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theSun | TUESDAY OCTOBER 20 2009 œ 11

speak up!

ciples and ideas on how to transform

How MCA leaders the party? What is their stand on the

various national issues? How can MCA
be strong, effective and fair and at the
same time, it is not perceived as being
“threatening” to the other race-based
parties in BN and the Opposition?

can end impasse

What do the leaders plan to do with
the reported accumulated financial
assets of over RM1.5 billion belonging to
MCA? The party was not set up to be an
investment company but a political party
with clear objectives. The past leaders
should be commended for investing the
comment by K.K. Tan to different viewpoints. Magnanimity is assets wisely to get maximum financial
a strength and not a weakness of a good returns. But what is the plan of the
THE current crisis in MCA is largely political leader. current leaders to use at least some
caused by personality clashes, sensi- Even if some leaders feel they have a of these assets to get the best political
tivities and egos. It is manifesting itself duty to expose other leaders whom they returns for the party?
in the ugly power struggle, confusion, believe to be corrupt or dishonest or In short, what is their “business plan”
antagonism and disunity in the party. have a selfish agenda, they must make to transform MCA into a respected, cred-
The party is also becoming the laughing their case objectively with facts and ible and effective organisation and how
stock of the Chinese community and let the members and delegates be the can MCA deal effectively with the various
other Malaysians. The problem has even judge. They should not insinuate against issues confronting the community and
shaken its Barisan Nasional partners, or malign their opponents based solely country? How can MCA work effectively
especially Umno, which is worried that a on hearsay. The leaders need to set an with Umno and other parties to secure
greatly weakened MCA will be a liability example by not being personal in their the best returns for the community it
to the coalition. political struggle. represents? This is where we can see
Many of the sensational reports and There is nothing wrong with seeking the “true colours” of the leaders.
articles on this crisis, especially over the political power but what’s the purpose or Half the present internal crisis can
Internet, are getting out of control and basis of such power? What’s their game be solved if the leaders concerned
devoid of real substance. They focus on plan for the party for the political power focus on their stand on issues, political
personality politics, play up one leader that they are seeking or maintaining? principles and plan for MCA. The leaders
against another and make unsubstanti- As current or aspiring leaders, they and their supporters must avoid per-
ated allegations against some leaders. must openly state their stand and tell sonal bickering, character assassination
These writers are not doing justice to the members and the public what they and personality clashes, which do more
the case and are making the matter are offering to the party. It cannot be harm than good to the party.
worse. Many MCA leaders are getting “business as usual” or MCA may soon The MCA leaders must end the confu-
very suspicious and paranoid when they become extinct. sion, negative emotions and antagonism
are already sensitive to criticisms. How are they going to transform and which are clouding the issues for their
Sensitivity to criticisms and being reform the party to win back the support members and the public. Let their dif-
unduly reserved in expressing a view are of the Chinese community? How are ferences and the debate be based on
common Asian cultural traits which po- they going to make MCA more relevant principles, stand, ideas and plan. Let
litical leaders must learn to overcome. to the current and future generations? there be political maturity in handling
The temperature in MCA needs to be They should know that MCA can- such differences with greater mutual
cooled down quickly instead of allowing not continue being perceived to be a respect and recognition.
the fire to be stoked further which would parochial, race-based party. The party The common objectives of the party
burn the “house” down. must eventually open up to become should form the basis of unity as the
Sure, every political party has its more inclusive (multi-racial) in line with “bottom line” and the leaders must be
power struggles and divisions. But power the broad aspirations of most Malaysians reminded that whatever differences
struggles and differences must be based to achieve greater national unity and they may have, they must still work and
on principles, ideologies, ideas and the to collectively increase the economic stand together for the common good.
positions on the various issues facing wealth for all. They must not let the party which their
the community and country. So while they are busy trying to forefathers have built up for over two
The party leaders must learn to win over the support of the Chinese generations to be so easily destroyed.
agree to disagree on issues, ideas and community, they should not forget the
principles and they must learn to give non-Chinese as well as their vote and KK Tan is the CEO of a strategic think tank
their political opponents due respect. support can also determine the destiny consultancy firm. He writes a monthly
As politicians, they cannot afford to be of MCA. column, Beyond Race, for theSun.
too sensitive to criticisms and adverse What are the leaders’ political prin- Comments:

