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MCA and UMNO From brothers in Alliance to master and slave in Barisan Nasional in five decades?

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Speech at DAP Kepong Dinner 
by Lim Kit Siang  
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(Kuala Lumpur, Saturday): The Chinese night editions this evening, front and inside pages, are dominated by news of the MCA Youth annual general assembly in Malacca this morning with the cover photograph of the entire MCa Youth Central Committee members on stage standing up to wave copies of the Malaysian Constitution when the MCA Youth leader Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said that instead of brandishing the keris to make a point, it is better to wave the Federal Constitution.

In blaring headlines, the newspapers quoted the eight words of ren bu fan wo, wo bu fan ren in relation to Liows speech when he said: We in MCA and MCA Youth wont be easily bullied by others, ren bu fan wo, wo bu fan ren; ren ruo fan wo, wo bi fan ren. In the BN family, we are brothers, there is no master and slave, there is no question of who is being scared of who or whom should kowtow to whom,

The Chinese saying is a warning of retaliation when one is offended.

But the high-point of the whole proceeding was that the Umno Youth deputy leader, Khairy Jamaluddin, who attended the MCA Youth annual general assembly instead of the youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, did not understand a single word of Liows fierce speech and warning as this part of the MCA Youth leaders speech was completely omitted in his Bahasa Malaysia delivery.

This immediately raises the question whether the whole proceeding was just a sandiwara for the Chinese media and Chinese audience.

Liow made a good point that instead of brandishing the Malay keris, one should wave the Federal Constitution to defend and uphold ones fundamental rights as entrenched in the Constitution, the Merdeka social contract and the Malaysia Agreement which brought Sabah and Sarawak into the federation.

But the place to wave the Federal Constitution is not at the MCA Youth Assembly with the Umno Youth deputy leader not understanding what all the show is all about, but in the Cabinet and Parliament and at a time when fundamental nation-building principles and rights were being unilaterally, arbitrarily and unconstitutionally undermined!

Six years ago, when the Federal Constitution, Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement was gravely eroded, why didnt any MCA or MCA Youth leader wave the Federal Constitution in Cabinet and Parliament to defend the fundamental nation-building principles and rights laid down in the Constitution, Merdeka social contract and the Malaysia Agreement?

Instead of MCA and MCA Youth leaders waving the Federal Constitution six years ago to defend and uphold the fundamental nation-building principles and rights agreed by our forefathers on the attainment of Independence 50 years ago, MCA and MCA Youth leaders were all putting up their hands to support the unilateral, arbitrary unconstitutional revision of the Federal Constitution, Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement.

Liows use of the Chinese saying, ren bu fan wo, wo bu fan ren; ren ruo fan wo, wo bi fan ren reminds many of another MCA Youth leader in the past, as this was also one of his favourite quotations. But when things came to a crunch during the Operation Lalang in 1987, he was the first to run away from the country while DAP leaders like Karpal Singh, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, Lim Guan Eng and the late P. Patto and V. David did not flinch in the Internal Security Act crackdown where I was detained for the second time and all of us dispatched to the Kamunting Detention Centre to be guests of His Majestys Government.

But the most thought-provoking part of Liows speech is his statement: In the BN family, we are brothers, there is no master and slave, there is no question of who is being scared of who or whom should kowtow to whom,

This has logically given rise to the question whether the relationship between MCA and UMNO in the past 50 years had deteriorated from brothers in the Alliance to master and slave in the Barisan Nasional to use Liows own words?
 

(18/8/2007)  


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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