Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wee won't defend Youth chief post

Wing to lower age limit of members, from 45 to 40, for those who wish to contest party posts

KUALA LUMPUR: DATUK Dr Wee Ka Siong will not be defending his position as MCA Youth Chief after the wing's central committee decided yesterday to lower the age limit of members who wish to contest in the coming party elections from 45 to 40.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a MCA Youth central committee meeting at the party's headquarters, Wee, who turns 45 this year, said members of the committee had unanimously decided to lower the age limit in an effort to reinvigorate the party wing.

"We talked about it and we agreed that there must be a drastic change. MCA Youth members who want to contest must be aged 40 and below. Last time, the age limit was set at 45 and below," he said.

When asked whether he was going to vie for a top position in the party, Wee said: "I have no plans right now."

He said with the new age limit in place, several MCA Youth office-bearers, including his deputy Dr Mah Hang Soon and himself, would not be defending their positions in the coming elections as they were overaged.

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"This is a substantial change but it has to be done (to strengthen the wing). There will be changes in the structural organisation of the MCA Youth and this has been accepted by all."

He added that he would personally bring the proposal up for endorsement during today's MCA central committee meeting, of which he is a member.

"We will forward the proposal to the party's central committee to be endorsed. That's the only way we can bridge the gap between the veterans and younger members."

Wee said the idea to lower the age limit of MCA Youth office-bearers was first mooted by him after he won the MCA Youth chief post unopposed in 2008. He said all Youth members had five years to prepare for this change.

On another matter, Wee said the MCA Youth central committee yesterday discussed the dismal performance of the party during the recent polls, where it only managed to win seven parliamentary and 11 state seats.

MCA won 15 parliamentary and 32 state seats in 2008.

"We talked about the 13th General Election results and we have identified the problems and weaknesses plaguing the party. But we have also come up with some ways re-energise the party."

Wee said many ideas and views were brought up during the meeting that would enable the party to restrategise and move forward.

"I won't discuss the ideas in detail here but a special MCA Youth committee will be set up to conduct a post-mortem (of the election results).

"The results of the post-mortem will be handed over to (deputy president) Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai."

Last week, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had announced that Liow would head a special task force to map out a new direction for the party.

Wee also said the MCA Youth would stand by the party's decision not to accept any government posts following its poor performance in the election.

"We discussed this matter at length and we must stand by every party resolution to protect the integrity of MCA. Those who accept posts or refuse to resign should be removed from the party."

MCA national organising secretary Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, who is the Pulai Sebatang assemblyman, is facing the possibility of being censured by the party after he was sworn in as a Johor executive councillor last week.

In 2011, the MCA had passed a resolution not to accept any government posts should the party fare worse than in the 2008 general election.

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