Saturday, May 11, 2013
Tan (second from left) speaking to the press. With him are (from left) Kim Sai, Lim, Wang, Jimmy Lau and See Wah.
: A group of MCA elders comprising former top party leaders have called on president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to quit immediately to take responsibility for the party's poor performance in the general election.
Former MCA president and the group's spokesman Tan Koon Swan urged Dr Chua to step down and allow new leaders to revive the party.
“Someone has to take responsibility. We gently ask Dr Chua to kindly step down to allow new leaders to come in and reform, revive and resuscitate the party,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.
Among the veterans were 10 former presidents, deputy presidents, secretaries as well as state chiefs such as Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek, Tan Sri Wong See Wah, Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum, Datuk Jimmy Lau, Wang Choon Wing, Datuk Wong Kam Hoong, Tan Sri Lau Yin Pin and Datuk Fu Ah Kiow.
Those who were not at the press conference but gave their support included Tan Sri Michael Chen, Tan Sri Lee San Choon, Datuk Seri Kee Yong Wee and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.
MCA only won seven out of 37 parliamentary and 11 out of 90 state seats that it contested, and was wiped out in Penang and Selangor.
Tan stressed that the party elders had no personal agenda against Dr Chua and the call was for younger leaders to chart the party's future.
He also urged members not to “abandon ship” but to continue to have faith in MCA and help rebuild the party as well as continue to serve the Chinese community.
“We, the elders, were totally embarrassed by the humiliation suffered by the party. The people, especially the Chinese community, have shown their frustration and anger in the way they rejected MCA. Even members voted against the party,” he said.
Kim Sai had harsher words, pointing out that although Dr Chua had announced that he would not seek re-election at the party's polls, they still wanted him to quit now.
Tan dismissed concerns of another round of leadership crisis, saying that the party's constitution had provisions for an interim leader until the party's polls, which must be called in the next six months.
He also insisted that MCA was still relevant and that it was in the best interest of the Chinese community that they had representation in the Cabinet.
“The Prime Minister knows the value of the Chinese contribution to the country and I don't think he would not appoint a Chinese representative to the Cabinet,” he said.