PETALING JAYA: MCA should learn from the failure of Pakatan Harapan to retain its reign after a mere 22 months in power, says Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
From a political perspective, the MCA deputy president said that a party that leans on extremism, plays with racial issues and gives only sweet promises will not last long.
"Pakatan Harapan is like a mirror for us to learn.
"It reflects the arrogance of a political party that does not keep its promises with poor performance in administration, thus disappointing the people," he said in his speech when opening the MCA Youth 56th annual general meeting Saturday (March 6).
Dr Mah said MCA must be persistent and redouble its efforts to win voters' support in GE15 although it has returned as part of the government following the collapse of the Pakatan government.
"This is just a transition period. We cannot gain support based on other's mistakes.
"It is important for us to be fully prepared for the next general election so that we can do better.
"We must not behave arrogantly when we are good or we will end up in trouble.
"When we are bad, we must not give up too, and must continue to be positive," he said.
Dr Mah noted that in the Tanjung Piai by-election in November 2019, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng's landslide victory with a majority of more than 15,000 showed that MCA is still relevant in the country.
"Although the victory cannot represent the feelings and stance of all Chinese voters in Malaysia, it has proven Wee's perseverance and diligence in his devotion in every corner in Tanjung Piai," he said.
With Parliament passing an amendment to the Federal Constitution that lowers the voting age from 21 to 18, Dr Mah said the number of voters will increase to 22.7 million by 2023.
"If the election is held after July this year, there will be two million first-time voters.
"If the election is held at the end of 2023, there will be 7.8 million new voters, and the total number of voters will increase from 14.9 million in 2018 to 22.7 million.
"These first-time voters will be the 'kingmakers' and certainly the target of all parties," he said, adding that MCA Youth plays an important role in attracting more youths to support and join MCA.
"Our Youth chief Datuk Nicole Wong, who is also popular on social media, has set a good example for us in utilising various platforms to reach out to the youth.
"The youth is the hope of the nation, the pillar of the country and MCA has always given youth members space and freedom to perform," he said.
Dr Mah noted that MCA Youth has always been the cradle for training future party leaders.
"I hope that the youth delegates will always give full support and mobilise their strengths for the sake of a brighter future for MCA," he added.