By Syed Akbar Ali
The last time I attended an MCA forum was in 1989 or 1990 at the Dewan Lee San Choon at Wisma MCA in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. I forget what was the theme of that forum but it was conducted in English and it was full to the brim, standing room only.
Those were the great old days of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed's premiership. Things were well organised, all the BN component parties were strong and we were at the threshold of launching the country to a great era of growth and development in the roaring 90s. The MCA was getting to grips with itself (after the Pan El Fiasco I think) and the party was ready to lead the Chinese community.
This morning, 10 years later, I attended another MCA Forum on the UPSR and PMR examinations. The forum was held at the HGH Convention Centre in Sentul. It is a Chinese school with a huge convention hall. The program started quite on time (at 10:09am).
Although the girls at the registration counter said that some of the proceedings would be in English, for the 45 minutes that I was there, three speakers appeared and there was no English or Malay spoken. Since I could not understand them, I left the hall.
What I noticed was that there were hardly 300 people present (even when I left about 10.45am). You can see the pictures yourself.
In The first picture you can see the people all bunched up in front and to one side. More than half the hall was empty. The organisers had even removed a few rows of chairs earlier so that the hall would look a little less empty.
In the last picture below, I was seated a few rows from the front. You can see the empty rows of chairs before me. The only thing emptier now are the Anwar Ibrahim ceramahs. Did you know that in one recent ceramah by Anwar, hardly 30 people turned up. Malaysians are getting fed up of all the politicians.
I think the MCA is in serious trouble. They have lost the support of the Chinese. I dont know if all this support has gone over permanently to the DAP. As a result of which the BN is also in serious trouble. After I came back from the MCA Forum I had a visit from an old friend and well known newspaper man.
I shared my observations with him. He shook his head and said that our Prime Minister really believes that Merdeka Center Poll that was done recently which shows that the PM enjoys a 900% popularity rating or something really silly like that.
I dont believe in that Merdeka Centre Poll either. Either they made a mistake or they have some thing else going on up their sleeves. I think it is a lullaby - to lull the PM into a deep sleep. And I think that effect has been achieved. The PM is dozing on this one.
There is also the story that since the PM believes in superstitious things like lucky numbers and such, the General Elections will be held next year in 2011. Apparently the PM's 'lucky number' is 11. If that is the basis for choosing the date for a General Election that will most likely have a huge bearing on the future of this country, then maybe we should also employ Indian swamijis, Indonesian bomohs, Siamese dukuns, African witch doctoirs and such in our Government machinery. Lets join Nik Aziz in his sembahyang hajat mumbo jumbo.
Back to the MCA, they have to fix their party very quickly. Being squeaky clean and really committed to helping the Chinese as well as all other Malaysians is a really good start. The squeaky clean part is a bit difficult to handle for the MCA. It has always been known as the towkay partry. But who says that every towkay has to be a crook?