Chua Jui Meng: MCA’s Loss, Whose gain?


October 21, 2008

It was indeed my distinct honour to be in the company of Dato’ Chua Jui Ming, Datin Chua and his close friends at dinner in Kuala Lumpur last night. The former Minister of Health was most relaxed after his credible performance at the recently completed Malaysian Chinese Association’s Presidential elections.

Although he did not win the MCA presidency, Jui Meng polled 4O per cent of the votes. It is indeed an achievement considering the fact that he no longer holds any party office since 2005.

In politics, having a position of influence is vital for one’s political career. He, therefore, wields considerable sway in MCA affairs because the party membership remembers his contributions to MCA and our country. After all, here is a dynamic and intelligent leader who has a 30-year plus involvement in national politics with 22 years of experience as a Member of Parliament, 15 years of service in government, 9 years of which as Cabinet Minister for two terms.

As I engaged myself in intense conversation with him, I could not help but notice that Jui Meng was able to articulate his views clearly on major issues affecting both the MCA and our country.

His vision and ideas are reflected in his 2008 MCA Presidential Candidate manifesto titled “Rebuild The Party/Return to Relevance/Realise Vision 2020.” Bloggers and readers of this blog should visit http://www.chuajuimeng.com for the full manifesto. I propose to highlight some key elements of the Jui Meng manifesto, hopefully to stimulate some discussion for the benefit of all of us who are concerned about our current national malaise and the future of our plural, culturally diverse, and resource rich country.

A lawyer by profession, Jui Meng opens his mainfesto with the following statement: “The results of the General Elections this year should serve as a wake up call to our Party. MCA has been labelled irrelevant and out of touch with the aspirations of not only the Malaysian Chinese community but the nation as a whole”. He also adds a warning to MCA members by stating in clear and concise language that ” I now predict that unless MCA reforms and transforms within the next 3 years we will face an even worse defeat at the next General Election”.

I take Jui Meng’s call for reform to mean that if MCA adopts the UMNO culture of money politics, patronage, and cronyism, as it is inclined to do before and now, the oldest Chinese party in Malaysia of Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin would be badly beaten in the 13th General Elections and rejected by Malaysian Chinese. It is obvious to me that his call was listened to and accepted by about 40 per cent of the delegates, the rest being happy to accept the status quo which the new President, Dato Ong Tee Keat, represents.

Although Tee Keat talks tough, it is not likely that the new MCA President will “rock the Barisan national boat” and challenge the dominance of UMNO in the BN coalition. So Jui Meng’s appeals to MCA that “March 8 was our wake up call; let MCA arise to a new dawn on October 18”, will fall on deaf ears.

If Jui Meng had won, he would have embarked on the path of reform centered on 3 ideas: a) Rebuild the MCA; b) Return to Relevance; and c) Realise Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia.

There is a need for MCA to overcome its Post May 13, 1969 Syndrome. It involves a transformation of the MCA mindset of a subordinate to UMNO. This syndrome has prevented the MCA from playing a more active role, as in a partnership of equals I presume, in formulating and deciding key policies that impact on the nation and the Chinese community.

Jui Meng adds that the MCA must not be afraid to “offend UMNO and lose our positions and privileges if we speak out against policies that are obviously detrimental to the unity and development of our nation”. As for MCA itself, he argues in favour of a change of focus when he said that [O]ur leadership’s focus must be on major issues, on a national policies. Enough of being heroes of small issues”.

In his Return to Relevance part of the manifesto, he states that the party leadership “must also reach out and reconnect MCA with the community”. The details of how Jui Meng proposes to do it are in the manifesto and need not concern us here.

His Realise Vision 2020 segment is perhaps the most daring and controversial articulation of his Vision for a United Malaysia. It may have cost him a lot of votes from the reactionary and conservative elements within MCA. But the fact that he prepared to challenge the status quo and risk his chances for the presidency, I think, speaks volumes of the character and integrity of Jui Meng.

