'Running dog' narrative returns to bite DAP - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, August 12, 2019
Malaysiakini : "Either Umno and the police are covering up an impending terror attack, or MCA is making things up
to scare non-Muslims into submission. The most concerning problem
before us is that senior officials from the same ruling coalition are
telling two conflicting stories to justify a policy decision that runs
against the grain of the Malaysian social fabric, and is severely
dividing our society. It is no wonder that there is a deficit of trust
and confidence in government institutions."– Howard Lee, DAP Youth chief
DAP’s scorched earth policy when it comes to MCA was always a dubious
strategy. Recent events have demonstrated that in the same position,
DAP espouses the same kind of rhetoric and manoeuvrings that MCA was
2012, when debating MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, DAP
secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed: “We should not bow to fate and
have the right to equality. We should not kneel and beg. We should be
brave enough to stand and ask for it.”
The implication being that
under MCA, the Chinese community – the non-Malay communities – were
begging for scraps from the Umno dining table, and that under DAP
stewardship, non-Malays would have political leaders who would demand
their rights as accorded in the constitution, unlike the supine nature
of MCA politics.
Even back in the days before the dream of
Putrajaya was even on the table, the political warfare between DAP and
MCA – a dog-eat-dog fight, if you will – was an indication of the
shape of things to come.
Looking back at the debate, it was more a debate about realpolitik and false expectations.
DAP had bragging rights on the management of Penang and their
performance in Selangor – again depending on who you ask – MCA’s history
of nation-building, the kind which involved managing expectations,
compromise and yes, complicity, became a big juicy target for a mob
fueled by ahistorical polemics, ready for a change of leadership, even
if it meant non-Malay leadership. Last March, I wrote about how the MCA-DAP rivalry was merely fueling anti-Chinese sentiment.
political parties have this delusion that they are independent
operators. They are not. They are in reality proxies for Malay power
structures, with varying degrees of public and private influence within
"To believe otherwise, would be delusional. While
it is easy to paint MCA as running dogs of Umno, the same could be said
of DAP, who have had to bend over backwards to accommodate the return
of Dr Mahathir Mohamad into the opposition ranks."
political narrative post-May 9 has been one of backpedalling, reversals,
sycophancy and Orwellian doublespeak, because the weight of expectation
collided with the realpolitik of Malay rule.
something MCA had learned over the decades, and which was something that
DAP managed to navigate in state politics extremely well. But
ultimately, the lure of federal power meant that whatever “good”
intentions the coalition had withered away in the face of the old
maverick’s take no prisoners, make no apologies strongman political
Years of demonising MCA as a 'running dog' for the
establishment should have been a lesson for DAP, but now they are slowly
learning the cost of doing business with Malay power structures on a
When some non-Malay Harapan partisans tell people who demand
reform to not rock the Harapan boat – much like how Lim told non-Malays
that they do not need to “beg” – it is exactly the same position MCA
was when it was balancing expectations in the BN coalition.
DAP never gave MCA the benefit of this excuse, and neither should anyone who believes in a New Malaysia. We
are always told if we do not support Harapan, then former premier Najib
Abdul Razak will return, but there are worse things than a kleptocrat,
and corruption is something we have been through, especially during the
first Dr Mahathir Mohamad era.
Have you noticed that what MCA was
blamed for – the dereliction of its duties when it came to important
social, economic and political policies – are now termed as
“distractions” by some partisans. These are not traps, distractions or sandiwara, but rather the gestalt of a functional democracy.
affect the economy. Najib, before he slipped into a kleptocratic
stupor, understood this, which is why he "cast himself as a moderniser
who would roll back the privileges that have deterred investment and
alienated minority Chinese and ethnic Indians. He has also pledged to
base government assistance more strongly on needs than on race.
"But those plans have largely failed to advance due to stiff resistance from within the ruling, ethnic Malay Umno.” Who
was the prime mover in Umno during that time? What we are talking about
here when it comes to the reform agenda – which DAP championed and
which it claimed MCA was not up to the task to carry out, and which
ultimately was connected to bread and butter issues?
national car, backtracking on Lynas, backtracking on egalitarian
policies, backpedalling on institutional reforms, be it the state
security apparatus or local council elections – all this is connected to
the economic ecosphere and not some pie in the sky distractions, which
some would have you believe.
These days, the people are left
wondering if DAP will cave when it comes to important policies issues
because since May 9, all they seem interested in doing is justifying the
policies of the government, even if it goes against their campaign
manifesto or more damning, their positions before the election.
DAP political operatives tell me that their Malay counterparts are not
picking up the slack. Really? Did DAP allow MCA this luxury?
When Bersatu youth demands the resignation of Penang Second Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy (photo)
– because the young boy minister does not have the cojones to demand it
himself – we should realise we are heading back to familiar political
territory. What was the response of DAP and its
partisans when that happened? How many times did Umno Youth demand the
resignation of an MCA member for not toeing the line?
Lim claims DAP is not taking the non-Malay vote for granted, but he offers up feeble excuses for the khat controversy,
stood by while Harapan power structures abandoned International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
says nothing of the moves made by the religious czar of Harapan when it
comes to Islamic policies, and generally lays the blame on the former
regime for mistakes and missteps that DAP makes.
How long is DAP
going to coast on the 1MDB issue? How long is DAP going to coast on the
excuse that it would take years to fix the problems of this country?
This last point was not made before the election.
How long is DAP going to rely on partisans who are willing to cut them slack because anything is better than Najib? MCA took decades to become a 'running dog'. How long will it take DAP?