Soi Lek: MCA No Way of Knowing Funds from 1MDB

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Former Barisan Nasional (BN) chairperson Najib Razak distributed a total of RM470 million to BN parties in the 2013 general election. Of that sum, RM16.5 million went to MCA.

  • Gerakan braver than MCA in deciding to leave BN
  • Party has to bear some responsibility for its defeat in GE14 for its association with abusive and arrogant people
  • Redevelopment of MCA headquarters not priority

Former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek had in October 2015 admitted that MCA was among the BN parties which received election funds from Najib.

However, he said MCA had no way of knowing the source of the funding, Malaysiakini reported.

“I already said there was money (given to MCA). But during that time (2013), there was no 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd). (News of) 1MDB had not burst onto the scene yet. (Talk of) 1MDB only emerged in 2014.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“When people give you money…when your father gives you money, will you ask your dad where the money comes from? Did you steal it? Did you borrow it?

“You would just receive it in good faith, don’t you agree? (Even) if the money came from 1MDB, we are just an innocent party. How the heck were we to know the origin of this money?” he was quoted as saying in the report.

When asked if MCA should return the money now that the party knows that it originated from 1MDB, Chua said his answer would be irrelevant as he has no control over MCA’s funds.

“That, you have to ask the (current) leadership,” he said.

On the issue of making the call to quit BN for good, Chua said Gerakan has more courage than MCA.

He said MCA should have quit BN on May 10, after the 14th general election that resulted in the monumental defeat of the BN administration.

“Gerakan is braver. I must congratulate the Gerakan leadership for taking the bull by the horns.

“BN today is not a political brand name of which we feel proud (to associate with).

“If other parties have decided to leave BN, I see no reason why MCA leaders could not make that simple decision. If I were the president, the first thing I would do is to leave BN.”

“I would not say stupid things like ‘I would sack Umno’. This was the biggest political joke of 2018,” he was quoted as saying, referring to MCA incumbent president Liow Tiong Lai’s warning to kick Umno out of BN if the biggest opposition party moved toward theocratic politics.

On June 23, Gerakan announced its decision to leave BN after responding to grassroots’ demands. So far, nine parties have quit BN.

It was reported in June that MCA would gather feedback from the grassroots on the matter, with Liow saying the party was in no hurry to decide.

MCA presidential candidate Dr Wee Ka Siong said the matter should be decided by the grassroots during the party’s annual general assembly on Nov 4.

The other contender for the presidential post, Kluang division chief Gan Ping Sieu, who felt that the party should quit BN, also suggested that a referendum on the matter be held.

Chua, however, said there is no need to call for a referendum to make such a simple decision.

He questioned if both Liow and Wee were eyeing cabinet re-entry through the backdoor by joining a unity government comprising BN and PAS, so they could be made ministers again.

Chua believes MCA can survive without BN as MCA was rejected by Chinese voters in particular because the people hated the BN brand as well as Umno’s arrogance and abuse of power.

“MCA has to bear some responsibility (for its defeat in the general election) for its association with people who are abusive and arrogant. We were also tainted,” Chua was quoted as saying.

On the redevelopment of MCA headquarters, Chua said it should not be the priority of the party at this stage.

“This shows the party leadership has no direction and is totally out of touch. Why? After the May 9 polls, the most pressing matter is politics. MCA is placing emphasis on the wrong issue.

“They are more interested in redeveloping the party assets rather than rebuilding the party.”