MCA Youth Chief
The 2000-plus MCA delegates picked as president, Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat, who has a reputation for being outspoken. He won with a credible 512-vote majority over Mr Chua Jui Meng, a former health minister, who also came with reformist credentials.
The newly-elected president Ong Tee Keat has strong reformist credentials.
Despite the stigma of a sex scandal, Malaysia's former health minister Chua Soi Lek made a surprising comeback when he won the deputy president's post in the Malaysian Chinese Association. He has no government post, he is not an MP, and he has the baggage of a sex scandal. He resigned early this year (as Health Minister) after a DVD of him having sex with a woman stunned the nation. Dr. Chua Soi Lek did not contest the March election, and was written off politically. (MCA grassroots) see him as having been a good minister, and an effective negotiator with Umno who can defend their interests. He managed a narrow 114-vote majority in party polls on Saturday over Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan, the brother of outgoing president Ong Ka Ting.
Party insiders point out that the new leadership lineup is largely made up of fresh faces seen as reformist, an indication that the grassroots are well aware of the realities.
To the outside observer, however, it seemed the MCA's choice was out of touch with the ground. In the March general election, voters abandoned the MCA, rejecting a leadership seen as subservient to Umno.
Some of outgoing president Ong Ka Ting's critics have also hailed Dr Chua Soi Lek's victory as a rejection of dynastic politics as his brother Mr Ong Ka Chuan was voted out. There had been discontent in the party about the dominance of the Ong brothers (Ka Ting and Ka Chuan).
The new MCA lineup is also seen as a break with the past, and setting new directions for the party. All four vice-presidents are new.
Former Women's chief Dr Ng Yen Yen made it into the ranks, the first woman to do so. It also includes Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, seen as a young professional.
Independent-minded Malacca grassroots leader Wong Nai Chee was elected into the central committee, while the well-regarded Dr Wee Ka Siong is the new Youth chief.
They are seen as leaders with little affiliation to the divisive teams of the past, and have spoken up strongly for the Chinese community's interests.
It now remains to be seen how the new president will manage his new team to remake MCA into a party with a multiracial outlook.
Chua Jui Meng: If Only He Had Won the MCA Presidency!
Read here article "Chua Jui Meng, MCA's Loss, Whose Gain?" on Din Merican's Blog
by Din Merican
".... It was indeed my distinct honour to be in the company of Dato’ Chua Jui Meng, Datin Chua and his close friends at dinner in Kuala Lumpur last night.
Although he did not win the MCA presidency, Jui Meng polled 4O per cent of the votes. It is indeed an achievement considering the fact that he no longer holds any party office since 2005.
Ong Tee Keat talks tough,(but) it is NOT likely that the new MCA President will “rock the Barisan national boat” and challenge the dominance of UMNO in the BN coalition.
So Jui Meng’s appeal, “March 8 was our wake up call; let MCA arise to a new dawn on October 18″, will fall on deaf ears.
As I engaged myself in intense conversation with him, I could not help but notice that Jui Meng was able to articulate his views clearly on major issues affecting both the MCA and our country.
His vision and ideas are reflected in his 2008 MCA Presidential Candidate manifesto titled “Rebuild The Party/Return to Relevance/Realise Vision 2020.” (click here to read) Bloggers and readers of this blog should visit http://www.chuajuimeng.com/ for the full manifesto.
I propose to highlight some key elements of the Jui Meng manifesto, hopefully to stimulate some discussion for the benefit of all of us who are concerned about our current national malaise and the future of our plural, culturally diverse, and resource rich country. A lawyer by profession, Jui Meng opens his mainfesto with the following statement:“The results of the General Elections this year should serve as a wake up call to our Party.
MCA has been labelled irrelevant and out of touch with the aspirations of not only the Malaysian Chinese community but the nation as a whole.
...I now predict that unless MCA reforms and transforms within the next 3 years we will face an even worse defeat at the next General Election”.
I take Jui Meng’s call for reform to mean that if MCA adopts the UMNO culture of money politics, patronage, and cronyism, as it is inclined to do now, the oldest Chinese party of Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin would be badly beaten in the 13th General Elections and rejected by Malaysian Chinese.
It is obvious to me that his call was listened and accepted by about 40 per cent of the delegates, the rest being happy to accept the status quo which the new President, Dato Ong Tee Keat, represents.
If Jui Meng had won, he would have embarked on the path of reform centered on 3 ideas:
a) Rebuild the MCA;
b) Return to Relevance; and
c) Realise Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia.
There is a need for MCA to overcome its Post May 13, 1969 Syndrome.
It involves a transformation of the MCA mindset of a subordinate to UMNO. This syndrome has prevented the MCA from playing a more active role, as in a partnership of equals I presume, in formulating and deciding key policies that impact on the nation and the Chinese community.
Jui Meng adds that the MCA must NOT be afraid to “offend UMNO and lose our positions and privileges if we speak out against policies that are obviously detrimental to the unity and development of our nation”.
In his Return to Relevance part of the manifesto, he states that the party leadership “must also reach out and reconnect MCA with the community”. The details of how Jui Meng proposes to do it are in the manifesto and need not concern us here.
His "Realise Vision 2020 segment" is perhaps the most daring and controversial articulation of his Vision for a United Malaysia.
The fact that he prepared to challenge the status quo and risk his chances for the presidency, I think, speaks volumes of the character and integrity of Jui Meng.
The MCA must fight and help realise Vision 2020 for ALL Malaysians, a vision that seeks to unite all Malaysians and to create a confident united nation with strong moral and ethical values living in a community that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, socially equitable and progressive with a resilient, robust and competitive economy.
His boldest statements in his manifesto relate to Article 8 (i) and (ii), Article 11(i) and (ii) and Article 12 (i) and Article 121 of the Federal Constitution.
On the NEP, Jui Meng said that it should be replaced by an affirmative action policy which is focused on poverty eradication and be based on needs.
I told him that I was taken up by some of his ideas which relate to national unity and social justice and would read his manifesto in full and promised to be in touch.
I asked Jui Meng, “what’s up next for you, Dato?”.
His spontaneous response was “Din, Datin and I are going to take a short break. But please remember, politics is in my blood and my business of bringing about change in the way we run the country will continue.”
He left me wondering what he might do next?
It is a sad fact that in a country where mediocrity is the culture and incompetence is indeed tolerated, we lose good men. They are not listened to, are often regarded with suspicion or even demonised as national security risks and traitors to the nation.
As such, they not only face rejection but also persecution and brutal treatment under the Internal Security Act. Yet only few good men with the dynamism, integrity, and courage to attract committed followers and supporters are all we need to transform our nation.
To this group of men, I would include Dato Chua Jui Meng. If Jui Meng is MCA’s loss, whose gain will it be, I wonder.