PETALING JAYA: Following his re-election as MCA president on Sunday, Wee Ka Siong must now chart a clear direction for the party in order to rebuild itself, says a political analyst.
One of his challenges will be to determine how MCA will deal with its former fierce rival, DAP, being part of the federal unity coalition.
“MCA and DAP used to contest against each other in Chinese-majority seats at general elections. In the new political landscape, what will be MCA’s direction?” said Chin Yee Mun, who heads the Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
He said the 2022 general election has left many political parties, not just MCA, unclear about their future direction.
MCA must overcome this challenge before the next general election (which is due by 2027).
Chin said Wee’s return as party president shows that party members wanted to ensure there’s no split within their ranks as at the moment.
He said it was not surprising that Wee was re-elected, as he has the most political credibility and experience compared to his challenger, former MCA central committee member Tan Chong Seng.
“Wee had the upper hand, being an MP and incumbent. His opponent was not able to raise sufficient attention and therefore was not a force that could challenge him,” he said.
Wee secured a landslide victory on Sunday, securing 569 electoral votes while Tan obtained 11. MCA deputy president Mah Hang Soon was returned unopposed, while Lim Ban Hong, Low Ah Keong, Tan Teik Cheng and Wee Jeck Seng were elected as vice-presidents.
A prominent MCA personality, Ti Lian Ker, failed to defend his vice-president’s post.
The MCA election results show that party members are not keen for changes in MCA, according to Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
With Wee back in helm, it would be difficult to tell if the party’s performance would be any different than what it was at the 2022 general election. “It doesn’t look like a majority of MCA members are looking for change, so they (MCA) would have to continue with their present path of political struggle,” he said