Chris Lee’s Article – 2/4/17



BN’ spirit of consensus? Yeah right!

I so often find it amusing how the component parties of the BN are trying to show that they are not subservient to UMNO and their spirit of “consensus” is alive and well. Those parties would always try to say that the BN is a coalition that is based on consensus so that they do not look like lackeys with their big brother UMNO deciding everything. Even when UMNO decides something without them, they would still go to town demanding that UMNO still respects their presence within the coalition.

So I decided to do a little research on how much UMNO actually “cares” for their coalition partners. One easy way is to observe whether UMNO respects their coalition partners enough in government or rather the non-UMNO BN component parties would be contented with any minister-ship thrown at them.

In 1957, at the time of the independence of the Federation of Malaya, the first cabinet of the new country led by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj saw the MCA being a member of the then Alliance Party (precursor to the BN) holding the important portfolio of the Ministry of Finance through Tun H.S. Lee. Fast forward to just a few elections ago, then MIC President Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu held the position of the Minister of Works. Today those ministries are held by UMNO and am I the only one to feel that whatever UMNO has gained, UMNO will never give back?

Take Sabah, which was one of the component members that came together to form the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 as another example, the Chief Ministership of Sabah was to be rotated in 1994 in a so-called system to ensure a fair representation of the different communities of Sabah. Then in 2004, the rotation system was quietly dropped and UMNO became the sole permanent recipient of the Chief Minister’s position in Sabah.

In each of those examples I just highlighted above on UMNO’s lack of respect for the spirit of consensus of the BN, those same non-UMNO BN component parties have remained loyal to their big brother UMNO. It is safe to say that in times of bullying by big brother, there is no spirit of consensus but only the spirit of subservience.

So when Minister of the Federal Territories Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said of his dreams of Penang and some other locations around the country becoming Federal Territories, I would like to urge Malaysians and especially Penangites to not think that supporting non-UMNO BN component parties will stop it from happening. For as you have seen from the examples given above, if UMNO wants it to happen, it will happen no matter what their “consensus” is and the non-UMNO component parties will just sit by and watch.

It is safe to say that since a move like that will require the support of the State that the Federal Government would like to acquire; therefore the BN parties are now required to “acquire” the State for UMNO in the next elections. They can then hand Penang over to the Federal Government on a silver platter to be rewarded with Ministerships without portfolios, as long as they have the perks. Penang on the other hand, will then be forever deprived of a chance to elect their own State Government. With the electoral voices of the opinionated Penangites subdued, UMNO will then be able to rule unchecked and ensure that their cronies are forever well fed as remember, whatever UMNO has gained, UMNO will never give back.


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