25 Jun 2015

Dong Zong's Story

NOTHING like this has ever happened in the history of the Chinese education movement.
There have been fist fights, frozen bank accounts, heart attacks, lawsuits and, most embarrassing of all, a terrible loss of face for the Chinese community.
That is the situation in Dong Zong, the Chinese education body that was once the most influential opinion-shaper among the Chinese-educated.
It used to be so powerful that it could bring down Chinese politicians and even ministers. Today it is the laughing stock as the feud between two factions grows more acrimonious.
The Chinese vernacular press devote up to a full page of news daily to the never-ending hostilities. But the power struggle has become so complicated and dragged on for so long that many people have lost hope that there will ever be a solution.
To put it simply, the dispute is between the group aligned to Dong Zong’s most controversial president Yap Sin Tian and the reformist group aligned to the secretary-general Poh Chin Chuan. They are fighting for control of Dong Zong with both sides claiming to have the Chinese interest at heart.
There was supposed to have been light at the end of the tunnel last week when the reformists managed to convene a meeting to elect a new central executive committee (CEC) as ordered by the High Court.
Yap claimed he had a heart attack and did not attend the meeting which was preceded by a free-for-all between supporters of the two camps. Despite the fracas, a new president Tan Kai Kim was elected to replace Yap.