No need for MCA to close shop over Balakong defeat, says ex-DAP MP

Jeff Ooi. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A former DAP MP said the unfavourable result for MCA in the Balakong by-election should not be used as a sign that the Chinese party should “close shop”.

Jeff Ooi, the former Jelutong representative, said Malaysia still needs opposition parties such as the MCA for check and balance purposes.

“We do not want to see any political party becoming too strong in a democracy. Check and balance certainly has to come from the opposition,” he told FMT, in response to DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s call for MCA to “close shop” after failing in the May 9 polls and yesterday’s by-election.

Lim said it was “pathetic” for MCA to claim moral victory by saying they gained a bigger percentage of votes compared with the May 9 general election in the contest for the Balakong state seat.

He felt without PAS’ help in campaigning, the MCA might not have got back its election deposit.

Ooi said MCA and Barisan Nasional, which lost the federal government after 61 years, should restructure themselves in the next five years.

“When we (DAP) only won one state seat in 2004, we continued to work and reorganise ourselves for four years before we became the (Penang) state government. Even BN did not ask us to close our office in Penang that time,” he added, referring to the then Gerakan-led state government.

The MCA failed to win back Balakong from DAP in yesterday’s by-election.

The Chinese party last held Balakong in 2004, but lost to DAP in three general elections.