What have MCA done to demand the 2nd BN Deputy Chairmanship?

 

Yesterday, MCA Youth had their annual party convention in Kuala Lumpur. Amongst the issues raised was demanding that MCA being given a second Deputy Chairmanship at Barisan Nasional level.

The Star has the story:

Saturday October 18, 2008

Youth calls for creation of second BN deputy chairman post

 

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA Youth has called for the creation of a second Barisan Nasional deputy chairman’s post which would be held by the party.

Proposing the creation of the second post, out-going MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said MCA, as the second largest component party of the coalition, deserved such representation.

In his opening speech at the wing’s annual general assembly yesterday, Liow urged Barisan to consider the position, interests and representation of all component parties.

He said MCA Youth’s proposal was not excessive and other top positions in the coalition could be opened to the leaders of other component parties.

“Since independence, MCA has worked together with other component parties to form the Alliance and then Barisan.”

He said a review of the Barisan structure would allow MCA to be more pro-active in monitoring the policy-making process.

Later, speaking to reporters who asked of other Barisan component parties also asking for the deputy chairman post, Liow said: “MCA is the second largest Barisan component party.”

New Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said letting the MCA hold a Barisan deputy chairman’s post would reflect the party’s seniority and the coalition’s power sharing concept and it would not be seen as being dominated by one party.

“The first two partners were Umno and MCA. It was a genuine partnership and subsequently MIC joined in. I don’t see any problem with such a change,” he said.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who opened the convention, said discussions should be held among component party leaders before a consensus could be reached.

“We should listen to the views and opinions of other component parties.

“One or two positions are not important. What is more important is the current political landscape where the Barisan has to make sure that the reforms are made based on sincerity, honesty and respect among the component parties,” he said.

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Why is this being raised now, at this juncture? Is it because MCA felt they need something to redeem themselves and make their position in Malaysian political scene being perceived as more influential in the reality of the moment?

The fact is that, MCA did not do well in the XII General Elections. As the most senior partner representing the ethnic Chinese, they did not deliver. MCA performed poorly and only managed to retain 15 Dewan Rakyat seats, compared to 31 in XI GE.

The most recent by-elections, Permatang Pauh, MCA failed miserably. MCA wholesomely did not manage to deliver the Chinese votes in a contest where moral victory meant the sky for the Oppositions.

So why is that the MCA Youth demand something so strategic when they had nothing to redeem against, let alone something to be rewarded for?

No doubt MCA is a senior partner in the BN coalition since the early 50s. Little that everyone now would want to remember, MCA is in the coalition because UMNO decided to ‘power share’. In the 1955 first general elections, UMNO President Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra gracefully allocated seats for MCA even though they were not enough eligible Chinese who were allowed to vote as then, they were not regarded as subjects of Malaya. 80% of the eligible voters were Malays and yet MCA were allocated 30% of the 52 seats contested.

History recorded that the MCA leaders were accorded the ‘equal’ status  as ‘partners’ when the issue citizenship the majority of Chinese residing in Malaya have not been resolved when Tunku  lead the delegation and went to negotiate on the terms of Independence, first with the Rulers and later, with Whitehall.

Politically, MCA had benefited immensely from UMNO’s agreement to ‘power share’. Infact, the ‘give and take’ policy UMNO adopted by bringing MCA as a ‘power share’ partner, benefited the Chinese more than the Malays. When the first Cabinet was formed, MCA were given very strategic post like Finance and Trade and Industry.  This went on for the first twenty years BN (then Alliance) were in power. MCA leaders were also honoured to represent Malaysia in strategic missions abroad, like Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin when he was sent to the United States.

The trend of ‘power share’ was practiced till present. Many of the seats allocated for MCA are non Chinese majority areas. This formula is actually the backbone of MCA and Chinese, being given allocation in Dewan Rakyat and also the traditional four Cabinet post. Even when the chips are down for the MCA, like in the 1986 General Election elections where MCA faced a serious leadership crisis and the co-operative scandals where ten of thousand Chinese lost almost entirely their life savings, BN Chairman and Prime Minister then Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad still allocated the four Ministerial post. Again, it happened recently. In both scenario, DAP gained grounds when MCA was rejected.

That is the thing about keeping the ‘honour’, when an agreement has been achieved. Through thick and thin, UMNO leadership kept MCA’s position in the Government as part of the ‘power share’ deal, even to a point of giving MCA ‘face saving’ opportunities. There are times when UMNO members themselves questioned why MCA deserve to be treated preferentially, when they actually failed to deliver, in their role in the ‘power share’ Government.

Failing to deliver, says it all where and when someone could ‘bargain’ for anything, let alone ‘demand’. Presently, there really isn’t any real reason why BN should create a second Deputy Chairmanship and even there is one created, it should be given to MCA. If all, MCA should be reprimaded for their poor political performance recently, what ever the reason or excuse might be.

*Updated 530pm

In a media conference this evening, UMNO Vice President Tan Sri Muhyiddin  Mohd. Yassin when asked explained that all the BN party component Presidents were already assuming the automatic role of BN Vice Chairman. He explained that BN High Council will have to meet and decide on this call by MCA Youth. He also added, “After MCA demanded for this strategic position in BN, other component parties will also demand the same stature as they represent other ethnic groups. All considerations will have to be looked into before deciding something like this”.

 

 

Published in: on October 18, 2008 at 08:24  Comments (19)