MCA must embrace young, progressive leaders to win back support, says political analyst

Wee Ka Siong

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong defended his post as MCA president for a second term over the weekend. However, political analyst Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said Wee faces the impossible task of making the party relevant again.

Wee defeated former central committee member Tan Chong Seng 569 to 11 votes to retain his position. Deputy President Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon returned unopposed.

Azeem said the results of the last three Malaysian General Elections proved that the Chinese community do not see MCA as its representative, and the only way for the party to move forward is to embrace young progressive leaders.

However, one such leader, Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker, a lawyer, failed to retain his vice-president’s post.

Datuk Dr Pamela Yong, a dentist and member of Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology’s board of governors, did not get enough votes in the race for the vice presidency.

Instead, Tanjung Piai MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng (491), Datuk Lim Ban Hong (477 votes) and Datuk Tan Teik Cheng (469 votes) retained their seats, while Datuk Lawrence Low Ah Keong (470) is the new vice-president.

“Congratulations to Wee, as he is going to need all the luck he can get to turn MCA around,” said Azeem.

“The party must undergo a complete overhaul by replacing the outdated leadership with young and progressive individuals who can alter voters’ perception.

“The Chinese community has generally rejected MCA. The only way forward is to forget the past, abandon the old ways and start making changes.”

Azeem said MCA needs to look at how DAP has successfully replaced it as the voice of the Chinese while also looking out for the other races.

“MCA needs to change and start speaking the same language as DAP to stand a chance of being taken seriously again,” said Azeem.

He said MCA is in the same boat as Gerakan – upstaged by DAP that has all the advantages as it has more seats in parliament and the state governments.

Azeem said it was sad that MCA, a party that has been around since 1949 has lost its way badly.

“That is what happens when a party is dependent on another political giant – in MCA’s case, that was Umno and Barisan Nasional,” said Azeem.

“But Umno has fallen on hard times and now has a new ‘lover’ in DAP. When you have a new love, you devote your time to the new lover and forget the old one.

“If you ask Umno, it may not bother looking at MCA as DAP holds all the cards.

“To survive, MCA must ‘go it alone’. That would require brave young leaders.”

Tagged with: