MCA's decision not to accept any posts in the Cabinet should its results at the next general election be poorer than that of the 2008 polls will truly embody the spirit of democracy, said party deputy president Liow Tiong Lai.
Whatever MCA decides to do after the next GE is a private business of the party. But the MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek obviously did not propose this action without a clear intention. The message is directed at the Chinese voters that they risk losing representation if they continue to vote for the opposition parties.
It is quite clear that Dr Chua was reacting to the outcome of Sarawak state elections where the Chinese voters, along with other urban voters, had ditched the ruling coalition and voted for the opposition. It is not clear if the outcome will be emulated in the Peninsula Malaysia.
If Chua's call was to help stem the further erosion of Chinese support for the party, it is without a doubt a poor political call. The call will not lead MCA anywhere. It is not going to help MCA restore or win back the support of Chinese voters.
This is a statement of fact. It is a fact that most Chinese voters do not think highly of MCA representatives in the government.
MCA needs to do more than just exercising its democratic rights to join the government or not. The party needs to work a lot harder to win back its credibility. MCA's representation in the Cabinet must be good for something. Good for what? This is a fundamental question the party must answer quickly.
Otherwise, Chua would have to brace for a potential sabotage from his own party members who may want to see zero MCA representatives, especially his allies, in the government. In the last party elections, Chua defeated his opponents by receiving less than 50% of popular support from the delegates.
To ensure its own survival, the party must move away from the practice of insider politics. The party must be willing to embrace and attract new and highly critical members into the party. The party needs to be revitalized with younger blood. This is something lacking in the party hierarchy.
Next, the party needs to engage the federal government like it is really in the government. Socio-economic policies which are not beneficial to the country must be contested and debated in the parliament and in the Cabinet. The party must be proactive trying to improve policy making and implementation at the federal level.
The party must argue against corruption, wastage of public funds, protectionist policies, racism, poor governance and others which are truly beneficial to the people.
It is a statement of fact that the MCA is not doing any of the above as part of the ruling coalition. As such, the party's intention to leave the government should it performs badly at the next GE will not attract any sympathy.
It is a statement of fact too that the party is going to suffer a possible political extinction if it really performs badly in the next GE and is not included in the Cabinet.
It is a risk I am not too sure if Dr Chua can personally justify as a president of MCA. He needs better advisers.