KUALA LUMPUR: Party crisis is a test of comradeship and there should not be any harbouring of hate or parting of ways after the episode, MCA deputy president Datuk Chan Kong Choy said.
He said differences in opinion and a split would arise in a crisis and picking up the pieces was part and parcel of politics.
“For the sake of the future generation we must work together and be forward-looking,” he said when opening the MCA Youth's 40th annual general assembly here yesterday.
Chan, who is also Transport Minister, said he was glad that the party crisis was over and unity had returned.
“We must learn from the past,” he said.
The assembly was the first after the party’s power transition in May 23 which also marked the end of three years of power struggle.
Chan who was MCA Youth chief for nine years until he was elected vice-president in the 1999 party election, said his comradeship with the wing was still there.
He described his feelings yesterday as “mixed”.
“I am happy to be back in the assembly to do the opening.
“I am also sad to see that the wing injured in the crisis,” he said.
The MCA Youth had in its Aug 3, 2001 AGM witnessed an unprecedented fracas which saw the throwing of chairs, stink bombs and fist fights.
Chan reminded the Youth that unity was necessary for the wing to redeem its dignity, adding that sincerity from all was needed to achieve this.
He said the Youth would always remain the party front-liners and as such its leaders must have a clear vision of the future and the ability to lead.
“Talent is important for a party and talent should be put to good use for a leader to excel.”
He also pointed out that MCA Youth was the training ground for the next echelon of leaders.
“After the grind, test, nurturing and guidance, the Youth leaders will be ready to take over,” he added.
He said other central committee leaders who were once youth leaders were president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Datuk Hon Choon Kim, Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, Datuk Poh Ah Tiam and Datuk Tan Chai Ho.
At a press conference later, Chan said unity had returned to the Youth and the wing was now ready to take on challenges ahead.
On the amendments to limit the tenure of leadership of party president and Youth and Wanita chiefs to a maximum of nine years, Chan said it would help ensure a smooth transition of power.
On whether he expected to be president in nine years time, Chan, who declined to answer, said: “There is so much work waiting for me.”
On a report by the Education Ministry that 26.2% of Chinese primary school students failed to complete their secondary school last year, Chan said he had directed the Youth to set up a committee to address the high dropout rate.
Hon, who is also Deputy Education Minister, said the rate was similar to the national average of 24.4% of students who did not complete their Form 5.
Hon said the problem was bad in rural areas and the reasons included non-proficiency of language, emigration and students preferring to work.
During the debate later, MCA Youth education bureau chairman Wee Ka Siong pointed out the need to find out who made up the 26.2%.
“Does this number include students who studied overseas, in private schools or independent schools?” he asked.
Wee said the MCA seminar on education at the end of this month would be a good forum to discuss the issue further.
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