MCA chief asks Chinese Malaysians to unite, give it big victory

Crucial to reverse setbacks of earlier elections, says leader of Chinese party

KUALA LUMPUR Malays will continue to be dominant in the Government irrespective of the outcome of the general election, says Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Liow Tiong Lai.

In highlighting the political reality, he urged party members and the Chinese community to unite and return MCA - Barisan Nasional's second largest component party- to a big victory.

The Barisan coalition, he added, has a track record in building the moderate multi-ethnic country since the country's independence.

The absence of a good representation from the Chinese, he said yesterday, would not augur well for moderation in the country.

Mr Liow said MCA and the Chinese community have been existing as one since the party's inception in 1949, adding that the party would not give up on the community.

He said the party would continue to fight for a moderate and progressive nation for all Malaysians.

While the MCA had lost badly in the last two elections, Mr Liow said the party had never shirked its responsibilities towards the country.

But he said the party had reached a stage where it had to make a comeback in order to continue to play its role.

"We need a bigger representation in the Parliament and a louder voice in the Cabinet to continue to preserve and fight for our rights and interests in the country. There is no more room for us to retreat," he said, when launching the MCA manifesto for Malaysia's 14th General Election at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

MCA suffered huge setbacks in the last two elections, winning only 15 parliamentary seats in the 2008 election, and down to seven in the last round.

The party had won 30 parliamentary seats in the 1995 elections - its peak performance.

At the MCA annual general assembly in November, the Barisan Nasional chairman, Prime Minister Najib Razak, had challenged the party to win at least 15 parliamentary seats this time.

Mr Liow said the party had suffered much humiliation after the last election, and it was time for members to unite and return the party to dignity.

The president's hour-long speech during the launch of the manifesto received several rounds of applause from 3,000 party members and shouts of "zhan, zhan, zhan" (war in Mandarin).

Mr Liow said the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition had proven it is incapable of effectively defending the community after receiving huge support from the Chinese in the last two elections.

The DAP won 38 Parliamentary seats and 96 state seats in the last election.

Mr Liow said the DAP's all-out bid to wipe out the MCA only goes to show that it does not care about the future of the Chinese community.

Calling the DAP opportunistic, Mr Liow chided it for not using its logo for the first time this election.

He used the words "lao ma cong zheng, huo zen bu jian" (when the old horse returns, the rocket disappears), apparently referring to the party's rocket logo and its alliance withDr Mahathir Mohamad's Pakatan Harapan.

He pointed out that DAP leader Lim Kit Siang had condemned the Pakatan Harapan chairman for decades when the latter was prime minister. - THE STAR