MCA sharply split ahead of Bagan Pinang poll

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The BN was dealt a demoralising blow on the eve of the Bagan Pinang by-election after contradictory motions passed during the MCA’s extraordinary general meeting today threw the party into disarray and left it bereft of top leadership.


Photos by Jong

Before today’s EGM, a couple of political scientists/analysts I know who visited Bagan Pinang last night got the impression that the BN had the edge. They observed that the Pakatan’s campaign was missing some of the earlier by-election “spirit” and felt that Isa would win comfortably.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Bagan Pinang has traditionally been a BN stronghold, and Isa Samad, as a local boy, enjoys conspicuous support – similar to what Anwar receives in Permatang Pauh. The Umno presence is noticeable, and much money would also have been splashed around. At one BN ceramah yesterday, close to a thousand supporters turned up – which is quite unusual for BN ceramahs! (The most recent large by-election BN ceramah I can think of was when Mahathir drew a crowd in Bukit Gantang.)

Also in the ruling coalition’s favour, the BN was probably not banking on the MCA making much headway among Chinese Malaysian voters in Bagan Pinang in any case – so today’s EGM proceedings are unlikely to have a major impact on the result.

The Kampung Buah Pala fallout may have eroded some of the support for the Pakatan among Indian Malaysians. To what extent, it is hard to tell. And for what it’s worth, the Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party is supposed to be launched by Najib today.

READ MORE:  Beer fest ban a stark contrast to free beers during 2013 election campaign in Penang

And then, there are the postal votes…

But at lunch-time today, a contact in Bagan Pinang reports that the campaign had become dirtier and senses that Pas will win: the party was looking good and sounding convincing and confident at its latest press conference.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. And the joke of the century, “WE WANT CHANGE, WE WANT TRANSPARENCY”. But, but no, PR/DAP doesn’t have to release the exco minutes. Do you guys even remotely understand what you’re supporting?

    There are no exceptions, just cause you favour one above the rest, that doesn’t mean they should not be held accountable. You folks are defending the very concept you so wish to change.

    Stop accusing Anil of bias, prove Anil wrong, pressure DAP to release the exco minutes. As some have asked, what is so hard with that? That, my good Malaysians, is transparency, that, is change.

    We bitterly grumble about BN’s OSA, yet not only let the very party we depend on for change, we defend their right to withhold information from us (that in essence, is OSA). Such information should and must fall under public domain, that is what it’s all about.

    I honestly believe most of us are in the same boat, we genuinely want to make things better. However, we must not forget, we cannot sacrifice building a strict foundation of how representatives must be held accountable.

    Isn’t it ironic that the same people who blindly root for DAP are exactly mirrored by BN’s supporters who defend the draconian laws?

    I’m not saying the folks in DAP are evil, or they are underhanded, but the public has the right to know how decisions and actions were made/taken, this is a must, and this is what was expected when they were voted in. The core element to fight corruption, we choose not to implement, now how is that for the joke of the century?

  2. Sean, you “think” Anil is not biased, you are not sure right ? Frankly, even Anil doesn’t realise he is biased towards the Penang State Government.
    We are aware people voted PR for a change and we know a lot of these voters also supported LGE’s decision with regards to the KBP issue based on the number of comments made here. Yes, not all supported LGE’s decision but quite a number supported. What does it say ? You cannot please everybody .
    Secondly we should look into the context of “Did LGE personally gain from this decision ?”
    Did he received any monetary gains or did he make this decision believing it was the best for all parties involved ? Overall benefit.
    In the past, decision were made for OWN personal gains, not for the people of Penang.
    Think about it.

  3. Gerakan K,
    I do not think Gerakan has the moral right to chastise anyone for the KBP issue. Additionally, two wrongs does not make one right.

    If Gerakan wants to regain the mandate of the people of Penang, I guess they should first dissociate from BN. Otherwise no amount of championing will change the mind of the people of people of Penang. Get it?

  4. Anil – thanks for your comment. Did I not say ‘IF’ enough in my comment? One of the problems with elevating personalities over parties is that a man could be mistaken for his party. I’m too lazy to look for the source of my impression that the KBP villagers were promised they wouldn’t have to leave their land. Antares refers to promises above – does he know of some? I don’t think it would do any harm to clarify exactly what people’s expectations were, and why they might have expected more than was possible, if it was truly impossible for them to remain on their land.

    The KBP thing is no less of a public relations problem – regardless of the ‘truth’ behind it – than many that PR are quick to castigate BN for. I don’t think it would hurt PR at all in the long run, if any PR member was careless enough to elevate hope into the realms of fantasy, to demonstrate personal integrity and for a careless PR representative do what PR so often asks their opponents to do.

    What are the facts as regards promises? Were the KBP villagers actually ‘led to believe’ anything at all?

