Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MCA grassroots leaders urge rethink on govt posts

'Party stands to lose out if leadership persists with stance'

JOHOR BARU: WHILE the highest level of MCA leadership held firm to the party's resolution not to accept any government appointment following its poor showing at the 13th General Election, most of those much closer to the grassroots are thinking otherwise.

These MCA leaders who work closely with the local Chinese communities in their area were worried that they and those they were trying to assist will face a lot of difficulties as their party is not part of the government.

Some of them agreed that an extraordinary general meeting must be immediately conducted to recind the resolution made two years ago.

Pasir Gudang MCA division chief Tan Cher Puk said the Chinese community would be badly affected if they have no representative to voice their problems in the cabinet.

"It's no longer about MCA but about the people and community that MCA is representing. Thus, I believe it is paramount that MCA has at least a representative in the cabinet.

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"When the people approach us for help and there is nothing we can do about it. They will just channel their woes to any other outlet and that will not be good for Barisan Nasional in future."

In Ipoh, several Perak MCA grassroots leaders criticised the party leadership's "no government posts" stand.

State MCA deputy organising secretary Datuk Lee Kon Yin said the decision to reject positions in the government was unfair and unjust to party supporters.

He pointed out that not all members of the Chinese community rejected MCA in the general election.

"Without any government representative from the party, it will be difficult to get things done for these people."

Ipoh Timur MCA division deputy chairman San Chak Chun said one entered politics to serve the people and to make society a better place.

"Even if people reject and don't appreciate us, we have the responsibility to stay on to serve."

Describing party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek's decision on being adamant about MCA not taking up positions in government as "childish and half baked", San said he does not think Dr Chua had properly considered the implications.

In Kuantan, grassroot leaders here insisted that the MCA leadership not punish party members and supporters by not accepting any government posts.

Paya Besar MCA division chief Datuk Ng Fook Heng said he felt that the party was on the losing side if it continued with its stance of not wanting to be a part of the government.

He said the party's decision had also prompted grassroot leaders and members of local village development and security committees from MCA to resign from their posts.

Meanwhile, a MCA branch chairman from Bentong, who declined to be named, said the party's refusal to hold any government post was making the situation more complicated for the party.

"Instead of helping to solve the problem and regain the support from the Chinese community, the party senior leadership choose to be adamant and this is not good for the community.

Pahang MCA deputy chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun said he felt "strange" that the Chinese community was without a representative in the government.

"A Chinese representative holding a state or federal post will be able to listen and understand the people's problems before going on to lend assistance. Now, with this current situation, how will the voices on the ground be heard at the top level?"

A senior Johor MCA grassroots leader who requested anonymity said if the Chinese community decided that the opposition could do better than MCA, then they should be allowed "to get a taste of their own medicine".

"The Chinese community has enjoyed so much under BN, and if they fail to realise that, then maybe they must learn the hard way."

Others who voiced their support for the party not to be part of the government until at least a probable EGM be held later this year were Kedah chairman Datuk Chong Itt Chew, Negri Sembilan chairman Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Thiam, Penang secretary Lau Chiek Tuan and Kelantan deputy chairman Khor Chew Hing.

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