PETALING JAYA: MCA’s return to the Cabinet is with full commitment and determination to represent the Chinese community in Barisan Nasional, said party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (pic).
The party, he said, realised that its decision not to join the Barisan government after the last general election was catastrophic as it was unable to provide a reasonable platform of services to Chinese voters in particular.
“The absence of MCA in the Cabinet led to the grievances of the Chinese community in the country being silenced.
“Over 600 Chinese new villages were without new village committees to manage social amenities and their welfare in the past one year.
“MCA’s conventional role of fostering a close relationship between the Chinese community and other races was not functioning as our representatives were not present in any of the official functions,” he said in an interview here recently.
MCA, stressed Ong, was not joining the Cabinet as a mere decoration or an alien entity in the ruling coalition but to be a functional and effective party in helping Barisan gain back voter confidence in the next general election.
Since the country’s independence, MCA, he emphasised, had never wavered in upholding the power-sharing concept to form a multi-ethnic government.
“We are one of the founding members of the Alliance and later Barisan in 1974. In 1987, MCA played a significant role in stabilising Barisan when Umno was deregistered by the courts.
“Recently, we proved ourselves to be a loyal and sincere partner to Barisan in the Teluk Intan by-election by helping its candidate Datuk Mah Siew Keong to win,” said Ong.
The party, he pointed out, had been undergoing major transformations under MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s leadership as part of a strategy to assist the Government to be supported by all races, and to be multi-racial and “pluralistic” at all times.
“We had a massive recruitment of young members and re-started the political cadre schools,” he said.
MCA, he said, had also devised a more transparent and democratic mechanism in appointing party representatives to various government positions, including city and town councillors, new village committees and even candidates for the next general election.
Ong said Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, once said that government policy on national unity was not by an assimilation process but by integration, that is, by mutual adjustment of diverse cultural and social traits, acceptable to all races in the country.
Based on this statement, he said the party hoped to make a stronger comeback in the Government at both federal and state levels.
“We hope to perpetuate the relevancy of Barisan in the Malaysian political arena,” he added.