MCA-GERAKAN cooperation not on ad hoc basis but continuous
MCA HQ, 2 Jan – As Barisan Nasional coalition partners, MCA and Gerakan remain steadfast in cooperating together, not only in recovering seats lost from the previous general election (GE), but to support each other in all activities from the federal to the state and division levels. This was the driving message that was emphasised during a joint press conference chaired by the Secretary General from both parties, namely Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan representing MCA, and Datuk Liang Teck Meng representing Gerakan.
As Ka Chuan explained prior to reading out the joint press statement in Mandarin regarding this function scheduled to be held on Saturday, 6 January 2018, “it is important we try to integrate both parties for cooperation in the coming GE, and also our cooperation not only at the top level, but to go down to the grassroots level. This is a function which signifies cooperation between MCA and Gerakan.”
The MCA Tanjung Malim MP stressed that there is nothing new in such cooperation between BN parties. “In the past, when Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik was the President, I had attended his function at Beruas. Back then he said, ‘MCA and Gerakan must work together to face the GE, in particular in political activities.’ This is the cooperation we are enhancing today.”
As to the expected turnout, Liang informed that “MCA is the host. Although we (Gerakan) received many requests from the grassroots who aspire to attend, but due to limited place, Gerakan will send between 800 to 900 participants, the rest, approximately 1,000 will be from MCA.”
Responding to a question as to the type of joint cooperation for GE14, Ong replied that “at the beginning we have this function at the Headquarters. Later on, maybe at the state and division levels, we will organise similar activities.”
Clarifying that “what is important is that where Gerakan has seats, MCA will mobilise our MCA members in that particular constituency to assist Gerakan so that the candidate can win. Likewise, where MCA has a seat, Gerakan will mobilise the grassroots of their organisation in that constituency to assist MCA to winning.”
When press further as to how different the MCA-Gerakan cooperation is compared to assisting other component parties in the BN pact, Ong elaborated, “just like for other component parties, we will mobilise our MCA and Gerakan grassroots in places where we do not have seats e.g. where MIC or UMNO are contesting, we will also help them.”
To another question as to why MCA and GErakan are holding this rally, Liang reflected on the past two Sarawak state elections in 2011 and last year. “If you look at Sarawak, DAP only won 7 seats, compared to 15 in the last state polls. This shows there are parties (BN) which are working quietly. There are also parties which are clever to talk and tell many lies.”
Sarawakians have bangkit! Time for the Peninsular to follow suit
“Why Gerakan?” Liang then proceeded to explain the pragmatism of this cooperation, leveraging on MCA’s standing in the Chinese community and hoping for the Peninsular Chinese to learn the experience of the Sarawak Chinese.
“We have (are contesting in) 13 state seats and 4 Parliament seats in Penang. In Semenanjung, Penang is our frontline. That is why we want to work together with MCA because MCA is the biggest Chinese-based political party in Malaysia. We want to tell the people that in Sarawak, the people have already bangkit (risen). They know, but not in Semenanjung.”
The MCA-Gerakan Stronger Together Assembly provides the opportunity for both political parties to present our achievements in part of BN’s transformation programme. “Through this rally, we want to deliver what we have achieved in the past which will be concluded by both Presidents in their speeches. We want to tell the people in the Semenanjung what we have done.”
Not just a one-off tie-up for GE14, this two-party cooperation will continue beyond GE14, as highlighted by Ong. “We are component parties in BN. So I expect this cooperation to be ongoing and not ad hoc. There is no reason to segregate each other. So I hope this function, the relationship between MCA and Gerakan will be closer.”
Broaching on the larger picture on government policies and implementation, Ong conveyed that “we want to adopt the Blue Ocean Strategy to benefit BN and the country as a whole.”
Also present at the joint press conference were MCA Vice President Senator Dato’ Dr Hou Kok Chung and Gerakan Publicity and New Media Bureau chief Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai.