My 2008 Vision for MCA, still relevant for nation (Flashback Part 1)
By Chua Jui Meng
WHEN I made a second bid for the MCA presidency in 2008, I came up with an even more elaborate manifesto than my first one in 2005.
This was because the March 2008 political tsunami results were most telling, validating my 2005 fears of MCA becoming irrelevant to Malaysians, especially the Chinese.
Many of my ideas and proposals are still relevant, applicable in the context of Malaysians and good governance.
The thrusts of my manifesto were, Rebuild The Party, Return To Relevance and Realise Vision 2020.
In my forward: The results of the (March 2008) General Election should serve as a wake-up call to our Party. MCA has been labelled irrelevant and out of touch with the aspirations of not only the Malaysian Chinese community but the nation as a whole.
In 2005, I campaigned for the Presidency on the platform of renewal, as I knew then even as I know now that without rejuvenating our Party’s mindset and spirit we would lose the confidence of the community.
I also warned that the presidential election then would determine the acceptability of our Party in the future. I did not realise its acceptability would have been rejected so quickly.
I now predict that unless MCA reforms and transforms within the next three years, we will face an even worse defeat in the next (13th) General Election.
I stand before you once again as a candidate for the Presidency, again hoping that you will give me the privilege and opportunity to revitalise MCA.
I aim to restore the dignity of our Party, to rebuild our image in the eyes of the rakyat. If elected, I promise reform and transformation, transparency and accountability. I intend to return our Party to relevance and to take active steps in realising the tenets of Vision 2020.
I come to you as a candidate with over 30 years’ involvement in politics. I offer my 22 years experience as a Member of Parliament and 15 years of service in Government, 9 (nine) of which I served as a Cabinet Minister.
I believe that at this critical period the Party needs senior leaders with the accumulated years of experience in Cabinet who will be able to articulate clearly on major issues with the many senior Umno Ministers and leaders for the achievement of the vision contained in this manifesto.
I promise to voice the aspirations of our people in the corridors of power and make MCA once again a valued partner in the making of the Malaysian dream.
March 8 (2008) was our wake-up call; let MCA arise to a new dawn on (the) Oct 18 (2008, party elections).
Introduction: On March 8th, MCA lost 65% of the parliamentary seats we contested. We were completely wiped out in Penang and lost most of our seats in Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Melaka, contributing to the downfall of the BN in 5 (five) states.
I ask two questions that every Central Delegate must now answer:
> Is MCA today better off than it was 3 (three) years ago? and
> Can MCA wait another 3 (three) years to change?
MCA is the oldest party and largest Chinese party. We were also once the strongest Chinese party. Not anymore.
In 2005, I also asked the question, does the community support us because we represent them or do they vote for us only because Umno is fair to other races?
The answer is now very clear: MCA does not have the support on its own merit. The question now remains as it did 3 (three) years ago, how can we develop the Party to the level where the people will support us based on our own merits?
At this critical juncture of the Party’s history, how can we remain relevant to the community we serve and regain their trust? These are the questions that the Central Delegates must address.
If given that privilege to lead as President, I will answer those questions by initiating a roadmap built on 3 (three) ideas:
REBUILD THE PARTY
Firstly, we must rebuild the Party and redefine the core values and principles of MCA. In order to regain our people’s trust, MCA must itself be seen to be incorruptible, transparent, democratic and a party of honour having core values that are relevant to our people.
RETURN TO RELEVANCE
Secondly, we must return to relevance by getting in touch with the aspirations of Malaysians. We will commit not only to hearing their grievances and concerns, but to be a courageous voice for them.
A silent politician is no politician! Silent politics is equivalent to zero politics!
REALISE VISION 2020 AND BANGSA MALAYSIA
Finally, we must fight to realise the tenets of Vision 2020, a vision accepted by all Malaysians for all Malaysians in order to build a harmonious, prosperous and progressive nation.
We will initiate positive discussions within the BN to remove barriers that inhibit, and to enact legislation that secures the future of our nation.
NEXT: Overcoming MCA’s Post-May 13th 1969 Syndrome (Flashback Part 2)