Pakistan joins the American Raj

by Eric S. Margolis new embassy for 1,000 personnel in actually called for air attacks on Pashtun
Islamabad, the second largest after leaders in Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s
WASHINGTON: Official Washington its giant fortress-embassy in Baghdad. restive Baluchistan province.
watches in mounting alarm and confu- New diplomatic personnel are needed, Washington does not even bother to
sion as Pakistan spins out of control. claims Washington, to monitor the ask the Islamabad government’s permis-
The US-led war in Afghanistan has now US$7.5 billion in aid. So a small army of sion to launch air attacks inside Pakistan,
poured over into Pakistan, bringing that US mercenaries is being brought in to only informing it afterwards.
nation of 167 million close to civil war. protect US “interests”. New US military The Kerry-Lugar-Berman Big Bribe
Bombings and shootings are rocking bases will open. Most of the billions in comes as many irate Pakistanis accuse
Pakistan’s northwest regions, including a new aid will go right into the pockets of President Asif Ali Zardari’s government
brazen attack on army HQ in Rawalpindi the pro-western ruling establishment, of being American hirelings. Zardari, wid-
and repeated bombings of Lahore and about 1% of the population. ower of Benazir Bhutto, has been dogged
Peshawar. Pakistan’s army has launched Washington has been also demanding for decades by corruption charges.
a major offensive against rebellious veto power over promotions in Pakistan’s Washington seems unaware of
Pashtun tribes in South Waziristan. armed forces and intelligence agency, the fury its crude, counter-productive
Meanwhile, the weak, deeply unpop- ISI. This crude attempt to take control of policies have whipped up in Pakistan.
ular government of Asif Zardari that was Pakistan’s proud, 617,000-man military The Obama administration listens to
engineered into power by the US faces and intelligence service has enraged its Washington-based pro-Israel neo-con-
an increasingly rancorous confrontation armed forces. servatives, military hawks, and “experts”
with its own military. It’s all part of Washington’s “Afpak” who tell it what it wants to hear, not the
Like the proverbial bull in the china strategy to clamp tighter control over facts.
shop, the Obama administration and restive Pakistan and make use its Pakistan’s military, the nation’s
US Congress chose this explosive time armed forces and intelligence agents in premier institution, is being pushed to the
to try to impose yet another layer of Afghanistan. The other key US objective point of revolt. Against the backdrop of
American control over Pakistan – just as is seizing control of Pakistan’s nuclear bombings and shootings come rumours
Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama arsenal, the cornerstone of its national the heads of Pakistan’s armed forces
appears likely to send thousands more defence against much more power- and intelligence may be replaced.
US troops to Afghanistan. ful India. Welcome, Pakistan, to the Pakistanis are calling for the removal
Tragically, US policy in the Muslim American Raj. of the Zardari regime’s strongman,
world continues to be driven by However, 90% of Pakistanis oppose Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The
imperial arrogance, profound ignorance, the US-led war in Afghanistan, and see possibility of a military coup against
and special interest groups. Taliban and its allies as national resist- the Zardari regime grows. But Pakistan
The current Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill ance to western occupation. is dependent on US money, and fears
approved by Congress and signed by Alarmingly, violent attacks on Paki- India. Can its generals afford to break
Obama is ham-fisted dollar diplomacy stan’s government are coming not only with patron Washington?
at its worst. Pakistan, bankrupted by from once autonomous Pashtun tribes
corruption and feudal landlords, is (wrongly called “Taliban”) in Northwest Eric S. Margolis is a contributing editor
being offered US$7.5 billion over five Frontier Province, but, increasingly, in to the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers,
years. Washington claims there are no the biggest province, Punjab. writing mainly about the Middle East
strings attached. Except, of course, Recently, the US Ambassador in and South Asia. Comments: letters@
that the US wants to build a mammoth Islamabad, in a fit of imperial arrogance,