28 November 2017
MCA is said to have some 1.09 million members and is the second largest component party in BN. However, only 661,469 Chinese voters (18.4%) voted for BN in 2013, while 2.92 million (81.5%) voted for the now defunct opposition bloc Pakatan Rakyat.
Why Chinese voters still favour the opposition
AT a kopitiam in Pandamaran town, Klang, the owner and his regular customers laughed when asked why local Chinese do not support MCA and Barisan Nasional any more.
To them, the question seemed rhetorical and answers were obvious: The weak ringgit, government mismanagement and alleged corruption and the rising cost of living.
Many Chinese Malaysian voters, who make up 29.68% of the voting population, remain strong in their support for the opposition, as they have since the watershed election of 2008 when BN was denied its customary two-thirds majority and lost four more states to the opposition.
“We don’t care whether it’s a white cat or black cat, as long as it can catch rats (corrupt politicians and civil servants), it’s a good cat,” said Charlie, an elderly customer at the kopitiam.
He said BN’s mismanagement of the country’s economy, corruption and wastage had led to a weak ringgit, resulting in the people struggling with rising cost of living.
A combination of factors led to a 40% swing in Chinese support to the opposition in the 2008 polls, including the use of social media and greater political frustration.
This surge in support for the opposition also swept traditional MCA strongholds like Pandamaran, which has been held by the ruling Chinese party since the state seat was created in 1984.
The semi-urban seat in Selangor was abolished after the first two elections and re-established when electoral boundaries were redrawn for the 2004 elections. That year, MCA’s candidate Teh Kim Poo beat DAP’s Tee Boon Hock to clinch the seat.
However, in the 2008 and 2013 electins, Pandamaran voters ditched MCA for DAP. The Chinese-majority opposition party won 63.7% of the votes in 2008 and 68.75% in 2013.
What happened in Pandamaran was reflective of a larger shift among Chinese Malaysians in the 2008 and 2013 elections.
“Usually the Chinese would split their vote for Parliament and state seats. In 2008 and 2013, it was synchronised, with all their votes going to the opposition for both Parliament and state seats,” said Merdeka Center For Opinion Research’s research manager Tan Seng Keat.
MCA suffered its worst electoral outing in 2013, winning only seven out of 37 parliamentary seats and 11 out of 90 state seats it contested. In comparison, DAP won 38 out of 51 parliamentary seats and 95 out of 103 state seats it contested.
In a September poll conducted by Merdeka Center, more than two-thirds of Chinese respondents (68%) believe the country was going in the wrong direction, compared with 51% in a similar poll done in April 2013 prior to the elections.
Tan predicts that even if there was a voter swing back to MCA in the next polls, it would come from traditional MCA supporters who voted for the opposition in 2013 in the hope for a change of government.
An Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) survey in August found that more than two-thirds of the Chinese respondents (68%) still favoured Pakatan Harapan. Only 21% supported BN, while 7% were undecided and 4% supported PAS.
IDE also found that the rising prices of goods topped the list of concerns among Chinese respondents (53%), followed by the pressures of life (23%), wages (10%), crime and social issues (6%), infrastructure development (5%), unemployment (2%) and other issues (3%).
15 August 2017
Ex-Mentakab assemblyman to quit MCA, contest seat as independent in GE14
KUANTAN: Former Mentakab assemblyman Datuk Chuah Boon Seong, who lost in the last general election, has decided to contest as an independent candidate in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14).
The two-term assemblyman, who lost to DAP’s Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji in the 13th General Election, said the decision was his own choice as he felt he will be able to serve the people better through other platforms.
“I have made the decision (to quit MCA and contest as an independent) as there seems to be some unsolved matters within the party at division level and also the choice of candidate for the next general election.
“I have served the people in Mentakab for two terms (between 2004 and 2013) and many have supported my decision. My aim is to serve the people in my constituency, and I am not prepared to see the opposition win again in Mentakab,” he said.
Chuah’s decision could pave the way for a three-cornered fight alongside Barisan Nasional and DAP’s candidate for the Mentakab state seat in GE14.
26 April 2017
As GE14 looms, Penang MCA issues call to arms
Penang MCA has urged its members to be “proactive” because the next general election was fast approaching.
Members have been urged to update their personal information at the party’s divisional level offices and also claim their free insurance or cash handouts under the “Tribute to MCA veterans” and “Happy Mother’s Project”.
The “Tribute to MCA veterans” scheme provides a RM100 handout to party members who are 60 and above, while the “Happy Mother’s Project” provides a RM200 handout to party members who have a baby in 2017.
Penang MCA also urged party members to return to the hometowns and touch base with their respective local MCA committee members.