Ka Ting should propose that all the Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs should attend a workshop on the teachings of Confucius to become better leaders and not just confine the course to MCA
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): MCA President and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting should propose that all the Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs should attend a workshop on the teachings of Confucius to become better leaders and not just confine the course to MCA.
Last Thursday, Ka Ting announced that MCA leaders, including all MCA central committee members, youth and wanita central committee members and 107 elected representatives, will attend a workshop on the teachings of Confucius by Taiwanese professor Fu Pei-jung at Wisma MCA next month.
He said the teachings would touch on how to avoid being “small people” (xiaoren), referring to those who did evil things behind others for self-interest, in contrast to “big people” (junzi) whose actions were based on ethics, morals and for the good of society. (The Star 23.4.04)
Surely, it is not just MCA leaders and elected representatives who can benefit from a course on Confucian virtues of ren (benevolence, humaneness) and yi (righteousness) to qualify as a junzi - one who manifests the quality of ren in his person and displays the quality of yi in his actions.
The cardinal Confucian virtues are valid for all times, peoples, societies and nations, such as his saying in The Analects:
4:5 Confucius said, "Riches and honors are what all men desire. But if they cannot be attained in accordance with the Tao they should not be kept. Poverty and low status are what all men hate. But if they cannot avoided in while staying in accordance with the Tao, you should not avoid them. If a Superior Man departs from humaneness, how can he be worthy of that name? A Superior Man never leaves humaneness for even the time of a single meal. In moments of haste he acts according to it. In times of difficulty or confusion he acts according to it."
『4-5』子曰：「富與貴, 是人之所欲也; 不以其道得之, 不處也。貧與賤, 是人之惡也; 不以其道得之, 不去也。君子去仁, 惡乎成名。君子無終食之間違仁, 造次必於是, 顛沛必於是。」
Or does Ka Ting thinks that only MCA leaders and elected representatives can benefit from such a course in The Analects because there are too many “xiaoren” and not enough “junzi” in MCA, while there are enough “junzi” in UMNO and other Barisan Nasional parties?
MCA Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr. Ting Chew Peh said yesterday that the MCA leadership hoped that the four-hour workshop on the teachings of Confucius by Fu Pei-jung on May 24 would make the participants become more “effective” leaders. (NST)
Although Fu Pei-jung from the National Taiwan University is a distinguished scholar of Chinese philosophy, being the first holder of the European Chair of Chinese Studies in the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden University, Netherlands, is there no Malaysian who is a scholar of Chinese philosophy qualified enough to give the MCA leaders and elected representatives a course in Confucian values?
In any event, what is more important than a workshop in The Analects is to put into daily practice the Confucian values of a junzi and to avoid being a xiaoren.
It would do the MCA leaders and elected representatives more good if in their workshop on the teachings of Confucius, they seek answer to the following two questions:
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor