KUALA LUMPUR – August 14, 2019: An MCA leader has surmised the ongoing dispute between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Chinese education group Dong Zong as the former’s ploy to win support among the Malays.
MCA’s vice president Ti Lian Ker said Dr Mahathir’s recent remark – in which he labelled Dong Zong as “racist” over its objection to the teaching of khat calligraphy in school – as part of a strategy to sway Malay voters for the next general election (GE).
“As usual, Tun M (Dr Mahathir) is doing a calculated political manoeuvre to win over Malay votes that will be the kingmaker in the coming GE,” said Ti in an interview with The Mole.
“This is more so when those 18 and above are allowed to vote whereby the Chinese will be further marginalised as the number of young voters are largely Malay voters proportionately,” he said.
Ti believes that Dr Mahathir and DAP are plotting a scheme to convince the Malays and Muslims that Pakatan Harapan (PH) can be trusted to safeguard their interests.
He said DAP is prepared to sacrifice a small percentage of their Chinese votes by “playing along” with Dr Mahathir’s Pribumi Bersatu, which was supposed to defend the interests of Malays and Muslims.
Doing so, Ti pointed out, may likely result in DAP winning a bigger proportion of Malay votes which will offset the loss of some Chinese votes due to the khat issue.
“Basically, we are going back to the same 2Rs of race and religion to capture the voters’ imagination,” he said, adding that PH is aware that they need as much support as they can from the Malays in order to retain power.
“PH knows that without winning over the Malay votes from PAS and Umno, they will lose the government and the next GE15 results will not be in their favour. Thus, their seats in Putrajaya are as good as gone,” he opined.
Ti said Dr Mahathir’s recent attack against Dong Zong is the same strategy he employed after the general election in 1999 when “he lost the Malay popular support.”
“He lambasted Dong Zong and Suqiu (demands by Chinese guild and associations), calling them communist. DAP had then played up his statement, which lead to the Chinese blaming and hating MCA for allowing Tun M to make such a racist statement.
“Ironically DAP is now in the place of MCA then. It is now their turn to tame Tun M or be an apologist for him and Pribumi Bersatu, which is trying very hard to emulate or displace Umno,” he added.