The Bersih 4 rally held over the weekend has indicated one thing – the MCA and Gerakan – the first a Chinese-based party that represent the Chinese community and the second a multi-racial but Chinese-based party which also represent the Chinese community have totally lost their influence in the community.
The Barisan Nasional (BN)-led government has actually lost its influence when both the Chinese-based parties in the coalition lost their competitiveness against the multi-racial Chinese-based party in the opposition which is the DAP.
Participants in the Bersih 4 event clearly reflected the sentiments of the Chinese, with some Malays and a small number of Indians, that the BN government no longer represents them, the message the same people relayed during the 2013 general election.
UMNO, being the backbone of the coalition government has now got to ‘go it alone’ as it has to battle against the undercurrent that threatens to chip its hold on whatever Chinese and Indian support it has as well as maintaining its support among the Malay electorates in rural and urban areas.
DAP has shown its capability in influencing and mobilising the Chinese electorates in Bersih 4 event, which the party did in the 2013 general election that nearly unseat the ruling BN when the party wiped out MCA and Gerakan support all over the country.
In the absence of PAS, an Islamist party that has caught up with UMNO in terms of influence among heartland Malay land in Peninsular except Sabah and Sarawak, DAP has got insufficient support to unseat the ruling BN without the Malay support.
PAS, which had broken up from the opposition pact of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), is the only party that UMNO can depend on if it still wants to maintain the Malay support in the next general election given the change in the political landscape and most importantly then changes in the minds of Umno grassroots itself.
Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB), a breakaway of PAS led by former deputy president Mohamad Sabu has failed miserably to replace the Islamist party in giving the Malay support to DAP as reflected by the turn outs in Bersih 4 event.
Given such a background, BN has a long way to go to get back the confidence and trust of the Chinese community as MCA and Gerakan are considered as irrelevant in the present political scenario of Malaysia.
The Chinese community seems to have lost confidence and no longer dependant on MCA and Gerakan for their political needs since the 2008 general election when BN began to lose hold on them.
2013 general election was a true reflection of the community’s ‘resentment’ or rejection of BN when they totally rejected the two parties that represented them in the ruling coalition and gave PR a near win vote.
Issues involved that causes the Chinese to lose faith in BN are aplenty and besides Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak trying his best to regain the community’s confidence at the expense of being labelled as more Chinese by the Malays themselves, the burden lies on the shoulder of MCA and Gerakan to deliver.
The Bersih 4 rally showed the failure of the two Chinese-based party in the coalition to rejuvenate to attract the community and racial issue cannot be blamed given that in the past, both the parties were able to influence the community under heavier pressure than at present.
Given the circumstances, BN may just have MCA and Gerakan as ‘window dressing’ in the coalition instead of political parties that truly present the community.