Spring – the season of new beginnings

Chinese Lanterns

The recent social media hype named “The 10-year challenge” had young and old alike reminiscing their past and the now outlook.

For me, it has a different connotation and stirred different emotions as I reflect on my past journey and that of my party, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).

In the decade 2008 to 2018, MCA faced its ultimate challenge and test when its relevance and ability to keep in stride with the expectations of the people it represented were questioned.

As I looked back and played out the downfall of Barisan Nasional (BN) and MCA’s terminal fall from grace in slow motion, the signs and the symptoms were there.

That said, during this gloom and doom period, we remained steadfast and held true to our core principles of defending the Federal Constitution, protecting the interests of the ethnic minority and our fellow Chinese Malaysians, ensuring the sustainability of vernacular education and the continuity of pragmatic economic policies conducive for businesses to grow.

We trudged along and continued to do what we were incepted to do unchanged in our methods and manner while the world around us shifted and much of the political battleground moved from the real world to that of a virtual one which is the ever-mutating and morphing social media realm that does not bow to any boundaries.

The crux of it was that we did not change and adapted fast in keeping with this shift in trend. We got complacent and thought that doing things the same old way could still bring results.

I suspect at some point, some of us even thought that doing the same thing over and over again without changing our ways might somehow bring about totally different results. Rightly so, Albert Einstein would call that overpass insanity.

While we fought on issues and defeated attempts to change the social contract and secular nature of this country, our electorate was drawn and attracted to the populist political rhetoric and dramatisation in social media by the then opposition parties.

So that fateful May 9 came and we finally faced that huge fall from our ivory tower, and BN and MCA for the first time in the 55 years since the formation of Malaysia, now stand on the opposite side of the divide.

It was a wake-up call. But we respect the people’s decision and take heed of their message to us.

In fact, we are proud that they exercised their democratic obligation and rights.

However, albeit dejection and rejection, MCA believes and will stand firm and resolute that no ruling government should have absolute power, and that a strong opposition is needed to keep them in check. In keeping this young democracy alive, MCA will continue to play the role of a responsible political party and ensure that this government makes good its promise of good governance that is transparent, accountable and corrupt-free.

The strength of MCA lies with its network of grassroots members and supporters, and now more crucial than ever, this would also be the most important foundation on which we will rebuild the party. MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong is very much a grassroots person and under his leadership, MCA will re-emerge stronger with the restructuring and rebuilding of our foundations and core principles.

In tangent with that, the MCA team is dabbling more in social media to reach out to the masses and to disseminate MCA’s agenda and core beliefs.

Like all Malaysians, we too want to see a better Malaysia, and that the current administration can live up to the people’s expectations of being fair, just and clean. We also want more young Malaysians to take part in political discourse and policy discussions. After all, we are but the temporary custodians of this country which they will inherit in the near future.

MCA realises this and saw significantly more young leaders under the age of 45 elected to the central committee and many of them entrusted to lead key bureaus and special committees – to drive the renewal of our political process and approach.

As much as Spring breathes new life to the world, it is the rebirth, renewal and regrowth of MCA.

Happy Lunar New Year and may the new year bring peace, prosperity and fulfilment of dreams to all Malaysians.

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