Buck up, Chua tells BN parties

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: Complacency. Arrogance. Lack of intra-party cooperation. Looking at issues from an ethnic angle.

These are some of the problems uncovered by the Barisan Nasional's chief coordinator for Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, on his visits to meet BN grassroots in Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.

Two months into his new role, Dr Chua, the MCA deputy president, noted that changes made after last year's general election were too small to make any difference.

"BN had been in power for so long that complacency and a tinge of arrogance had crept into its component parties and some leaders had been taking things easy," he told the New Straits Times in an interview yesterday.

He said there had to be closer cooperation among the component parties, particularly at the divisional and state levels. They had to work as a team and not become active only during elections.


Citing an example, he said BN parties held two or three meetings every five years when ideally, they should meet at least every three months.

"I want them to speak with one voice, to carry out activities together and open them to the community."

"If a Malay comes to MCA for help, MCA members should not pass the problem to Umno and vice-versa. It should be based on issues and they should help everyone regardless of race and creed."

He said although morale among BN members in the PR-led states was low, he was happy to see that BN members were still serving the people.

"PR's service at the local level is poor as they do not have the network and experience that we do. So, BN should capitalise on this."

Asked about the reception he got from the ground, he said the grassroots were accepting him because of his vast government experience.

They were also happy that the BN top leadership was concerned and committed to solving long-standing issues, he said.

Dr Chua added that when he went to the ground, he carried the prime minister's message: that component parties must work as a team and be people-centric.