Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dato Sri Dr.Chua: Post 308 Election: MCA Division Election and Its Reform

Quote from
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Batu Pahat Youth, Wanita and MCA AGM went on smoothly over the weekend. Since this is election year, the turnout of the delegate was about 95% for Youth, Wanita and MCA. There was virtually no contest for the Youth and Wanita. For the MCA, there was contest for the deputy, vice chairman and central delegate. I have the opportunity of officiating the Youth, Wanita and MCA AGM. I took the opportunity to thank the Youth, Wanita and MCA members who have supported me unanimously thus, enabling me to be a central delegate and back to my old position as division chairman of Batu Pahat MCA of which I’ve been leading for the last 23 years.
I also took the opportunity to impress upon the members that post 308 election, it is not business as usual. The likely emergence of 2 party system creates a healthy environment of competition and offers rakyat a choice. Political parties have to be competitive in order to survive. Expectation of the rakyat and the Chinese community are high. While we have a good service centre functioning, people expect MCA to deliver more than just looking after longkang, garbage and hawker license. MCA cannot continue to sing old tune of voting for MCA and BN to ensure social and political stability.

Post 308 when PR won convincingly, there are also stabilities. Second, we cannot talk about through MCA, the Chinese has the opportunity for power sharing because through PR, the Chinese also has power sharing at state level. Thirdly, we cannot sing old tune by providing basic services to local community and expect to be voted in. Of course, to be relevant, MCA cannot be everything Chinese. We are a mono-ethnic Chinese based political party and the political reality is that while we have a role to play in the Chinese community, we have to be multiracial in our outlook. On issues confronting Chinese community, MCA should be on the front line to articulate the expectation of the Chinese community, but all other issues from security to corruption, abuse of power, inflation, Hindraf; MCA has to make its position clear. We cannot say that everything is sensitive and that we are within the BN and that we will resolve this behind close doors. People want MCA to put its stand clearly so that the Chinese community and the rest of the other community are aware of what MCA stand for. We have to convince the Chinese community and the rakyat that we are a party that can be counted on when we faced major issues. A good example is the PAS and UMNO issue where MCA ministers must make its stand clear within the cabinet and outside the cabinet that while we have no objection to UMNO and PAS holding dialogue, but they must not forget and neglect the other community that makes up nearly 45% of the population in this country. The end result of their discussion should not encroach on the rights, freedom and the peace enjoyed by the other community. In the same way, MCA should be more vocal in resolving its issue and should not be behind closed door because this is often been construed that MCA has no gut to articulate Chinese fear and frustration and expectation and what is worst is that some Chinese may think that we are out of touch with the Chinese community. Not only we must be more vocal, we must also have the moral courage to accept possibility for our shortcomings, our weaknesses so that we are a party that not only claim to solve problems confronting the Chinese community, but we try to do our best. Of course there is a need to review our relationship within BN that every party is to be treated equal and everybody has equal rights and that BN has to be more multiracial in its outlook, more transparent, democratic and more fair in resolving issues confronting multiracial country like Malaysia.

In order to reform MCA to gain the confidence of Chinese community cannot be dependent on one person. It has to be teamwork. It has to be joint effort of every committed member. It cannot be dependent on empty slogans and false promise. We not only talk but we have to deliver what we promise. It is not going to be an easy job since there is a lot of skepticism towards MCA and also towards the government. We have lost the credibility of the Chinese community and rakyat Malaysia. It is up to us to rebuild the party so that we can restore confidence, our integrity and credibility. Hence, MCA will continue to dedicate itself to help the Chinese community in economic development, competitiveness, Chinese education, culture but not withstanding that it should always be issue-centric rather than all just Chinese. MCA should also be more assertive to ensure government improvement on implementation of government policies so that it could be more fair, transparent and democratic. Hence, educational issue, religious issue and economic opportunity should be resolved without having to bag and petition the government. We also need to monitor the performance of Pakatan Rakyat controlled state government to ensure that they deliver their promises. In these days, we function as opposition members in PR controlled states. Of course I know that this is not going to be easy because we have been in power for the last 50 years and we may not be able to function effectively as an opposition but more as the power in government. There is also the need to maintain the social networking and the goodwill of NGO and Chinese based associations.