MCA will break away from Barisan Nasional (BN), the coalition it co-founded with Umno and MIC, if Gan Ping Sieu becomes its president next month.
Gan said he would form a new alliance with other parties that uphold the Federal Constitution, value moderation and inclusiveness, as well as defend secular governance and equal rights for all Malaysians while announcing his presidential manifesto at Wisma MCA here today.
“We have only one viable choice, get ourselves out from BN, a coalition structure that has deviated from its founding principles,” he told a news conference.
Gan said the new Umno leadership has leaning further to the right and getting more conservative with regards to race and religion.
“It thinks nothing of abandoning coalition partners and ideologies of moderation, diversity and secular governance within the framework of Federal Constitution,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after the press conference, he said Umno had welcomed his intention to break away from the coalition.
When asked about BN’s response, he said: “That is not my call. I leave it to BN’s Supreme Council leaders.”
The Johor-born politician who was MCA vice-president from 2010 to 2013 today announced his manifesto consisting of three reform pillars and 15 execution initiatives, including breaking away from BN and renewing the party’s focus on the Chinese community.
He said the sole reason for his decision was MCA’s loss of support from voters.
“When you’re a political party without any electoral support, no matter what you say, people don’t give you any recognition.
“So it is important for MCA to have the courage to change, to rebuild and reform the party. We must centre on one particular issue to recover the support of voters.”
Under his manifesto, the president and deputy president will also contest in Chinese-majority constituencies.
It also included a renewed pledge for transparency in the management of MCA’s assets.
“Trustees of the party’s assets shall be accountable to the central delegates during the annual general assembly.
“Central delegates shall be empowered to raise queries during the AGM on matters relating to the management of assets and its returns, making assets supervision a responsibility for all,” he said.
In 2015, Oriental Daily estimated the party’s assets to be about RM3 billion, including a 43% stake in The Star Media Group Bhd.
Gan also pledged to strengthen grassroots organisations and reconnect with the public.
The Kluang MCA division chief will be contesting against current deputy president and Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong in the party elections next month.
Tee Siew Kiong, the deputy chief of MCA’s Johor division, has been named as his second in command.
Gan is endorsed by former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, who led the party from 2010 to 2013.