Friday, May 24, 2013
What now, MCA?
The MCA's greatest crisis is, all its members have been in a dispirited mood and got lost after the severe defeat in the general election, as if they are trying to delay the time of death.
Obviously, MCA's leaders are having a depressed state of mind. After suffering the massive setback, party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek should lead the party's central committee members to tour the country to inspire the grassroots and collect views on how to revive the party. After the general election, however, Chua has continued reproaching the DAP, instead of making clear of the party's future direction. He leaves the task of reviving the party to a committee led by party deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the committee has been given three months to come up with a preliminary proposal. Meanwhile, a group of six young MCA members took two weeks to launch a new movement to overhaul the party, reflecting the slow pace of the current leadership.
MCA organising secretary Datuk Tee Siew Kiong's decision to accept the appointment as a Johor executive councillor seems to have trigger anger but party disciplinary committee has received no complaint so far. Eventually, the central committee decided to leave it to the disciplinary committee.
Is a senator an official post? Is it necessary to resign? MCA leaders do not make a clear decision on it but just let various interpretations be made. Official posts are recommended by parties and appointed by the government. The definition is so simple and the MCA should understand it. The problem is, it has no mood to deal with it.
If Chua is just waiting for the party election scheduled on December 21 so that he can leave and thus, is currently too lazy to start a reviving plan, he should step down immediately to avoid killing the party's morale.
Chua has shifted responsibility by blaming party veterans to have left current party leaders a heavy historical burden.
Indeed, there have been controversies and scandals in the history of MCA. From the leadership crisis involving Tan Koon Swan and Neo Yee Pan in the 1980s, the financial crisis in 1986, the Pan-Electric Industries case, the second leadership crisis involving Chua Soi Lek and Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, to the cheating charges against Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, these scandals have continuously tarnished the party's image. Party central delegates should also bear the responsibility for choosing a president with moral stain.
Historical burden is one of the factors, the key is, the MCA has made poor political performances over the past few decades. Just as the group initiated the MCA new movement said, the MCA has been repeatedly absent from political and civic movements.
The MCA refused to participate in civil rallies organised by civil society organisations and took actions against party members who attended the rallies. The MCA has not made active participation in political issues, including anti-corruption, fair governance, economic privilege and environmental hazard, but keen to engage in medical fund and youth loans. The party has been completely out of touch with public opinion.
Even after suffering a landslide defeat in the recent general election, it is still chattering about not joining the cabinet, instead of getting rid of the myth of having Chinese representatives in the Cabinet. If political discussion can really be replaced by public services, it would not have suffered the massive setback.
The MCA new movement suggested that power should be returned to the grassroots so that they can directly vote for new party leaders. It is indeed a right direction. The existing central delegate mechanism leaves leaders an opportunity to control votes. They do not need to propose political ideas but just please central delegates to be voted.
If the MCA loses its ideology, it would be like a body loses its soul. If party asset is the only reason for the leaders to stay in the party, the party election will inevitably lead to split.
The MCA is still distancing itself from the public and like ostriches, its leaders have buried their heads in the sand. Who can save it?