The MCA must fight and help realise Vision 2020 for all Malaysians, a vision that seeks to unite all Malaysians and to create a confident united nation with strong moral and ethical values living in a community that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, socially equitable and progressive with a resilient, robust and competitive economy.

His boldest statements in his manifesto relate to Article 8 (i) and (ii), Article 11(i) and (ii) and Article 12 (i) and Article 121 of the Federal Constitution. On the NEP, Jui Meng said that it should be replaced by an affirmative action policy which is focused on poverty eradication and be based on needs.

I told him that I was taken up by some of his ideas which relate to national unity and social justice and would read his manifesto in full and promised to be in touch. I asked Jui Meng, “what’s up next for you, Dato?”. His spontaneous response was “Din, Datin and I are going to take a short break. But please remember, politics is in my blood and my business of bringing about change in the way we run the country will continue.” He left me wondering what he might do next?

It is a sad fact that in a country where mediocrity is the culture and incompetence is indeed the norm to be tolerated, we lose good men. They are not listened to, are often regarded with suspicion or even demonised as national security risks and traitors to the nation. As such, they not only face rejection but also persecution and brutal treatment under the Internal Security Act. Yet only few good men with the dynamism, integrity, and courage to attract committed followers and supporters are all we need to transform our nation.

To this wonderful group of men, I would include Dato Chua Jui Meng. If Jui Meng is MCA’s loss, whose gain will it be, I wonder.—Din Merican

33 thoughts on “Chua Jui Meng: MCA’s Loss, Whose gain?

  1. My dad was his classmate in Muar High School and I have never heard anything good about him either from my dad or his friends who have continued to associate with him after that.

    For me, it wouldn’t have mattered if he had won and not OTK. It would still be status quo as usual. I don’t remember him doing anything of note in his time as Health Minister but I do remember some not so flattering rumours during the avian or nipah virus period (can’t remember which exactly).

    If you think he would mean reforms, I bet you’re among the Malaysians who actually believed Mr. Clean would do it 5 years ago. 😉

    Obviously my opinion may be coloured by my association with people who know him and dislike him but I guess no one is a true neutral. It’s sad really that, to me, no one in the governing parties, who purport to be our so-called “leaders”, is worthy of any respect.

  2. This title looks an “open invitation” to Chua Jui Meng? Why not, Dato Chua is very articulate, if he truly wants to work for the people and not off the people then there’s not a need for him to look elsewhere. Join DAP or PKR and work with Pakatan Rakyat to turn this country around so that we can once again proudly call it:

    OH MALAYSIA, LAND OF GLORY!

  3. DinMerican,
    Your obvious question begets the obvious answer.
    MCA’s lost will be PKR’s gain.
    The new government needs people who carry themselves well and articulate, not those who “i no speeek engreesh” (malu-ation lah) or shoe shine boys.

  4. Hi Din,
    I have to disagree with you with regards to your assessment of the above “Latuk’s” integrity. I remember not so long ago, when he lost the ministership, he professed that politics is an evil game and as a “born-again” Christian he would eschew the game. His was a health-wealth-truth kind of gospel i.e. ‘convenient’ religiosity. What happened?
    I do not cast aspirations on his credentials, education nor his articulate manner – what I am concerned about is his ‘convenient’ politics too. It may be a good manifesto on paper, but I would not entrust him, as I would Anwar, who has suffered tremendously to glimpse the Truth.
    I don’t like Sinocentric T.K. Ong either; and in my humble opinion, none of these so-called leaders of this unmentionable party can truly change their bark, whatmore their spine. True invertebrates.
    The only gain for people like that, is for themselves.

  5. CJM has the maturity, strength and style similar, but also in contrast to OTK.

    CJM’s past and present records impeccably show his humility, honesty, posture and composure in work and life.

    From his solo debate the other night, he handled the situation excellently. Trust he is still a man of substance and could contribute pro-actively to the nation and people if given the chance once more.

