Chua Tee Yong is a disappointment to all young Malaysians

(Also published on The Malaysian Insider)

I had the opportunity to have lunch with Chua Tee Yong (CTY, hereafter) before I joined the DAP. I was grateful for this opportunity given that I had already written a few less than complementary articles about his father, Dr Chua Soi Lek, in his capacity as MCA president. I wanted to meet up with him because I had been somewhat impressed by the manner in which he handled himself in parliament. He was articulate in his parliamentary replies and he responded coolly and calmly to the supplementary questions thrown his way. I thought that this MCA leader, in his capacity as the chairman of his party’s Young Professionals Bureau, could raise the overall level of political discourse by attracting more qualified young people to be engaged in the political landscape. I never thought that less than a year later, he would instead drown in a puddle of his own making, snuffing out whatever little hope his party had of rejuvenation and regeneration.

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MCA’s new dilemma – how to work as opposition

(Also published on Malaysiakini)

Even though MCA is part of the BN ruling coalition at the federal level, it has many characteristics of an opposition party. A dilemma is having to choose between two options which seem equally unfavourable or mutually exclusive. Politicians and political parties in Malaysia often face such difficult choices.

For MCA, its ‘old’ dilemma was choosing between working quietly behind the scenes in the ‘shadow’ of its big brother, Umno, and risk being criticised by the community for being a compliant party, or speak out against certain government policies and risk offending big brother.

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The Great Debate’s political impact – one week later

(Also published on Malaysiakini

One week after the debate between MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, after the passions have cooled down and the arguments digested, what is the likely political impact, if any, moving forward?

What most Malaysians may not have realised is the one cardinal rule associated with political debates – “Don’t Screw Up”. Most of the members of audience would not remember the substantive points made by politicians on salient issues during these debates but almost all of them would remember if any political gaffes were made.

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