MCA leader inspired by Suaram adviser’s pointers on reform

Bangi chairman Liew Yuen Keong says he noticed a lack of party spirit among members.

BANGI: A local MCA leader here says he has been inspired by the words of Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong on how to reform the Chinese party following the May 9 polls.

MCA Bangi chairman Liew Yuen Keong said he fully agreed with the points raised by Kua in his commentary titled “MCA should seize the moment for complete makeover”, pubished by FMT yesterday.

“I read his (Kua) comment piece last night where he said we should approach other people, uphold human rights principles, and reach out to marginalised people if we want to stay relevant.

“In that way, we can win the support from the people and others too,” he said in his opening speech at the Bangi’s division meeting today.

The former Seri Kembangan assemblyman from 1995 to 2008 said Kua, in his commentary, had also said that MCA could play the role of an effective opposition in monitoring the government.

“This came from a person who criticised MCA back then, and now he is saying we still have hope in the political arena,” he said.

Kua, a prominent activist and former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee, yesterday said MCA must shed their race-based party image to embrace other ethnic groups, emphasise on human rights and reach out to all classes of society.

“Thus, if in the future, we witness present MCA leaders speaking up and going to support the marginalised communities in the plantations or indigenous peoples, then we will be able to say that there has been a complete makeover of the MCA,” Kua wrote.

MCA only managed to win one parliamentary seat and two state seats in May 9, and was seen as the party’s worst performance in almost 70 years. Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong is the sole MCA representative in Dewan Rakyat.

Liew, who contested for the Bangi parliametary seat in May but lost to DAP’s Ong Kian Ming, said that there was a lack of party spirit in grassroots members.

“I don’t see the ‘oomph’ from our members anymore as compared to 1995 and 1999, when I stood for election.

“This is unlike PAS members who worked very hard during the campaign period and stayed up to late night for their programmes. I salute their spirit,” he said, adding that members should regain the spirit in the Balakong by-election.

Meanwhile MCA vice-president Chew Mei Fun, who was also present at the divisional meeting, said that members should not feel demotivated by news reports of locals who do not support them.

“About five to six people, who do not support us, were interviewed. How about people who still support us?” she asked.

MCA’s Tan Chee Teong is vying for the Balakong state seat in the by-election against DAP’s Wong Siew Ki.

The seat fell vacant after its assemblyman, Eddie Ng, was killed in a car crash last month.

The Balakong by-election will be held simultaneously with the Seri Setia by-election on Sept 8.