    Since he had aimed at the No.1 post in his party, less than that pedestal would not be suitable for this high-calibre personality. Less than that, he could not function effectively.

    Therefore, in a nutshell he could:

    1) Form a new party if he still wants to pursue his cause
    2) Be invited by the opposition as Special Adviser or Special Mentor, and eventually as well as fatefully as Senior Minister or Mentor Minister like LKY in Singapore. This way, he would not lose the ground and still maintain a strong dignity and respect.

    Like the de facto leader, CJM has a gushing energy to release.

    In the 60s, Lee Kim San then Finance Minister of Singapore stated: “The boiling pot is gushing, pressed on the lid the pot will burst”.

  6. MCA’s loss. Whose gain? No one gains. Only CJM himself. Being the loser provides him a greater opportunity to criticise and harangue the victor.

  7. “Although Tee Keat talks tough, it is not likely that the new MCA President will “rock the Barisan national boat” and challenge the dominance of UMNO in the BN coalition” – Din

    Aptly said. Just yesterday, Prime Minister came out warning against creating any political upheaval in the country or anything to destabilise society.

    I thought mischief had always come from direction of Umno? The Prime Minister should look at the behavior of those monkeys from within his camp before he passes judgement on others across the road.

    Those BN component party leaders have always been Umno’s running dogs and will always remain so as long as there are crumbs thrown under the table, and in MCA’s case, hasn’t it been selling out the Chinese community it proudly claims to represent?

  8. History has revealed that no party really fights for any man in the street. One has to fend for oneself so as not to be a misfit and a misfortune to himself! Survival is for the fittest and Only the fittest survives!

  9. Datuk Chua,I am sure you thought that God was on your side and that you were going to win.But you did not.Why? You are in the wrong party,you shd be in Pakatan,then you will see the mighty blessings from the Lord.You will also get a better name from the chinese if you leave BN.Please do it,do yourself a favor. I have heard you speak on many occasions,and you are a sincere person, please leave,lah.

  10. The other guy who comes to mind is Lee Hwa Beng – a good honest man who wants to serve the country, but in a rotten party. CJM, from what I can tell is a good man who is both capable and willing to be in the forefront against the brutal ruthlessness of UMNO. Now, why would anyone want to be associated with a party whose leader is one tainted with murder? CJM, MCA is a lost cause – the Chinese have lost hope in the party. Malaysia is no longer interested in the colour of your skin or your religion.

  11. Absolutely, barry (14).
    We shall know man’s intent by his actions, not inaction.
    If CJM really means what he expounds, leave the ‘lost cause’ and fight for the right Cause, which can never be an irrelevant cause.
    Get beyond racial politics, for God is nonracial.

  12. “To this wonderful group of men, I would include Dato Chua Jui Meng. If Jui Meng is MCA’s loss, whose gain will it be, I wonder.—Din Merican”

    Dato Chua Jui Meng is among the most respectable of men. Alas, a man of true conviction is a dying breed in our chronic political culture.Even though no songs of praise had been sung of his many good deeds, his solid track record speaks volumes him.
    It is most unfortunate that he was away out in the cold to make an effective come back bid. So far, there is only one come back kid in Malaysian politics, Anwar; posssibly another,Dr.X ; and a come back kid wannabe, that old toad apa nama.
    Unfortunately,Dr.Chua Jui Meng lost out in the MCA in-party power struggle and being the true gentleman he is,not wanting to hog it out,he eased out.

    ” If Jui Meng is MCA’s loss, whose gain will it be, I wonder”
    I think you already have the answer to your question, assuming it is a rhetoric and not a muse.

  13. 17)jong

    short and simple answer but spot on or shall I say “bang on” but unfortunately, how to without cannon balls, Jong. 🙂

  14. Ocho-onda,

    hahahaha 😀 you are close – all those tough talks, loud mouths and big mouths aiming at UMNO comes to nought when they have no shells, no bullets and sadly like cannons without no cannon balls, …sandiwara saja lah.

