Former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party can regain its former glory if it quits Barisan Nasional and explores cooperation with Gerakan, MIC and the People’s Progressive Party (MyPPP).
The former MCA president told The Malaysian Insight that the party would lose Malay votes if it leaves the former ruling party, led by Umno, but said MCA does not have a choice if it wants to crawl out of its current doldrums.
In the last general election, MCA suffered a crippling defeat, retaining only one parliamentary seat and two state seats.
In March, MCA and MIC called for an immediate meeting of the BN supreme council to decide on the fate of the coalition, saying the bloc’s multiracial concept had been undermined after Umno leader Nazri Abdul Aziz, as the coalition’s secretary-general, reportedly said the two parties were free to leave the pact.
MCA president Wee Ka Siong and MIC’s SA Vigneswaran had said in a joint statement that they were left with no choice but to move on and explore a new alliance.
Days later, however, MCA announced it had decided to remain a BN component party to strengthen the cooperation between the various races.
Chua, who was elected MCA president in 2010, told The Malaysian Insight that MCA had lost the Chinese community’s respect, and would continue to do so if it stayed in the coalition, especially as Umno is cooperating with Islamist party PAS.
He said the party should instead discuss forming pacts with Gerakan, MIC and MyPPP.
“PAS is insisting on the implementation of shariah law and wants to turn Malaysia into an Islamic country. The Chinese won’t accept this. In the 13th general election, DAP and PAS cooperated and made gains, but now, DAP does not dare to be linked with PAS,” Chua said.
Chua had stepped down from his post after the party’s disastrous results in the 2013 general election.
He said despite taking a step back from active politics after that, the party’s leadership had still perceived him as an enemy and wanted to prevent his comeback.
On whether he had shared his experience and given advice to the party’s current leadership, Chua said he was no longer welcome among its higher echelons.
“I am the only leader who has been defeated three times and risen again every time, and this is all due to the support given to me at all levels. Half my life has been dedicated to MCA; it has been 30 years.
“Even if I tell them (how he came back), it does not matter; I am no longer welcome in MCA. They think they cannot rebuild members’ confidence by having someone who lost three times talking to them.
“I may not have won all my battles but nobody can deny that I have experience. I say it as it is and will not sugarcoat my words to please people. You do not need to agree with me; that is what being in the party leadership is all about.”