Sluggish MCA may weaken BN campaign for Selangor, sources say

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

Umno may be brimming with confidence that it can recapture Selangor in the next elections but there are fears that a lethargic MCA could lose the game for the coalition, local party leaders here have said. 

Pointing fingers at Selangor MCA chief Datuk Donald Lim’s purportedly lacklustre leadership, one party leader even predicted a total wipe-out for MCA in the frontline state, saying the party may not even retain its present two state seats. 

“We should have learned, but we did not. MCA does not even have an operations centre ready for the polls yet. 

“Our leaders are not working the ground, meeting the people. Voters do not know their faces and in this day and age, such candidates will have no chance at all at winning,” one state MCA leader told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity. 

The leader said that unlike MCA, Umno members, fuelled by fear of a second political tsunami, hit the ground running since 2008 and have been actively engaging with their electorate to woo support. 

The leader explained that BN has identified 879 district polling centres (PDM) in Selangor and have appointed a leadership line-up in every one, each tasked to provide service to the identified catchment of voters in every PDM unit. 

“With this system, the leaders can concentrate on a specific number of voters… say like 100 homes or so and Umno has been working very hard, organising functions and meet-the-people sessions, attending to grouses and giving welfare aid and so on. 

“But for MCA, we may even struggle to win back our two state seats — Kuala Kubu Baru and Sungai Pelek,” said the leader. 

The veteran politician however said a shift was still possible and listed four seats that MCA could wrest from the opposition in the coming polls — Balakong, Sekinchan, Teluk Datuk and Kajang — all of which were lost with marginal majorities in Election 2008. 

“But this still banks on the quality of the candidates. We cannot have those who lost previously re-contesting the seats. And we must have local candidates who know the electorate well,” said the leader. 

Another MCA leader also complained of disillusionment among party members and a clear disconnect between potential candidates and voters, grown more apparent by the former group’s reluctance to engage with their electorate. 

A third MCA leader told The Malaysian Insider that MCA candidates who lost in the 2008 polls had even shut down their service centres after their defeat, instead of boosting efforts to regain lost support. 

The Malaysian Insider understands that Umno strategists have predicted that with a significant increase in Malay voter support from about 50 per cent in 2008 to nearly 65 per cent, the party will win in at least 25 out of the 35 state seats it will contest in the polls.