  15. sPoIL bRatS…yOunG mAstEr’s Culture!!!!!!
    A retiring Chinese media man once mentioned our Mr.Nice Guy politician from Pahang has a siu ye pei hei ( shao ye pi qi )meaning he has the temper of a young master! Normally young masters are pampered, spoiled , temperamental and twisted in character as a result of their conditioning in the family surrounded by ever attentive servants , privilege and protected with little compassion or false compassion and that speaks bundles of how mean, cold and cruel a young master can be if you encroach or cross his path.HE COULD BE A LITTLE TERROR AND A BIG DEVIL!!!

    In MCA we breed two prominent young masters over the years in the name of Chan Kong Choy and Ong Ka Ting. Both were borned with golden spoons and were anointed successors to ascent the political throne or inherit the political wealth of their Masters. One was the shadow of past President Tun Ling Liong Sik and another was shadowing the late Tan Sri Chan Siang Sun and the revered Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek.

    Both our young masters joined MCA when the party and the country were in a period of economic and political crisis culminated in the “Save MCA” protracted conflict between Tan Koon Swan and Neo Yee Pan whereby MCA was first infiltrated by Tun Ghafar Baba who was the acting MCA President for a moment of time.From the day they joined the MCA , we owe them their dues and expected political dues…

    Kong Choy’s was brashly and overflowed with confidence to the extent of being ruthless and feared…He is a leader – all loud, overpowering and overshadowing in his presence. His political path was paved and chartered aggressively for he is a known ferocious young man in a hurry and no one dare step his way for he is known to be a fighter with special connections and was a graduate which was then a big deal. As a tutor, he was known as a Lecturer. In a very brief period he was made the Political Secretary, the State Assemblyman, the Exco of the Pahang State Government all in one go in a very brief period. Upon serving as a one term State Assemblyman and a junior Exco to Senior Exco he was later promoted to be a Member of Parliament and A Deputy Minister and doors are awaiting for him to ascend to the MCA throne and no one dare cross his path nor perceived to be or HELL SHALL BREAK LOOSE!!!!

    Ka Ting was of the opposite. He is more of a shadow, a schemer and has a latent inferior complex in him. He is more of a follower but he followed closely to a Leader which lends him confidence and he is able to scheme and design his way to the top. He is cold, calculated and an executioner known to have harbour ill intent if you slighted or accidentally hurt his fragile big ego for he is a kampung fatherless poor boy that make it big and desire to be bigger with a false or borrowed confidence of his throne and his Master . He has a dependent culture to the extent that he is dependent on CHAO CHAO to plan, design and execute his grand design for he is a purist by design but a realist at heart. All his campaign from changing the mindset to lifelong learning fell flat but he seems so harmless that no one truly bothers him and those who knew him knows that he does not take criticism kindly and he’s not worth their salt.

    So the story goes, crisis commenced the moment Ka Ting was made the Minister ahead of Kong Choy. The clash of the two Young Masters began and Nanyang purchase was merely a means towards an end. The party was destroyed and emotions , anger , fire were set ablaze in a time where UMNO was at it’s weakest and MCA was at it’s strongest whereby we should have concentrated on negotiating, bargaining and bringing more influence, wealth and welfare at a time when the Prime Minister was at his lowest ebb and dependent on Chinese support to maintain the BN throne. But no no no..the clash of the two Young Master must began for their face have been scratched and no one nor the party is more important than the political destination of the YOUNG MASTER of MCA whose ego have not been fed and face have been scratched.

