KUALA LUMPUR: MCA presidential candidate Gan Ping Sieu today announced his manifesto consisting of three reform pillars and 15 execution initiatives including breaking away from Barisan Nasional (BN) and renewing the party’s focus on the Chinese community.
The intention for MCA to leave BN and become an independent party comes under Gan’s political roadmap pillar, the focus of his reform proposals along with management of the party’s assets and its organisational structure.
Under his manifesto, the president and deputy president will also contest in Chinese-majority constituencies.
Speaking to reporters after a press conference, he said Umno had welcomed his intention to break away from the coalition.
When asked about Barisan Nasional’s (BN) response, he said: “That is not my call. I leave it to BN’s Supreme Council leaders.”
He said the sole reason for his decision was MCA’s loss of support from voters.
“When you’re a political party without any electoral support, no matter what you say, people don’t give you any recognition.
“So it is important for MCA to have the courage to change, to rebuild and reform the party. We must centre on one particular issue to recover the support of voters.”
Gan’s manifesto also included a renewed pledge for transparency in the management of MCA’s assets.
In 2015, Oriental Daily estimated the party’s assets to be about RM3 billion, including a 43% stake in The Star Media Group Bhd.
Gan said the trustees of the assets would be accountable to central delegates who would be empowered to raise issues and concerns during the party’s annual general meetings.
He also pledged to strengthen grassroots organisations and reconnect with the public.
His manifesto also included a focus on education, where the MCA Strategic Analysis and Policy Research Centre would be restructured to conduct political research and analysis for the party.
Gan also said he would plan new courses for political education under MCA party schools to enhance political competency and acumen.
Children of MCA members who qualify for further studies will also enjoy preferential treatment in fees and bursaries at the party’s educational institutions.
Gan, the Kluang MCA division chief, will be contesting against current deputy president and Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong in the party elections next month.
Tee Siew Kiong, Johor MCA’s liaison committee deputy chairman is Gan’s running mate, as he will be contesting for the deputy president’s post.
Gan is endorsed by former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, who led the party from 2010 to 2013.
MCA suffered heavy losses in the 14th general election (GE14), winning only one federal and two state seats compared to seven federal and 11 state seats in 2013.
MCA president Liow Tiong Lai said in May that he would step down following the party’s poor results in GE14.