Members to decide on MCA’s future

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA will hold brainstorming and post-mortem sessions with the grassroots on the party’s future direction, including its position in Barisan Nasional, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

The MCA president said the party accepted its poor GE14 performance and pledged to continue to transform, stabilise and strengthen the party.

In his first press conference since Wednesday’s polling day, Liow said he would not seek re-election as party president in the MCA election this year to take full responsibility for the GE14 outcome.

“The rakyat have made a choice in GE14. We respect that,” he said after chairing the MCA central committee meeting here yesterday.

MCA won one parliamentary seat and two state seats out of the 39 parliamentary and 90 state seats it contested. This marked a further decline from its GE13 outing when it won seven parliamentary and 11 state seats.

Party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong is one of the three candidates who won on May 9. He retained the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat while Teh Chai Ann and Lee Ah Wong won the Titi Tinggi and Cheka state seats respectively.

On the factors that led to Barisan’s big defeat, Liow listed the Goods and Services Tax, cost of living, MCA’s strong stance against RUU355, and three-cornered fights as some of the reasons.

“PAS took away Malay votes from MCA. We had hoped that the Chinese would come back to us but they did not,” he said.

Liow advised party members not to give up as the defeat was only temporary, adding that MCA would strive hard for the community and country, and to stage a comeback in the future.

He said he had been keeping in touch with Barisan chief Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after the polls, adding that they were all “saddened” by the results.

To a question on whether MCA would pull out from Barisan in the event of a Barisan-PAS government in Perak, Liow said: “This has not happened yet.”

As for Bentong, which he had served as MP since 1999, Liow said he would still go back if and when needed.

On the nationwide MCA service centres, Liow said these would function as “monitoring centres” to keep a close eye on the Pakatan Harapan government.

He urged all party members to stay calm and united and to put the party above all.

Liow also extended his congratulations to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We hope the new government will carry out its responsibilities, as what it has promised, for the well-being of the rakyat,” he said.

Liow pledged to continue to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative while hoping that the new government would treasure the Malaysia-China ties.