JUNE 8 — In an opinion piece entitled “Make Teluk Intan the end of hate politics”, MCA Deputy President Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong lobbed a few baseless accusations against the DAP and Pakatan but ended up implicating and highlighting the failures of his own party and his own BN coalition.
Firstly, he accuses DAP for failing Dyana Sofya and of “trying to push the limitations of tolerance and create discord among races”. I fail to comprehend how the DAP can be guilty of this in any aspect of our campaign in Teluk Intan unless Wee is somehow implying that the fielding of a Malay candidate in a non-Malay majority constituency can create discord among the races.
Of all people, Wee should appreciate the benefits of having a minority representative since his very own parliament seat of Ayer Hitam is a 56 per cent Malay majority constituency. Rather than criticise the DAP, Wee should have congratulated DAP for taking a bold step in breaking down racial barriers and stereotypes in the decision to field Dyana in Teluk Intan.
Secondly, Wee accused the DAP of hubris by saying that the party would win Chinese majority seats like Seputeh and Cheras even if we fielded a goat as a candidate. Disregarding the fact that a goat is not a Malaysian citizen and therefore is not eligible to contest as a candidate in any Malaysian elections, the DAP has never made such a claim. Others may have used such an example as a way to describe seats which are DAP strongholds but to say that DAP has publicly made such a statement clearly shows that Wee is deluded. Moreover, right from the announcement of Dyana Sofya as DAP’s candidate in Teluk Intan, we have been saying that she is the underdog in this by-election. How can this be consistent with a hubristic attitude as described by Wee?
Thirdly, Wee claims credit for himself and for MCA when he mentioned that his presence in the Teluk Intan by-election ensured that there was no inter-party sabotage between MCA and Gerakan for the ‘first time since 1974’. The fact that Wee can take pride in such an ‘achievement’ is frankly laughable. It is an open admission that the BN has been practising a culture of internal ‘sabotage’ for 40 years (if not more) which required a hero of Wee’s status in order to be solved. This naturally leads to the next question of how many other Gerakan seats did MCA sabotage since 1974 and whether it will require Wee to practice his ‘magic’ in all of these seats in the next general election if Gerakan is to stand a chance of winning these seats. Can he station himself again in Teluk Intan in GE14 seeing that his own Ayer Hitam seat seems quite secure? Will he also travel to the other Gerakan seats such as Batu Kawam, Beruas, Taiping, Puchong, Batu, Kepong and Segambut to ensure total MCA cooperation with Gerakan in these seats?
Fourthly, Wee accused the DAP of not being able to get-out-the-vote in Malay areas which “Umno took advantage of and quickly mobilised itself to garner support”. If Umno was so good in mobilising support, why was it that voter turnout in the Malay areas dropped by 14 per cent which is the same drop in turnout as the Chinese areas? If DAP was so poor in reaching out to the Malay areas, why did we win a larger percentage of votes in seven out of the 10 Malay majority polling districts and how did we, together with very strong support from PAS, increase the level of Malay support from 25 per cent to 28 per cent?
Fifthly, Wee attributed the increase in support among Indian voters in the Nova Scotia estates where over 1500 Indians live as a result of MIC managing to acquire funds to ‘fix some of the run-down infrastructure abandoned since 2008’. In making this statement, Wee is admitting that the BN controlled federal government and the state government in Perak has failed to fulfil their responsibilities since 2008. Furthermore, it took political party funds in order to solve this problem which is a further indictment of the failure of the BN federal and state governments to take care of the infrastructure needs of the people of Teluk Intan. Despite this sudden infusion of MIC funds, the DAP still managed to win a respectable 40 per cent of votes in Nova Scotia.
Sixthly, Wee implies that the young voters are not necessarily supporting the opposition. He gave the example of Kg Selamba, a Malay majority polling district where the BN received 266 votes compared to the DAP’s 74 votes in the youngest polling stream which is Saluran 4. This translates into the DAP winning only 21.8 per cent of the total votes in this stream. But Wee failed to point out that the DAP only won 18.9 per cent of this polling stream in GE2013 which means that DAP’s support actually increased by 2.9 per cent in this polling stream during the by-election!
Wee also conveniently ignores the fact that DAP’s support in the younger polling streams is significantly higher than in the older polling streams, even in Malay majority areas. For example, in the Kampong Bahagia polling district which is 95.5 per cent Malay, 23.9 per cent of voters in the oldest polling stream, which is Saluran 1, voted for the DAP. In Saluran 7, the youngest polling stream, 48.8 per cent of votes went to the DAP. Furthermore, this was an increase of 4.5 per cent from GE2013! In the Batak Rabit polling station, which is 61.3 per cent Malay, only 28.6 per cent of voters in Saluran 1 voted for the DAP compared to 50.1 per cent of voters in Saluran 5, the youngest saluran. The younger Malay voters clearly have less qualms about voting for the DAP compared to the older voters because they have access to more information and are less swayed by the negative propaganda and lies that have been spewed out against the DAP in the mainstream media. If this trend continues, spurred on by the DAP’s commitment to field more young Malay candidates in GE14, it is the BN which has to be worried.
If Wee is serious about ending hate politics, as his opinion piece implies, he should look no further than to his own coalition member, Umno, who allowed Perkasa’s Zulkifli Nordin and Ibrahim Ali to contest in the Shah Alam and Pasir Mas parliament seats in GE2013; whose Bukit Bendera division chief Ahmad Ismail was suspended for three years for calling Chinese ‘pendatangs’ and later returned as the unanimous choice for division chief in the party elections in 2013; whose KLFT Youth Chief Razlan Razii recently threatened to burn down the DAP Headquarters in KL, just to name a few examples.
* Ong Kian Ming is the MP for Serdang.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.