If MCA becomes the butt of jokes and lampoons in September Parliament for the first time in 54 years as representing “Malaysian Criminals Association”, Liong Sik must bear the greatest responsibility, turning Ka Ting’s “First 100 Days” political honeymoon as new MCA President into a nightmare of the 3Is of triad involvement, infiltration and influence in MCA
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): MCA Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr. Ting Chew Peh said yesterday that 3,000 MCA members, including leaders, veterans and representatives would tomorrow pay tribute to Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik who was president for an unprecedented 17 years in an elaborate salutation ceremony at the party headquarters followed by a farewell dinner. The salutation ceremony will be a three-hour tribute to Liong Sik’s “contributions to the party, community and nation”.
This should be a political honeymoon period for the new MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, basking in the glow and glory of his “First Hundred Days” as the seventh MCA President after he took over on May 23 after Liong Sik was unceremoniously forced out of office as MCA chief and later as Transport Minister.
Ka Ting has not yet reached three-quarters way of his political honeymoon period, but his “First 100 Days” have already turned sour and degenerated into a political nightmare, with the MCA leadership vainly struggling to shake off the taint and tar of the 3Is of triad involvement, infiltration and influence in MCA since the police nation-wide and Interpol alert and manhunt for a MCA branch leader as kingpin of a triad linked to murder, international drug trafficking, kidnap and robbery.
This is why all the desperate attempts by Ka Ting in the past week to deflect public attention from MCA and triad links to generate a positive image, talking about a new fund for poor students, local governments to go online and adopt e-payments by 2005, the issue of control of commercial project developments, etc. have all run aground and failed to restore the shine of his political honeymoon period – an important object lesson for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the “First 100 Days” can also go wrong when he becomes the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
If MCA becomes the butt of jokes and lampoons in September Parliament for the first time in 54 years as representing “Malaysian Criminals Association”, Liong Sik’s 17 years as MCA President must bear the greatest responsibility, as the barbs have not only come from outside but also from inside the highest party and government echelons, as evidenced by the public allegations by the MCA Youth leader and Youth and Sports Deputy Minister, Datuk Ong Tee Keat, of “black gold” politics and triad involvement, infiltration and influence in MCA – now vindicated by the police nation-wide and Interpol manhunt for a MCA branch chairman whose suspended party membership the MCA leadership is very keen to fully reinstate, according to the MCA Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung in the press today.
When the 3,000 MCA leaders, veterans and representatives gather tomorrow for the salutation ceremony for Liong Sik, they should ponder long and hard the New Straits Times editorial entitled Tainted by triads” on Monday (21.7.03) which said:
“WHEN Deputy Home Minister Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin said in Parliament last month that police investigations had revealed no links between secret societies and MCA leaders, the allegations, police reports and poison pen letters about such connections seemed to be nothing more than politically motivated smear campaigns and character assassinations.
“But now that a triad leader on the police wanted list for murder, extortion, kidnapping, illegal gambling and other crimes has been confirmed to be a branch chairman, the MCA leadership can no longer
retreat into denial. It must admit there is substance to allegations that the party has been infiltrated by triads and must purge itself of these elements. This is a time for fast, decisive action. If it dithers or pussyfoots, grist will be added to the rumour mill, the chain of poison-pen letters and postings on Internet websites, however wild and far-fetched they may be.
“ The party can ill-afford to be dragged through a scandal, especially one that reeks of gangsterism and thuggery. The wounds of three years of infighting have barely begun to heal. The party is still badly divided.
Although a compromise has been reached and the old leaders have stepped down, there are still question marks about the stability and durability of the transition. It will be difficult to restore unity unless this tainted tie with secret societies is cleansed. The integrity and prestige of the MCA are at stake and it must act soonest.”
And this commentary from a Sin Chew Jit Poh column “Black or White” two days ago:
“The much talked about issue of MCA might have been bloated out of proportion or blemished by intention. However, if the warranted major surgery is not administered to have the carcinogenic tissues removed, there is no guarantee of any sort that they will not expand and propagate.
“Consequently, terminating a person's membership and preventing anyone with criminal records from admission into a political party do not suffice.
“Political parties can only save themselves if they resolve to banish all who have been involved in triad activities or are operating illegal businesses.
“Black is black, and white is white - the line must be drawn: We are no friends and most definitely no brothers.”
At the MCA
salutation ceremony tomorrow, Liong Sik must decide whether he wants his
legacy to be remembered when an opposition MP rises in September Parliament
to be the first to lampoon MCA as representing “Malaysian Criminals
Association” and every time such a lampoon is hurled at the MCA down the
years and decades, or whether he wants to be remembered as playing the
important role to cleanse MCA of any taint or tar from triad involvement,
infiltration and influence by turning the
It will be most unfair to over 99 per cent of the one million MCA members for MCA to be mocked as representing “Malaysian Criminals Association” but it will be the MCA leadership which will be responsible for this injustice to the overwhelming MCA membership if they are not prepared to take decisive, effective and pro-active action to cleanse the MCA of all triad involvement, infiltration and influence.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman