MCA seeks return of electoral seats ‘loaned out’


(MMO) – MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai demanded today the return of electoral seats his party had “loaned out” to its Barisan Nasional (BN) allies for the next general elections.

“Our stand is that whichever seats we loaned out should be taken back,” he was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini as telling reporters after attending a graduation ceremony at SJK Wangsa Maju here.

It is unclear if Liow named the seats, the number or the parties that had contested in MCA’s place in the past few elections that have seen the ruling coalition’s Chinese component recede from popularity and from government posts.

In Election 1999, MCA — one of the three founding members of the Alliance that subsequently became the 13-party BN coalition — won 29 parliamentary seats.

However, in the last general election held three years ago, the MCA kept only seven of the parliamentary seats that it was accustomed to contest, as 11 state seats.

In Election 2013 too, the party lent three federal seats to Umno: Wangsa Maju in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur; Kuantan in Pahang; and Gelang Patah, Johor.

Liow was reported saying MCA is working on strengthening its party in preparation for the 14th general elections due by 2018.

“We definitely want to see MCA continue to represent the people, to voice out for the people and for the good of the people,” he was quoted saying.

Liow who is the transport minister also urged his fellow BN colleagues to respect their coalition’s consensus principle, reportedly in response to a recent call from Malacca Umno delegate Datuk Ahmad Hamzah at his party’s general assembly this week.

Ahmad reported proposed that the position of transport minister — customarily held by an MCA representative — be given to Umno instead.

“We understand that this kind of general assembly is a democratic platform for them to voice their opinions frankly.

“We cannot control it but I think, they should respect the BN mechanism,” Liow was quoted saying.