MCA evokes Islamophobia yet again

TTF: Turning the Chinese against Islam – now that’s an MCA forte one can never dismiss. The latest statement by Dato’ Seri Ti Lian Ker (see news item below) reeks of bigotry and is a sorry excuse to Islamise the appointment of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP). Now, that is not to say TTF supports the present incarnation of the CEP.

It’s just that Islam does promote the need for communions with elders whenever one makes decisions affecting the ummah. In a sense, if the government of the day can provide the exact terms by which the CEP was established, there is no reason for me or anyone to oppose it, particularly if the terms are just, equitable and within the confines of law.

The fact that Ti sought an explanation of terms underpinning the CEP shows that the MCA isn’t totally opposed to it. That is in itself is a good sign and something TTF totally supports. But what I fail to understand is why the party’s Religious Harmony Bureau chief felt the need to invoke PAS or the Council of Elders (CoE) that advises the party.

Tell me, does the same principle of establishment not apply to the CoE as it does the CEP? I mean, how can Ti seem open to the idea of having a CEP on the one hand but opposed to the CoE on the other? It it not obvious that that MCA using the CEP as an excuse to evoke Islamophobia? If Islam is such a bother to the party, why does it still insist on tagging along with Barisan Nasional?

Seriously, what’s stopping the MCA from getting within a ten-foot pole distance of UMNO as soon as it can? Is UMNO not a party comprising almost entirely of Muslims? What makes Ti think that the party will not subscribe to the idea of having a CoE assuming it does form a coalition with PAS? 

PETALING JAYA: MCA is in support of good governance when it comes to the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) but is concerned with issues surrounding its formation, said Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.

Ti, who is the party’s Religious Harmony Bureau chairman, said the constitutionality, legality and authority of the CEP must be explained or defined.

“No doubt, we are setting a precedent for the Council of Elders. Will this be a step towards recognising the PAS Council of Elders that will determine the policies of the country superseding the Cabinet or the executives?” he said in a statement Sunday.

Ti questioned if the stage is being set for political councils to assume or hijack powers of the Cabinet or institutions outlined by the Constitution.

As the CEP is not provided in the Constitution, Ti asked if the Council will wield more power or authority than “less eminent” personalities in the future.

“Unlike the members of the Cabinet who will be answerable to the rakyat in the election, who are the members of the Council answerable or accountable to?” he said.

Despite its feel-good factor and agreement to the advisory role of the council, Ti said MCA is still worried that the non-constitutional institution will be a precedent that will eventually metamorphosis into the Council of Elders proposed by PAS, whereby the Majlis Syura has the ultimate say with unlimited and unchecked powers overruling the Cabinet and the Parliament.

“In a way, we have reformed the old players and changed old leaders to new,” he added.

However, Ti said that if Pakatan Harapan is now doing “well and good for the people”, MCA will continue to support all good efforts, policies and governance despite being in the Opposition.

“MCA despite suffering heavy losses will continue to exist and function as a rakyat-friendly party. We are still the best educational, welfare and social political party on record,” he said.

He added that the party’s public services and complaints bureau is top of mind for members of the public with personal woes.

Source: The Star Online

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