MCA grassroots are caught in a dilemma of their party’s making – on the one hand, the party is unable to push for the dissolution of Barisan Nasional and on the other, it faces the daunting task of finding a suitable partner for future alliance.
Some grassroots are also upset with the party for keeping mum on the Umno-PAS cooperation.
Selangor MCA chairman Ng Chok Sin said the party needs to be realistic on its future plans.
“We need to be realistic. If MCA quits BN, we still need to partner up with someone and the only other available partner would be PAS. It can’t be PAS, can it?
“We want to form a brand new pact after BN is dissolved, something like BN2.0,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
MCA wants to reform the power structure within BN, he said, to move away from Umno being the dominant partner.
Yong Peng MCA division chief Ling Tian Soon said party leaders must hit the ground and explain to the grassroots about the current political situation.
“The grassroots know full well what MCA is facing, but we hope to get a clearer explanation,” Ling said.
The grassroots understand the necessity of alliances with other parties but there are currently no suitable partners, he said.
If MCA remains with BN in its current form, the grassroots won’t be able to accept it, Ling added.
“That’s why reforming BN and the restructuring of power within the coalition is of utmost importance. Let BN return to the time of its founding when MCA, Umno and MIC were equal partners.”
The BN supreme council agreed to form a technical committee to discuss reforming the coalition but the MCA grassroots want to see progress on the matter, he said.
BN’s decision to reject Mohamed Nazri Aziz as secretary-general because of his disrespect towards MCA also appeased the grassroots a little.
On the other hand, Gan Ping Sieu, who contested the party presidency last year, said the party is in a precarious position and there is no turning back.
“MCA at its last annual general meeting, which could be a crucial turning point, chose to remain in BN and give up its own independence.
“And Umno is already working with PAS, so it is obvious that remaining in BN is for short-term political survival,” Gan said.
Gan, the Kluang division chief, said such short-sighted political strategies are drawing backlash from the grassroots, some of whom do not understand why the party continues to put up with such humiliation.
Worse, he said, MCA will be unable to regain the people’s trust, especially among Chinese Malaysians.
“We should not forget that, in the past, MCA, including me, strongly opposed PAS becoming a national party. Now, we are instead choosing to work with Umno, which is already cooperating with PAS.
“This contravenes the most basic of our party’s spirit,” Gan said.
Party veteran Yap Pian Hon said the leadership’s indecisiveness when it comes to leaving BN only pushed MCA into a deeper hole.
“I think the party should be self-reliant and not depend on others. There is no charity in politics. The party needs to stand on its own again and nobody can help us do so,” he said.
MCA’s flip-flopping on whether to leave BN also hit its credibility hard, adding to the grassroots’ confusion over its future direction, Yap said.
If the party does not even have a strong base to stand on, he said, the only way left for the party to go is down.
Asked if the party chose to push for BN’s dissolution instead of leaving outright because of monetary benefits, Yap said there is no financial gain for staying in the coalition.
MCA only has its own weak leadership, short-sighted political goals, lack of a clear political direction and strategy and the failure to determine sentiments on the ground to blame, he said. – TMI
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