    • Your impression is correct, Sean. It is a fact that promises were made. Video clips show PR reps making public promises to the villagers as late as early this year, even after the land had been transferred to the Koperasi.

      More than that though, whatever the legal technicalities, I think the KBP villagers intuitively figured out early on that the Penang state government was not on their side in terms of trying to save the village. I got that impression too from the body language and public statements made by state government leaders.

      That aside, what is clear now is that political parties had better think a few times before they allow communities and villages to be destroyed/demolished. Not only would it be a public relations problem, village demolitions are likely to come at a heavy political cost (as the Kg Berembang demolition in BN-ruled Selangor demonstrated as well).

  5. Bravo BN! Now hardcore supporters of PR should wakeup and join us to pressure LGE to reveal all exco minutes. People hate to see PR “cakap tak serupa bikin” attitude and PAS nonsense.

  6. I don’t think Anil is being biased. Did LGE promise the KBP residents they wouldn’t have to leave their homes if he ran Penang? If he did, he broke a campaign promise. In an election based democracy, that’s as bad as it gets. All we have to go on to select our politicians is their promises. How are we to effectively take part in democracy if their promises mean nothing?

    IF LGE really made that promise, if he hasn’t actually been dishonest (there’s neither evidence nor suggestion of it), he has only been incompetent. For the sake of Transparency and closure for the ex-KBP residents, divulging information relevant to the transaction seems like a good idea. As for Accountability, LGE is a young man, he has a long career in politics ahead of him if his father is any indication. DAP are not backward in calling for resignations when they find fault with BN representatives or public officials. IF he really has broken a campaign promise, I think he should resign. He can sit on the backbenches or take an exco position. I think it would be a great way for DAP to demonstrate its commitment to personal integrity. Wong offered to resign, when she’d clearly done nothing wrong. If LGE really was powerless (the best possible explanation) he was wrong to make the promise.

    CAT is a great idea. If what we get instead is Incompetence, Opacity and Unaccountability (did the KBP residents get their IOU?), then exactly what change are we expected to support? “Nobody should question”? “Close one eye”? “Jus’ accep’ i'”? What change is that?

    Blind support for elected officials is what brought Malaysia to the condition it is in now. If anything is to change, it is our attitude to criticism.

    • To be fair, I don’t think Guan Eng made such a campaign promise ahead of the general election, though his people/Pakatan allies might have.

  7. Anil, you said
    ” anilnetto
    October 11th, 2009 at 12.21pm · Reply
    I think the minutes might help to shed some light on the state government’s orientation: was it really interested in saving Kg Buah Pala in the first place? That has larger implications for other cases involving residents vs developers/big business interests.”

    I am just wondering if the minutes were out and you didn’t like what you read, what do you do then ? Where do you go from there and to what extend do you want to persue the matter ?
    Will the witch hunt stop ?
    What would it achieve ?

    If LGE was wrong, was the compensation insufficient ?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have insider news but I was just saying, if the minutes was favourable, LGE was right he will come out a hero, If it was not favourable he will come out as …..
    a) a corrupt
    b) a greedy man
    c) an arrogant man
    d) etc

    Feel free to label his as whatever ….

    Anil, I use to respect you but I can see your biasness in this issue. It is very glaring.
    Whilst you stand for justice as your motto, you chose to highlight so far all negatives, no positive whatsoever of the Penang government. How come ?
    A fair person will not only criticise but compliment where it is due.
    Why don’t you come up with some proposals or initiatives to help the Penang government source for funds.

  8. Dear Anil,

    Back to your original post. You said “a contact in Bagan Pinang reports that the campaign had become dirtier and senses that Pas will win: the party was looking good and sounding convincing and confident at its latest press conference.”

    Now I’m really really curious. How true is that ? How much dirtier can it get … and who’s throwing the dirt ? can’t stand the suspense any more ..

  9. Kg Buah Pala really should have been granted heritage status and preserved for posterity
    UNESCO has a list of ten criteria for a place to be designated a “Heritage Site”:
    http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria/
    Please visit the site and see if KBP qualifies. As for preservation for posterity, I wonder how many youngsters from KBP wants to carry on being a cow herd like their parents/grandparents. Ask any parent in KBP what they would like their children to be and you will likely get: lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, accountants, pharmacist, etc. etc. Ask any kid of KBP and you will likely get the same answer.

    To those who speak of:
    earn to appreciate simplicity and more organic ways of living
    I have this to say: “Do you live there?” Please stop your condescending attitude. And please stop using KBP folks as your political football.

    The above said, I am sure PR especially DAP has learned the hard way to think twice before making promises they cannot or realistically are not prepared to make.

