Tuesday October 23, 2012
MCA AGM was the best
Analysis by FOONG PEK YEE
MCA's 59th annual general assembly, the last before the general election, ended as it began. Spirits and hopes were high, and so were their readiness to do battle for the party when the next general election arrives.
IT was not like any other annual general meeting (AGM) for the 63-year-old MCA last Sunday.
For the first time in the party's history, the central delegates the party's highest decision-making body traded their customary white party uniform for dark blue T-shirts the colour of the Barisan Nasional.
Giant posters in the party headquarters with inspirational phrases like MCA Can Deliver, Battle Without Fear and Stand With Najib set the tone for the assembly, definitely the last before the 13th general election.
The president's message to the delegates, who came from all over the country, is pretty clear: “We are in war zone.”
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek began his presidential address by informing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was in attendance, that the MCA was ready to do battle whenever Parliament is dissolved.
It was a timely reminder for the delegates as well, regarded as ground soldiers who form the important network during the campaigning.
“The election machinery will come to a standstill without them. In other words, their support will, to a huge extent, determine the winning chances of the candidates in their area,” said Dr Chua.
And, that support this round has never been more important.
Najib also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of unity among the delegates.
The visibly pleased Barisan chairman told the delegates: “There can only be one party when you want to win the war.”
Najib, who was donned in the Barisan colours, added: “We not only wear the same attire, but also share the same mission and direction.”
The mood at the assembly was upbeat and the Prime Minister, noting this, praised the delegates, saying “it is something I have never seen in the past”.
More messages and praises came in after the two-hour-long opening ceremony.
These came with a warning, too the party will not take kindly to saboteurs.
They may not be picked as candidates or their favourite may not have been chosen. Whatever their reasons may be, they are never to undermine the party's winning chances at the election.
“In fact, the party central committee has decided that saboteurs be sacked from the party,” said Dr Chua. “There is simply no room for saboteurs.”
The party president urged the members and leaders to think and act with one thing in mind how to defeat the Pakatan Rakyat.
He wants them to have a feeling of always being in a crisis to keep them on their toes, in fighting mode all the way until the election's results have been announced.
To the grassroots members, Dr Chua said: “Whatever experiences we may have is not enough to fight this war. The world has changed, and keeps changing rapidly. The people's expectations are getting higher, and also more complicated.”
Because of these, he warned them not to be complacent.
The party also took note that its arch enemy the DAP has a better organisation structure and sufficient resources following the last general election.
Like it or not, the DAP has been able to reach out to the Chinese via its self-perpetuating lie that the Chinese are unhappy and so, have no choice but to support the DAP. It proclaims that the MCA is the hindrance to their getting fair treatment in the country.
Politics, after all, can be a game of perception. Dr Chua said with these in mind, MCA leaders on the ground should work hard to counter and dispel such negative perceptions spun by the Opposition.
If reaching out to the voters meant initiating door-to-door visits, Dr Chua said so be it.
He called on party members to do so now. “Don't wait till Parliament is dissolved.”
The president has in the last two years put in place several programmes for the people, such as the 1MCA Medical Foundation.
That and other people-centred programmes have proven successful to not just the Chinese, but are relevant to the needs of multi-ethnic Malaysians.
At the party level, efforts are also being made to reach out to its members, one being registering them for the MCA Member Group Insurance Scheme, which is provided free to the over one million MCA members.
And, when the assembly came to an end, the delegates, all fired up, ready and in high spirits, knew that one thing is for sure the outcome of the general election will set the tone for next year's assembly.
More, especially women, apply to join MCA