    Back to the MOU which I had posted on the 26th September here under “MCA..the day democracy was dead!!!” which explains why we have to ceased all party elections in the midst of election in order that these two YOUNG MASTERS were not sacrificed or be casualties in the democracy process. They are Crowned MCA Prince and we cannot do without them even though one is OR KUI TAO and the other is CHAO-CHAO!!!!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS THE NEW PRESIDENT AND THE NEW REGIME!!!!!!
    OUR NEW PRESIDENT “THE LONE RANGER” HAD QUIETLY AND GENTLY BREAK AWAY FROM THIS DUO REPRESENTING THE YOUNG MASTER “POL POT” REGIME BY PLAYING ALONG WITH THEM, TOLERATING THEIR ABUSES , MANOEUVRES AND KILLING FIELDS…..

    and now we start clean….

    A VERY VERY BIG THANK YOU TO THE REAL MASTER…THE CENTRAL DELEGATES OF MCA YEAR 2008 FOR YOU HAVE HELP MCA BREAKFREE FROM THE FEUDAL MASTERS….WE SHALL CHARTER A NEW COURSE AND IT WILL NOT BE “KANGKONG” OR “BELACAN” CULTURE…BUT MCA’S PATH ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Menyalak-er

    I have to disagree with you with regards to your assessment of the above “Latuk’s” integrity. I remember not so long ago, when he lost the ministership, he professed that politics is an evil game and as a “born-again” Christian he would eschew the game. His was a health-wealth-truth kind of gospel i.e. ‘convenient’ religiosity. What happened?

    —————————————————————————

    Hi menyalak-er if you feel so ashamed of calling CJM a Datuk instead of a latuk i suggest you look yourself in the mirror . Don’t think yourself as high and mighty . You may think big in Susan Loone’s blog but I suggest you tone down your language .
    Don’t you think that politics is a damned dirty game ? And don’t you think that CJM was right when he professed that politics is an evil game ? unless you think its nothing more than a football game ! And please can you drop that religious thing off politics in your comments .

    If you would not entrust him, as you would Anwar, who has suffered tremendously to glimpse the Truth , I wonder who would listen to you since you have made yourself known as Anwar’s cybertrooper in chief in Susan’s blog with your good friend witsO condemning everyone who doesn’t speaks your language as an UMNO or BN cybertrooper . What a hypocrite ! If you think you cannot stand the mention of the unmentionable parties I suggest you migrate to other places familiar with your line of thinking . At least it won’t make you cough blood as the mention of the unmentionable party .

    Sickening character , with you around we better think twice about joining PKR . If CJM does perhaps one of the conditions is that you disappear !!

  17. Hi Din

    You are definetly in the right company . CJM is indeed a man of honor and one whom you can trust . I feel you need to visit Dato Ong’s blog at http://www.ongteekeat.net to see for yourself what comments were heap on him . It does not sound pleasing to read it . It fact many neagtive comments . It would enlightened you on the issues brought up especially before the Party elections ie the few articles before the thank you article .

  18. Dato Chua Jui Meng had polled 4O per cent of the votes. It is indeed an achievement considering the fact that he no longer holds any party office since 2005 and no money changed hands thru him , meaning no money was given by him to induce delegates to vote for him. I can’t say for the others who gave out govt allocations thru their ministries to every division in all the states . The last allocation was given to the Thai temple and Chinese Assoc. in Langkawi by none other than OTK . I wonder who benefits from these allocations ? Can the ACA check why govt allocations were given out during party elections?

    His support would have been greater if not for the fact that one of the deputy president contenders who was initially with the group splintered away to contest against Chua Soi Lek with the other side . This DP contender who only managed to get over two hundred votes was the thorn which burst the grouping. He was offered the Sec Gen position but he refused to accept it and wanted to contest by telling everyone he was sure to win . Yeah sure to win but only got over two hundred votes . Such confidence by this hopeful . By so doing he has actually caused the votes which was meant for Chua Jui Meng to be diverted to the Tee Keat camp . Could possibly be a Tee Keat paid mole out to divert the votes . Initially he went round the whole country preaching that CJM would not win . We are baffled why he would do that when he was initially with the team . Telling the delegates and bad mouthing CJM when he was not contesting for the number one slot . It only drives us to conclude that he was indeed a traitor and a betrayer . In the end he also ended up with nothing and he has lost the trust of the majority of the delegates and no one will ever trust him again in future.
    Imagine had he not done that , CJM would have 50/50 fight with OTK .

