA has sought to work within the system quietly to raise the Chinese education platform, DAP has made it into a political crusade that forces Chinese schools to become part of the mainstream political narrative. 

Where MCA just quietly raised funds for Chinese schools and finally got Najib to agree to set up more Chinese schools, DAP just shouts about how Chinese schools are a Constitutional right and does absolutely nothing to ensure that Chinese education grows (aside from donating money to these schools that MCA used to do quietly anyway). 

The thing is, a lot of MCA members actually buy what DAP has been selling too. The propaganda has warped the perceptions of the Chinese community and MCA is also part and parcel of that community. 

MCA is caught in conundrum of warped ideals that were once theirs and thus they are constantly lumped together with DAP by a lot of Malays who are anti-DAP. 

They are unable to extricate themselves from the hell they helped create, as the Chinese schools that they championed are partly responsible for breeding the present day leadership of DAP. 

Well, Gerakan was also part of the problem, but Gerakan is a non-entity now. Gerakan is an offshoot of MCA that had similar ideals to DAP that Umno took in just to gain control of Penang.

What MCA is missing is a Godfather figure. 

See, MCA used to make things move by virtue of the connections they all had with everyone in power. 

The Triad connections was not just for show. The connections with the ultra-rich Malays are not just for show. Rules were bent and broken based on who you know. 

Whatever you needed can be obtained through a golf game with the right party, long before the proposal is even written. 

But like Umno, MCA became too fat and the leadership ate too much and neglected to foster the next generation of leaders. 

Many of the excesses of the 80s and 90s were done with MCA involvement. You don't need to know and will probably never know the details of these excesses because the smart ones know how the system works and will always have a front for it. 

But there is an example that I can show you that is a matter of public record. John Soh Chee Wen was a powerhouse MCA member (and former MPPJ councillor to boot) that made the mistake of backing Anwar Ibrahim in 1998.

And if you must know, I met the guy once. He is the guy that started Free Malaysia Today and also partly financed PKR's operations back in 2008. 

Today he is stuck with a legal case in Singapore, and you should absolutely read the news reports on it. But the one stand out bit that I want to show you is this particular paragraph:

"Making casual conversation with his client as Soh returned to the courtroom after a mid-day recess, a member of Soh’s legal team was overheard asking Soh if his lunch was better than in prison.

“Eh, about the same,” Soh quips, as he broke into a grin." (1)

Side note: excesses that are not directly related to MCA but that you should know about to have an idea of those excesses I talk about include Abdullah Ang and Repco Low. Google them up if you want to know more. 

Side note: also read up on John Soh's contributions to society. (2)

Anyway, back to MCA. The dispute between Team A and Team B with both sides openly sabotaging each other and also working with DAP to help kill off their opponents exacerbated the MCA decline as what the Chinese community saw was MCA was bad and DAP was voicing the truth.

MCA's decline was years and years in the making. It wasn't something that happened just like that. 

What I just told you is just a small aspect of why the Chinese community in general prefer DAP over MCA.

Can MCA rise again? 

Eh, I think the party has all the right ingredients and foundations to make a comeback. 

The only problem is who will be the enigmatic and charismatic person that can take up the mantle of Godfather. 


1. The John Soh Show in Singapore -

2. Who is John Soh? -

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