    In the final analysis, I want to ask those who voted for PR in the last geeral election: “DO YOU WANT CHANGE?” If you do

    “PLEASE DO NOT LET ONE ISSUE TO DERAIL THE MOMENTUM THAT HAS BEEN BUILD UP FOR THIS CHANGE TO TAKE PLACE.”

  10. Anil
    ASSUME the State Exco did something to Kg Buah Pala – so what to the rest of Penang? What will be the steps for Penang and the private developer? Penang Government spending their time fighting in the courts? If the Government loses the case and will Greenies and NGOs foot the bill?

    The case of Kg Buah is in the final stage when PR Government take over. To some it might be like a serious illness and it is better to terminate than trying to stay alive.

    It is an insult to call Kg Buah Pala a cultural heritage. It just cannot compare with Sentul, Brickfields and Batu Caves which deserves better chance but many just see the needles and not the rafters

    • I think the minutes might help to shed some light on the state government’s orientation: was it really interested in saving Kg Buah Pala in the first place? That has larger implications for other cases involving residents vs developers/big business interests.

  11. There seems to be some wise comments about Kg Buah Pala issue from both sides of the political divide. As a true Penangite, I realised that sometimes we seem to lose hold on reality. You ppl talked about previous BN govt fault and then, in the same breath, demand that the present govt’s “minutes” be made available.

    Firstly, the previous govt’s unforgiveable mistake is already a foregone conclusion. If not, why KTK refuses to engage in a debate till now. He … were held by his UMNO masters then. This (political) eunuch leader was the cause of Penangites’ misfortunes.

    Now, talk about the PR’ govt minutes. You ppl, just like the sore losers of Gerakan, are so desirious of finding about what they really discussed, right? Do you really think the PR govt will collaborate with the BN/UMNO-linked developer company to defraud Penangites? Or, LGE had not prevented the deal when he could? My hunch is that after the March 08 GE, the new Penang govt, due to their inexperience and the ensuing excitement after the unexpected triumph, failed to give due attention. This was compounded by some election promises given. What the new govt’s reps were probably discussing were minor oversights. Why? As LGE said so many times, the rule of law had to be followed. Breach of which, Penangites will have to bear.

    As a Penangite, I strongly object to any call to reveal the PR’s govt “minutes”. Where do you ppl get the cheek to ask that? Because of CAT? Transparency, so must reveal A-Z for everyone’s consumption?

    When our Chinese village in Jelutong was demolished years ago, the developer only compensated us a RM130K apartment. Mind you, many of our neighbours had many households in 1 squatter home. Did we ask our wives, children and young men to protest, form human barricades and engage opposition’s help to prevent the developer from their demolition efforts? No, we vacated the site on time and without much fuss.

    Some of the Indians in Kg Buah Pala were so appreciative of the PR govt’s assistance. Go and ask them why they are so different from the minority?

    • Things have changed now. People voted for change. They had enough of such nonsense.

      Yes, the state govt exco must reveal the minutes. No one is asking for all the minutes – though what is there to hide, if everything is above aboard? – except those that relate to KBP. Why so reluctant?

    • Anil,
      Yes, we voted for change. However, many of us are sensible people unlike you who are trapped in a time warp unwilling to budge. You can’t win all the time

      Anil,
      KBP folks are not the only sufferers. They are plenty of those who suffered & got less. So I simply don’t understand why you keep haranguing the whole issue. You focus seems to be on PR’s failed to get what KBP wants
      Like it or not, KBP folks has gotten a good deal. People would make comparisons. What about those people who got less? You don’t seem to care about other people’s sensitivities.
      Being a christian yourself, let me give you a brotherly advise. Peter has made declaration that he would not forsake Jesus during Jesus’ss final moment. However, Peter did……He forsaken Jesus & then the roosters crows. Did Peter fail Jesus? Did Peter fail in His faith? His meagre faith in believing Jesus.
      After all these, Peter was given the authority of leading the group. The rest is history. So, do you really get my drift on this? Lets move on

  12. Anil, you use the word “may be”.Pls stop that as you may rekindle the buah pala issue unintentionally (of other wise??).

    • I have news for you. There are still a lot of unanswered questions swirling around KBP, and I am not the only one raising them.

  13. Why can’t anybody see it?? All of us in Perak know. The 3rd force that is controlling MCA’s EGM will take control of the party. They are the Ong Dynasty and Ong Ka Chuan will benefit the most. He will eventually become the President. Mark my words!!

    • James,
      I knew this Ong Ka Chuan fella personally. My mum met up with him on certain issue when my mum was part of MCA. He is a chicken. He avoided my parents all the time while his private secretary rubbishing my parents’ request
      Anyway, MCA is a eunuch party. I quote that from LKY. Lets just sink it

  14. bagan pinang voters please vote PAS for one good reason…PAS has got no experience in corruption….
    vote for our children’s future…..

