Why it’s hard for BN to win Penang

MCA is Barisan’s Achilles’ heel, says a former youth leader of the party. 

Hawkeye, FMT

BUTTERWORTH: It is becoming increasingly difficult for Barisan Nasional to unseat the Penang government because the coalition is suffering from an acute shortage of young candidates, according to a former MCA leader.

Eng Hiap Boon, who was Penang MCA Youth chief when he quit the party in late 2011, said today that MCA must take the largest part of the blame for BN’s lack of young leaders who could meet the expectations of the Penang electorate.

He described Penang voters as “highly demanding” and lamented MCA’s inability to institute reforms at a pace quick enough to impress them.

It is believed that Umno, Gerakan, PPP and MIC have nearly finalised their lists of candidates for the 13th general election.

MCA, however, is still struggling to complete its list, according to insiders. They say the selection committee is reluctant to field young blood, often referring to them as “untested” politicians.

MCA is expected to contest in eight state and two parliament seats in Penang.

In the 2008 election, it lost all of its Penang battles with DAP.

Eng said no new leader with talent had emerged in MCA since 2008 to challenge DAP’s young turks.

“The veterans are stubbornly clinging on either because they dare not hand over power to the younger set or because there are no youthful talented leaders from within the ranks.”

Former MCA presidents Ong Ka Ting and Ong Tee Keat both tried to attract young talent into the party but failed, said Eng, who is an ally of Tee Keat.