Umno the stumbling block for MCA’s rise?

For MCA to win at least 15 parliament seats, Umno should not be running its ally down.

K Pragalath, Berita Daily

Umno should not be the stumbling block for MCA to improve its political fortunes in the 14th general election although Prime Minister Najib Razak dared the Chinese BN component party to secure a total 15 parliamentary seats from its current seven.

The 64th MCA AGM, yesterday, witnessed Najib daring the Chinese party to win a total of 15 parliamentary seats.

“MCA is a component party of the BN and a loyal friend. Now MCA only has seven seats in Parliament. If it has 15, it will be a lot stronger in the government,” said Najib

“We ask the Chinese community, what do they want. Do they want a strong Chinese representation in the government? Or you want a weak representation. The choice is yours,” he added while opening the party AGM.

The call was made to justify the three ministerial positions allocated to the MCA.  Party president Liow Tiong Lai is Transport Minister, deputy president Wee Ka Siong is Minister in Prime Minister’s Department and secretary general Ong Ka Chuan is Minister of International Trade and Industry II.

Currently the party has seven parliament seats of which four are in Johor. The Johor parliament seats are Labis, Ayer Itam, Tg Piai and Tebrau.

The balance three are Tanjung Malim in Perak, Bentong in Pahang and Alor Gajah in Melaka.

The impediments are in the form of demands from Umno grassroots and divisions to contest seats traditionally contested by MCA.

While it is confirmed that MCA would be contesting the Gelang Patah seat in Johor, there are no such confirmation for seats such as Bandar Tun Razak and Wangsa Maju in Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan in Pahang.

In fact, the Bandar Tun Razak Umno division has been passing resolutions annually to contest the seat on the basis that there are more Malays in the constituency.

However the race based argument does not gel well with BN’s power sharing formula.

In Wangsa Maju, the division chief Yew Teong Lok continues to serve the people from his three storey office since 2008 even though he lost by 150 votes in 2008.

In 2013, the MCA leader was sidelined in favour of UDA Holdings Berhad chairman Shafei Abdullah who was also Najib’s political secretary at the Finance Ministry four years ago.

Shafei lost by 5,511 votes to PKR’s Dr Tan Kwee Kwong.

A similar trend also seems to be the case in Kuantan. In 2013, Umno fielded Suffian Awang who lost the seat by a margin of 4,515 votes.

MCA candidate Fu Ah Kiow who has been attempting to unseat PKR’s Fuziah Salleh lost the seat in 2008 by 1,826 votes.

In short, for MCA to win at least 15 parliament seats, Umno should not be running its ally down.

The two day AGM prior to the 14th general election also seems to be focused a lot more on the DAP rather than Pakatan Harapan components on the whole.

Liow for instance criticised DAP as being hypocritical for its willingness to work with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who now heads the opposition party, PPBM.

”Previously Mahathir was condemned by the DAP, however today DAP not only embraced and supported Mahathir, but wants Mahathir to become prime minister again. This is DAP’s hypocrisy.

“This shows that DAP is a party with no dignity, no principle and insincere,” he said.

Even MCA Youth leader Chong Sin Woon took a pot shot at Penang chief minister’s deity like status ‘tokong’ in hitting out at DAP’s inability to overcome the current flood issue before issuing an apology on his Facebook page.

While it is a fact that both the parties are focused on the Chinese community, one must not forget that there are MCA seats held also by the PKR.

Kuantan and Wangsa Maju are just a few constituencies contested by MCA which are currently held by PKR.