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"This does not mean that MCA is finished, however. You remain the only opposition in town."
– My open letter to MCA

COMMENT | Many readers have been emailing me asking what I thought of Pakatan Harapan’s loss in the Semenyih by-election. Two points need to be considered. The first is whether this victory will stem the leakage of Umno into Bersatu.

The second I elaborated in my article about that familiar Malay tune in Semenyih – “So, the real question about playing the Malay tune, in Semenyih and beyond, is how far right is the Malay Harapan establishment willing to go to defeat the Umno and PAS union, and how far is the non-Malay establishment willing to follow the Harapan Malay establishment?”

MCA secretary-general Chew Mei Fun’s claim that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is using DAP to further his Bumiputera agenda is correct. Malay power brokers have always used their non-Malay coalition members to further their racialist agendas.

This is part of the 'social contract' that supposedly maintains 'tolerance' – an odious word – amongst the various communities in Malaysia.

The thing that strikes me about Chew's claim is that while social media still likes to portray MCA as a spent force, there are many diehard Harapan supporters who grudgingly admit there is some 'truth' in what it is saying.

I, on the other hand, do not have to grudgingly admit anything. I think MCA has been highlighting issues that need to be heard in this do-not-spook-the-Malays era.

However, it is not only Mahathir who has been using DAP to further his Islamic agenda; he is just the latest. Ever since Pakatan Rakyat, I warned that certain PAS personalities – and now Amanah political operatives – blurring the lines between Islam and the supposedly secular politics of DAP could only lead the latter down a very dangerous path.

Not mutually exclusive

In this country, race and religion are not mutually exclusive. You cannot court the one without the other. I have never seen the visceral hatred some Islamists – from any of the Malay power structures – have towards DAP than they ever exhibited towards MCA.

Why is that? Because MCA never attempted to define Islam as how some in DAP and their supporters do, when going about this Bangsa Malaysia propaganda...

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