  15. Many would and still like to speculate on what could have been and what should have been in respect of the Kg. Buah Pala Issue. What is done cannot be undone. Instead of clinging on to one single issue look at the big picture:
    -Does Malaysians need to move away from communal politics?
    -Which political group offers us the best hope of a non-communal based politics?
    -Do we need another new communal political party? and last but not least…
    -Do we want change?

    It will be a shame if Bagan Pinang is lost by a small margin and it turns out that the Indians have mostly voted for UMNO in protest of what happened at KBP.

  16. This isn’t abouit Bagan Pinang, but I’m still troubled by how the Kg Buah Pala dilemma was (mis)handled. After viewing videos where PR leaders promised to help KBP villagers BEFORE the elections, it’s clear that LGE was acutely aware of the land grab. To keep faith with the Indian community he ought to have immediately launched an investigation of what transpired under KTK and questioned all former exco members involved. If hanky-panky was involved, that would be sufficient reason to nullify whatever contract was signed between the previous exco and Nusmetro Ventures. However, some of the older DAP leaders have been in politics long enough to acquire a pragmatism that favors big business (after all, they do need contributors to their campaignss). So there probably is an element of extreme caution to avoid coming across as hardline socialists. Furthermore, the predominantly Chinese DAP is more inclined to look upon “squatter” areas (especially those populated by working class Indians) as an “eyesore” and therefore would prefer to see such areas replaced by spanking new highrise complexes (good for the economy mah). I hope the younger generation of DAP leaders will transcend their own cultural imprinting and learn to appreciate
    simplicity and more organic ways of living, instead of falling for the dangerous misconception that “new is better than old.” Kg Buah Pala really should have been granted heritage status and preserved for posterity – and Nusmetro Ventures deserves to be whacked for playing the dirty old Ali Baba game. One look at their CEO and you can tell what the company is all about: $$$$$$!

    • Antares,
      I would have to wait till after 5pm to reply you on this in details. I just gotta add on one thing. My grandda lost his plot of land in Kuala Kangsar without compensation. Even with compensation, it’s pales as compared with KBP. That plot of land has since turned into a car parking lot.
      Lets move onm, shall we

  17. MCA, the Malaysian Circus Associate, with the EGM concluded end up with no heads. A headless party, peace is a still a remote dream for MCA. Let wait and see, who will emerge as their leader. Probably no one, how sad for a party that claimed to champion for the Chinese, can’t even solve their leadership problem want to lead us. What a joke!

  18. I hope the indians wake up and stop being manipulated by their … leaders.

    Which party organised for the compensation for kg buah pala? UMNO?
    come on la, buah pala people dun even have money to hire a lawyer to fight for them in the court, what else they want from PR? talk about heritage? i think they should talk about securing the roof over their head first!!!

    Which party kicked the cow head? no prize for giving correct answer. But where was MIC?

    Continue to be emotional and moron and vote for those BN manipulators…

  19. The big question is will OTK step down as the President Of MCA. He can claim the MCA constitution states that it require a 2/3 majority to make the President step down. Furthermore. the CC are mostly pro OTK and you can be dead sure in their coming meeting middle of this month something will happen and OTK will still be the President of MCA. Only one man can decide his fate and that is the PM

  20. If you see the photo of Najib over Nik Aziz, it show how DESPICABLE and DESPERATE that Najib is to win the Bagan Pinang election. Anyway MCA is no more relevant.

    Good luck to PAS and hope they create an upset and kick … Najib out in the next GE.

    R.A.H.M.A.N will soon come true.

    • It is not true. There are plenty MCA MPs and ADUNs. Do take a look at Johor. People still gave strong mandate to MCA.

  21. why do people keep harping on buah pala?these people were compensated like never before in the history of this country.

    • Maybe one reason they are still harping on it is due to the Penang Pakatan government’s failure to make public their exco minutes.

      • It seem that you are one that is harping. Like we said before, the minutes is irrelevant as all the rules, national land code and court judgement proves that LGE and Pakatan did it right. Only a few disgruntle are still harping for a 3 millions house or land. They can just butt off

      • If I am the only one, then you don’t have anything to worry about. I just don’t see why the minutes can’t be made public in line with CAT. Prove that the minutes are irrelevant instead of just asking us to take your word for it.

      • Good point. One that many will refuse to see, for they wish to build another political party that mirrors BN eventually.

        When transparency becomes subjective, it has lost its substance and value.

      • Yang, you were wrong. I’m also waiting for the exco minutes. Most of Gerakan members including KTK also waiting for LGE’s exco minutes to be released to public.

  22. I think PAS will win by 500 votes. Than BN will file a court action to declare the election null and void…thanks to PAS homework

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