One thing is clear – change really cannot come fast enough for MCA.
With less than a month to go before MCA’s party election kicks off with branch level polls on July 14, the question is not whether the party needs to change but how it intends to change.
Some grassroots leaders suggest that real change will not happen if the same old faces are kept in the party leadership.
“The senior leaders should give way to the younger generation. Most of the veterans want to stay on hoping Barisan Nasional will become federal government again. They have yet to wake up from their slumber,” one MCA state leader said.
A state Youth leader, meanwhile, thinks the coming party elections will have a poor turnout as members have lost confidence in the party.
He added that members are disappointed the party leadership failed to put into effect real changes after the 2008 general election.
He said members who stayed on were using the party for business networking.
“The 12th general election was a wake-up call for the party but the present leadership said let us wait until after the 2018 party elections before we make changes,” he added.
“The present leadership was more into slogans and no concrete actions were taken to convince the people.”
While there has been a lot of talk – and not just among MCA members – about who should lead the party, some grassroots members think the coming party elections is not just about who should become the president but whether that candidate is accepted by the Chinese community.
“Once the president is elected, he should contact the federal government and non-governmental organisation leaders as the party’s main agenda is to strengthen the Chinese community.”
“We are a political party. With our 60 years experience, we can help out,” said another state leader.
So, is Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong – the MP for Ayer Hitam in Johor and the only one from the party to win a parliamentary seat – the right man for the job?
Known to be a straight talker, Wee also managed to make some changes in the party such as lowering the age limit of Youth members from 45 to 40 years.
“He is after all the only national leader who survived the 14th general election and should be given a chance to lead the party,” said another state leader.
But even he hoped the new leadership can set a time frame for the younger generation to go up.
“This will allow the party to undergo rejuvenation process.”
Still, there are some leaders asking their younger members to not be too anxious about change, saying they still need “the seniors to guide you.”
However, this kind of advice is sounding very tired. A division leader said, “Let those without any political baggage contest. Let the party start with a clean slate.”
“We are a democratic party and whoever is capable to lead the party should be allowed to do so,” he added while declining to say if he would support Wee for the top post.
One thing is clear though, change really cannot come fast enough for MCA. – Malay Mail