After 67 years, MCA finds itself in unfamiliar territory
The only way MCA could stay relevant was to win seats in the six state elections next year, and it would do this by attacking DAP.
(FMT) – For the first time in 67 years, MCA and DAP are on the same side of the political divide.
An analyst believes it is only a matter of time before the Barisan Nasional component party begins attacking its old enemy.
James Chin, a professor of Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania, said the only way MCA could stay relevant was to win seats in the six state elections next year, and it would do this by attacking DAP.
“DAP has been getting more Chinese votes since the late 1990s, except in 2004,” he told FMT, referring to the 2004 general election in which BN achieved its best performance, winning 90.4% of the seats.
MCA won 31 seats that year, but its fortunes have dwindled. In the recent general election, it only managed to win two seats – Ayer Hitam and Tanjung Piai, both Malay-majority seats.
Chin said Malaysian-Chinese politics had always been divided into two camps, those in the government and the opposition.
“It had always been MCA as the government and DAP as opposition.”
Though MCA was in the opposition after the 2018 general election, this is not the case now as MCA and DAP are part of Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government, though MCA has been left out of the Cabinet.
Chin said it was unlikely that MCA would leave BN to join the opposition.
“MCA leaders know they can’t survive without BN,” he said, adding that at the same time, MCA would have to attack DAP to remain relevant, especially since the party did not get any Cabinet posts.
Oh Ei Sun, of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, also said MCA was unlikely to quit BN to be in the opposition.
He also felt that MCA was likely to continue attacking DAP.
“It has a lot of resources at its disposal to launch a massive campaign against DAP,” he told FMT.
If MCA was successful in its attacks against DAP, he said, the party could take DAP’s place in the Cabinet.