The just concluded MCA Annual General Assembly saw a change of leadership in the party, that is set to shape the future of MCA, and in particular its role and contribution to the BN coalition, that had in the post March 8 general elections saw the party mired in controversies unprecedented in the history of the BN.
MCA, for better or for worse, have chosen YB Ong Tee Keat as its President and the controversial former minister Chua Sooi Lek as its Deputy President; the latter's surprised win is an indication that his past promiscuous sexual escapades is now forgiven, and that it is the party's interest that really matters.
I would add that MCA has shown itself to be tolerant of Chua's past, and that private and personal matters should not in anyway deprive a member of his/her opportunity to hold important post in the party. Chua had himself accepted full responsibility for his promiscuous act, and had graciously sought an apology from party members.
Ong and Chua certainly has challenging tasks ahead, to place the party back on track and to win members confidence that was badly battered during the last general elections. MCA like UMNO, has not only to think of wooing its members, but more importantly the community at large. Time is not in their favour, and any factional infighting within the party, though mild by UMNO standards, has to be resolved before the next general election scheduled in 2012.
Ong and Chua will also have to heed the concerns raised by MCA's outgoing President Ong Ka Teng in his speech at the General Asembly, which was attended by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Ong Ka Teng's concerns hinges on the relationship of MCA with UMNO, which is perceived as one of unfairness and lack of consultation. He points out that UMNO had deliberately or otherwise, excluded MCA and other component parties from BN's decision making process, thus relegating the component parties to mere followers.
Ong Ka Teng further claims that under Abdullah Badawi's regime, the power sharing formula that has kept the component parties intact 'are just rhetorics', and UMNO leaders recently are fond of speaking louder than they normally would. I think the UMNO party election fever have infected them hard.
The issues raised by Ong Ka Teng and several more, are deemed of grievous concern to the viability of BN, and if Najib who is likely to be the next PM in March 2009 remains oblivious to these concerns, I see little hope of the BN emerging winners in the next general elections.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 6.59pm on Oct 19,2008