Ex MCA President, Chua Soi Lek, has advice for present MCA President, Wee Ka Siong…





19 May 2019


FORMER MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party can regain its former glory if it quits Barisan Nasional and explores a cooperation with Gerakan, MIC and the People’s Progressive Party (MyPPP).

The former MCA president told The Malaysian Insight that the party would lose Malay votes if it leaves the former ruling party, led by Umno, but said MCA does not have a choice if it wants to crawl out of its current doldrums.

In the last general election, MCA suffered a crippling defeat, retaining only one parliamentary seat and two state seats.

In March, MCA and MIC called for an immediate meeting of the BN supreme council to decide on the fate of the coalition, saying the bloc’s multiracial concept had been undermined after Umno leader Nazri Abdul Aziz, as the coalition’s secretary-general, reportedly said the two parties were free to leave the pact.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong and MIC’s S.A. Vigneswaran had said in a joint statement that they were left with no choice but to move on and explore a new alliance.

Days later however, MCA announced it had decided to remain a BN component party to strengthen the cooperation between the various races.

Chua, who was elected MCA president in 2010, told The Malaysian Insight that MCA had lost the Chinese community’s respect, and would continue to do so if it stayed in the coalition, especially as Umno is cooperating with Islamist party PAS.

He said the party should instead discuss forming pacts with Gerakan, MIC and MyPPP.

“PAS is insisting on the implementation of shariah law and wants to turn Malaysia into an Islamic country. The Chinese won’t accept this. In the 13th general election, DAP and PAS cooperated and made gains, but now, DAP does not dare to be linked with PAS,” Chua said.

Chua had stepped down from his post after the party’s disastrous results in the 2013 general election.

He said despite taking a step back from active politics after that, the party’s leadership had still perceived him as an enemy and wanted to prevent his comeback.

On whether he had shared his experience and given advice to the party’s current leadership, Chua said he was no longer welcome among its higher echelons.

“I am the only leader who has been defeated three times and risen again every time, and this is all due to the support given to me at all levels. Half my life has been dedicated to MCA; it has been 30 years.  

“Even if I tell them (how he came back), it does not matter; I am no longer welcome in MCA. They think they cannot rebuild members’ confidence by having someone who lost three times talking to them.

“I may not have won all my battles but nobody can deny that I have experience. I say it as it is and will not sugarcoat my words to please people. You do not need to agree with me; that is what being in the party leadership is all about.”

Quit harping only on Chinese education, Chua tells MCA

MCA must go beyond championing only Chinese education if it wants to return to its former glory, said ex-president Chua Soi Lek.

Chua, who held the post from 2010 to 2013, said the Barisan Nasional component has failed to address the Chinese community’s concerns regarding the worsening economy and rising cost of living.

“There are now many national issues, but the MCA leadership is not focusing on economic matters, not even the rising cost of living faced by the people.

“It is not debating with the ruling parties on how to alleviate the people’s burden. It is just harping on Chinese education and UEC,” he said, referring to the Unified Examination Certificate for Chinese independent schools.

“Before May 9 last year, MCA said it would build more Chinese schools and relocate several. Was that all MCA was capable of as a then ruling party?  

“The people want the party to discuss national issues.”

Apart from its narrow focus, the party is also plagued by infighting and money politics, leading to its weakening and ultimate downfall in the last two elections, he said.

In the last MCA polls, Wee Ka Siong won the presidency, while Mah Hang Soon was elected as his deputy. The duo’s rivals, Gan Ping Sieu and Tee Siew Keong, along with members of their faction, did not secure any posts.

“I congratulated Wee. Under his leadership, his team managed a landslide win,” said Chua, said to have backed the Gan-Tee partnership.

He acknowledged that the results signalled a huge loss for his team, but said he had anticipated them.

“We were unlucky in the last elections, but there are still many people holding party positions.”

He said even though MCA was almost wiped out in the 14th general election, he is confident that the party can bounce back if it succeeds in reforming itself.

“I wouldn’t say MCA does not have talent, but I think the party’s problem is infighting.”

He praised Wee’s performance thus far, and reminded that the party grassroots must go beyond MCA’s original purpose.

“Wee is doing quite well, but he is only one man. As an opposition party, you need cooperation, from the grassroots to the state and federal levels.

“If there is only one person speaking up in Parliament, and nobody is backing him up, people won’t feel your presence.” 


22 October 2019

Soi Lek: I would leave BN

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 22, 2018.


KUALA LUMPUR: Former MCA president Tan Sri Dr Chua Soi Lek (pic) said he would leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition if he were the party president, calling for a change of leadership in the party ahead of its election on Nov 4.

Chua, who was the MCA president from 2010 to 2013, described MCA as being in its “most distressed moment” after losing federal power as part of the BN coalition in the 14th general election (GE14) on May 9.

The party is now led by Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, with Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong as his deputy.

“The current leadership is [still] in the stage of denial and has failed to make bold decisions. Today, party members are frustrated, discouraged and struggling after GE14. And having party leaders who are not able to address the party’s issues is making matters worse for them,” he said yesterday.

“If I were the party president, the first thing I would do is to leave BN,” he told reporters at the launch of his 632-page memoir entitled Like Me or Hate Me: Rising from the Political Ashes.

“What we have is a central party leader who says that we (MCA) do not have to leave, but rather we should sack Umno from the coalition. This has become the biggest political joke of the year. This kind of statement is not going to inspire confidence,” Chua, also a former health minister, said.

In his address at the MCA Selangor Convention 2018 last month, Liow was reported as saying that MCA would not withdraw from BN and issued a warning that Umno could be kicked out of BN if the party moved towards theocratic politics.

Chua acknowledged that BN is no longer a political brand name, urging MCA members to face the reality and leave the coalition. In June, the other Chinese-dominated party Gerakan exited the BN coalition to be an independent opposition party.

“Everyone should move out and build on their own, transforming themselves. They could form a partnership again in the future after they become stronger. Umno has to change its attitude to accept that it is in trouble; so does MCA,” he said.

Chua also called on his fellow MCA members to “make good use of your votes” in next month’s party election.

“We must vote for a leadership that can give hope and inspiration to grassroots MCA members, but not a leadership of total denial, which is certain to be doomed to fail. The new leadership should be brave to say and do the right thing, and we must be brave to change the leadership,” he said.

In GE14, MCA faced its greatest defeat since its establishment, having left with just one parliamentary seat and two state assembly seats.

Chua said the defeat was a result of weak MCA leadership, including his own son Datuk Chua Tee Yong as the party’s vice-president, as it did not dare to question the national scandals of 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the Federal Land Development Authority and the Majlis Amanah Rakyat.

Earlier at his book launch, which was also attended by MCA presidential candidate Gan Ping Sieu, 400 copies of the book were sold in 30 minutes.

Chua jokingly said that as he grew older, writing an autobiography was to help keep his brain active until the age of 93 — indirectly referring to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I do not mean to offend anybody by writing this book. It is a process of self-education and making better use of my time. I hope there will be more MCA leaders who will also share their past experiences, allowing people to better understand the contributions of past MCA leaders to the nation,” he said.

In his memoir, Chua tells the story of how he faced various obstacles before staging a comeback in his political career and elected the president of MCA and the chairman of the Penang Port Commission in 2010. He eventually retired from politics in 2013 after GE13.

The memoir chronicles Chua’s life from his childhood and his climb up the political ladder, including his entry into Parliament and appointment as the health minister in 2004, as well as the sex video scandal that led to his resignation from all public and political offices in 2008.


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