All still not well in the MCA?

(Bernama) – The 57th MCA Annual General Assembly today was supposed to have shown that things are back to normal in the party and the members are united and consolidating the party after 18 months of turmoil. 

The infighting seemed to have been settled after the party held fresh leadership elections in March to end the crisis and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was elected as the new president.

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, when officiating at the MCA assembly —  for the first time since becoming prime minister last year, commended Dr Chua for his efforts to consolidate and revive the party. 

Najib said the current AGM was important and significant because it could be assumed to be a meeting to launch a renewal and rehabilitation of the MCA.  

However, things do not seem to be heading that way. For one thing, the central delegates unexpectedly rejected a proposed amendment to give MCA Youth members representation at the party’s annual general assembly.  

The minor amendment would have allowed a member of the MCA Youth from every branch and division to be a delegate at the general assembly. Currently, only representatives from the Wanita wing attend the assembly.

“The amendment was simple and minor. Nothing controversial, but still the delegates rejected it, first time in history. Why couldn’t a small matter like this go through? What is the message?” asked MCA veteran leader Datuk Yap Pian Hon.

Yap, a former youth chief and vice-president, said rejection of the proposal had put the party in a difficult position to attract young members as the party could be perceived as being unwilling to give an opportunity to the young members to move up.

The first indication that things are still not well in the party came on Saturday when a Wanita delegate from Pahang, Khiew Yuh Jiuan, raised the issue of the sex scandal involving Dr Chua.

Her criticism drew applause from delegates at the meeting, indicating that some party members were still unwilling to let go of some issues which bogged them down, and move forward.

In fact, some party members believe that the Wanita delegates had played a major role in rejecting the proposed amendment as they are seen to be unhappy with the MCA Youth proposal to open the youth movement to MCA Beliawanis members currently placed under the Wanita wing.

MCA Beliawanis is a club which was set up to attract professional women below 35 years of age to join the MCA.

Some Wanita leaders have openly questioned the youth movement’s motive for such a move and expressed anger that Wanita leaders were not consulted on the matter.

“Wanita MCA has more than 300 central delegates. If you look at today’s outcome of the voting, the number of those who voted against the proposed amendment is about the same (number). That’s why I believe they have rejected it,” said a Wanita delegate.

Whatever it is, some political analysts are of the view that the delegates’ rejection of the proposed amendment had somehow indirectly put Dr Chua’s leadership in a bad light even though it was due to the unpreparedness of the youth leadership in putting forward the proposal.