  19. Hi Din

    You are definetly in the right company . CJM is indeed a man of honor and one whom you can trust . I feel you need to visit Dato Ong’s blog at http://www.ongteekeat.net to see for yourself what comments were heap on him . It does not sound pleasing to read it . It fact many negative comments . It would enlightened you on the issues brought up especially before the Party elections ie the few articles before the thank you article .

  20. Jui Meng polled 4O per cent of the votes. It is indeed an achievement considering the fact that he no longer holds any party office since 2005 and no money changed hands thru him , meaning no money was given by him to induce delegates to vote for him or to buy votes . I can’t say for the others who gave out govt allocations thru their ministries to every division in all the states . The last allocation was given to the Thai temple and Chinese Assoc. in Langkawi by none other than OTK . I wonder who benefits from these allocations ? Can the ACA check why govt allocations were given out during party elections?

    Money politics in MCA party elections again . That I am sure it is . It has also come to my notice that several divisional leaders were offered by certain parties and they could not resist the offer .

  21. Jui Meng was betrayed by another deputy president contender . This candidate who was initially with us went round the country telling all delegates that Chua Jui Meng would not win as he has very little support . We were wondering why he would be talking like this when he was with the group and he was not going for the number one position .
    Eventually our suspicions were right when he announced he was going for the deputy president against Chua Soi Lek and refused to go for a Vice or be appointed Sec Gen should he changed his mind not to contest . He was also going round telling all the delegates that he was sure to win and CSL would lose as delegates still could not accept the DVD issue . In the end he lost by securing only two hundred plus votes and his supporters votes for the number one went to Ong Tee Keat instead of Chua Jui Meng . Imagine if that block of votes had gone to CJM , it would be a different story today instead of just 40 per cent .

    The Chinese would use to say , people like these should be shot !! Period .

  22. Thinker,

    Your dad doesn’t like him so he’s a lousy leader? And you call yourself ‘Thinker’?

    Who’s your dad? Why should anybody trust his judgment?

    Typical armchair strategist.

    Please, let’s have an intelligent conversation here. Otherwise shut up.

  23. lovelydurian,

    Most of us missed that posting, I guess. Don’t think anybody likes his dad either! This “thinker” comes to this blog with one aim – to character assassinate CJM, but he could not think of anything that could pin CJM down. A clown, not a thinker!

  24. Thinker

    Are you one of the people from Johore presumely a CSL supporter who also said that for number two vote CSL and for number one vote Ong instead of Chua ? Konw that lots of people were conned into that by implying that CSL could put Ong into his pocket as he is still not up to the status of CJM whom CSL would have problem dealing with CJM as nomber one ? The reasoning of this line of thought surfaced when CSL was asked whether he had any problem working with Ong . His reply : I can work with either one , Ong or CJM . He should have included : however I prefer working with CJM but he did not .

    Evidence came from the results CSL got thousand over votes while CLM got only nine hundred over votes . If both their supporters voted according to the Chua/Chua formula both should get approximately the same number of votes not a hundred plus votes difference .

    And by the way thinker I have to agree with jong and lovely durian that you are here to character assassinate CJM . Thinker doesn’t suit you , it should be circus clown .

  25. Menyalak-er

    October 21st, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Absolutely, barry (14).
    We shall know man’s intent by his actions, not inaction.
    If CJM really means what he expounds, leave the ‘lost cause’ and fight for the right Cause, which can never be an irrelevant cause.
    Get beyond racial politics, for God is nonracial.

    hopefully you can take a good look into his manifesto which obviously you have not read as what you have expounded are all there , fighting for the right cause and going beyond racial politics . need I tell you his website which is posted above !

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