Saturday, October 18, 2008

A New Era for MCA?

Before the 8th March general election, no one will put their money on Ong Tee Keat to make it to the top position of his party. He was widely known as a 'lone ranger'. At a private meeting, I asked him about the nickname.

It was obvious that he was not alone in his political struggle. Ong had won both the MCA Youth Chief and Vice-President posts. Later, he shared that it was due to his reluctance to join some youth leaders for some 'fun'. His decision was not taken very well by some leaders who later called him a 'lone ranger'. This 'lone ranger' will not be alone anymore after being elected as the new MCA president.

The official announcement confirms the new president as Ong Tee Keat (1,429 votes), defeating Chua Jui Meng (917 votes). Ong received more than 60% of popular votes. Chua did not lose badly.

During the campaign period, Ong was criticised for his unwillingness to participate in an open debate with Chua. Apart from not wanting to allow his opponent more visibility, Ong said in a text message that he 'is willing to debate any opposition members but not his own comrade'. Chua did get his publicity.

Some even thought the vocal MCA former youth chief has toned down his approach and they fear he might take a more mainstream approach of not being so confrontational or vocal. Many who supported him want the leader to represent a new MCA which is more assertive and vocal.

Hence, Dr Chua Soi Lek's election does not surprise many pundits. Dr Chua Soi Lek (1,115 votes) defeated Ong Ka Chuan (1,000 votes) narrowly. Without a sex scandal, Soi Lek would have been a formidable opponent for Ong. Ong's initial decision was to contest the deputy president position. Hence, the two would have swapped position if there was no scandal.

Apart from being Ka Ting's brother, Ka Chuan is not a remarkable leader. His mainstream approach of being a loyal BN man did not serve him well. Ka Chuan has repeatedly said that MCA will not abandon BN, regardless. If elected, members cannot depend on Ka Chuan to provide a more assertive leadership to MCA.

On the contrary, Soi Lek has been more vocal and outspoken on many issues since his rehabilitation process. In the end, MCA delegates are willing to let what is personal remains personal.

In my friendly chats with a number of male friends, I was often told "which cat does not eat fish?" - a subtle reminder to men who think that they are on a moral high ground.

Now, what is next for MCA?

Outgoing President Ong Ka Ting delivered a hard hitting speech, “It shouldn’t look like as though Umno (is the sole) decider in important policies while other parties are (merely) asked to defend (the policies) to uphold the BN spirit."

"The power sharing slogan is often used and (but) it is deemed lip service,” he added.

Can MCA reclaim their political influence? The party should find a place for Chua Jui Meng.


Anonymous said...

Tee Kiat should prioritise gaining back the support of all communities and the Chinese in particular by implementing policies that are beneficial and fair to all regardless of race. He should postpone his plan for MCA members to elect its President directly as this is too time consuming and may distract his attention to win back the support of the electorate in the next general election. It is time for him to show what he is capable of especially having a deputy whom he has critically described as immoral.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to put a label on the new line up of MCA leaders. The new leadership is not made up of menu items. I hope the apprehension and suspicion of each other will put some tension in their relationship with each other.
And i hope this tension will increase creativity, put some obstacle to corruption( nothing like being watched by potential competitor keep the a fellow straight) and reduce abuse of power.

Anonymous said...

I hope MCA is a reborn party NOW! I congratulate all new party leaders on their appointments and remind them that the real challenges have just begun.

True Blue Penangite

Anonymous said...

We dun want a chinese party to look after the chinese interests. We dun want an indian party to look after the indians. Neither do we want a malay party to look after the malays. What we want is a true msian party to look after all the msians. God made us different so dat we can work together for a better tml. Not to work against each other ... Wake up plsssssss!


GobloKing said...

The issue of morality is ALWAYS applicable - particularly to public figures eg Politicians - & don't any man tell us women otherwise!

What will men say had it been a prominent & capable married woman politician who was found out in a sex video; not withstanding whether or not the affair is 12 yrs old or otherwise?

Will they be as forgiving then?

Yes. Chua seems totally repentant (sic), as he keeps repeating his family has forgiven him & this was not an issue for the public.

But the issue is:
Should we trust someone who cheats on his family (with excuses such as "it was a long standing affair" read as in "she ain't a prostitute & we have feelings for each other") with guiding & safeguarding our nation's future?

Would his moment of weakness not translate later into many MORE moments of greater weaknesses as this is a man who seems quite susceptible to foibles?

Or are we saying there are no candidates suitable & capable of leading our nation in MCA?

Or are we saying MCA is so morally weak & corrupted that any man with a pulse is suitable to lead?

The day men can say that women too can eat fish - gimme a holler. I'll let the winged pigs outta the pen :)