KUALA LUMPUR: Going for the presidency in the party polls on Nov 4, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong says he has a “winning formula” and a clear direction to transform the 69-year-old organisation into a “New MCA”.
To the incumbent deputy president, the way out for the party is to go back to basics and start all over again.
“It is about returning to the fundamentals of politics to wage our political struggles with the people in mind.
“What’s important is to ‘get up from where we fell’, a Chinese saying about courage and strength,” he added.
As the party’s lone MP, Dr Wee is not taking his job lightly in Parliament as a much-needed platform to raise issues as MCA is set to reinvent and rebrand itself to be worthy of the people’s support again.
“It is about being one with the grassroots communities, feeling the people’s pulse and taking heed of universal values embraced by the new generation,” he noted.
The 50-year-old former civil engineer is eyeing the top post in a three-cornered fight against Kluang MCA division chief, lawyer Gan Ping Sieu, 52, and Bruas division Youth chief Ngoo Teck Keong, 31, a businessman.
Dr Wee joked that “three” was his lucky number; he won the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat with a 303-vote majority against DAP’s Liew Chin Tong.
MCA’s crushing defeat in the 14th General Election has only strengthened his resolve to make the party strong again, said Dr Wee.
Apart from Ayer Hitam, MCA won only two state seats out of the total 129 seats it contested on May 9.
As an opposition MP, the man resolutely takes on the Pakatan Harapan government, including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on hot-button issues and those affecting the people.
Having been an MP since 2004, Dr Wee sees the need to first overhaul MCA’s general election strategies, including reregistering valid members according to their voting constituencies.
“This helps in assessing MCA’s strengths in the municipalities as well as state and parliamentary constituencies,” he added.
In previous general elections, the number of votes MCA candidates received was reportedly lower than the membership in the constituencies concerned.
Dr Wee suggested putting prospective election candidates in future through a nomination and selection process, where party members and “friends of MCA” (recruited to woo non-Chinese supporters) who are voters in the constituency have a say in its candidacy.
The process, he said, would apply to the selection of candidates for assemblymen and MPs as well as the much-anticipated local government elections for councillors.
The aspiring candidates would have to prove their worth first, and lobbying the leadership to get fielded among colleagues would be history, he added.
To stage a comeback, Dr Wee said the party has to take heed of the rapid changes in the country and the people’s inclinations and expectations and tackle the situation in an objective and pragmatic manner.
Revisiting the past three general elections – from 107 parliamentary and state seats in GE11 to 46 seats in GE12, and 18 seats in GE13, down to three in GE14 – there are many hard lessons to be learnt from this political reality.
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