Thursday, August 6, 2009

Najib Says: “Jump!” – MCA Says: “How High, Tuan?”

In a previous column I suggested that the non-Malay BN component parties ought to rightly assume the role of being NGOs because they’re essentially toothless and spineless in policy matters within the government. Indeed, they essentially take on the role of providing social services for their communal population while being bankrupt when it comes to advancing new and compelling initiatives for addressing the most mundane of problems plaguing the rakyat.

Take the case of poverty. Here’s what a recent MCA press release states: “Eradicating poverty irrespective of race has been MCA’s commitment since our party’s formation. This objective was accentuated during our party’s 60th anniversary in February this year. MCA is glad that the Prime Minister has undertaken a bold initiative [emphasis added] of realizing this goal whereby he has set the target of ensuring that by 2012, no one lives further than five kilometres from a tarred road and to build 50,000 homes for the poor.

Bold initiative? Give me a break, la MCA! What a joke. And this is exactly what I’m talking about: A perfect example once again, of the “yes, Tuan” syndrome.

Take the case of crime. Here’s what the MCA has to offer:

"The government’s commitment to reducing street crime by 20% is also most welcome, as ordinary Malaysians have grown fearful at the increased spate of crime like snatch thefts, Mat Rempits, armed robbery. However, MCA also urges the government to give equal attention to reducing white collar crime like criminal breach of trust, corruption which incurs wanton excessive expenditure benefitting cronies of powerful figures. Efforts also must be undertaken to combat domestic violence and transnational crime like human trafficking."

So, the MCA welcomes “the government’s commitment” to reducing crime. Of course the MCA is silent as to how this will be done. And given we’re making excuses about the police’s ineptness and the government’s desire to unleash the vigilante patrols, it seems clear that once again the toothless MCA merely responds by endorsing the Umno-regime’s agenda rather than being an independent voice questioning the merits of its approach.

For example, exactly how much longer are we going to go on about tackling the Mat Rempits? Isn’t this the saddest commentary on the utter ineptness of the police force in dealing with crime? Perhaps the MCA could instead ask Najib and his chief of police to explain exactly why the cops seem to have lots of time to set up elaborate false road blocks on the highways only to make a killing trying to squeeze motorists for bribes instead of having these police personnel actively engaged in patrols and raids to arrest the Mat Rempits who roam and terrorise the public at their will.

Oh! What a silly thing for me to say – isn’t the answer obvious?

But what exactly does the MCA have to say about such issues? Nothing substantive, that’s for sure. Much like the “eradicating poverty” agenda, they’ll predictably congratulate the PM for his “bold initiative.”

One thing is for sure – the MCA is much like its other non-Malay BN chums: you’ll be hard pressed to find boldness in any of them.

G. Krishnan