Ever since the launching of “MCA’s All Out War Against Ecstasy and Illegal Slot Machine” in the year 2000, the Party has been praised for its effort and determination to curb the social ills. Besides receiving praises from Commonwealth leaders, MCA was commended by the National Drug Agency for being “the pioneer among the political parties in the country to successfully rally all Malaysians against the drug through its anti-Ecstasy campaign.” Many non-Governmental organizations and social bodies have shown immense support for the campaign, in addition to the Government’s more frequent and stringent checks against Ecstasy selling and illegal gaming activities.
In October, the accounts of the MCA’s aid fund for families affected by the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) outbreak ware announced. The JE Humanitarian Fund amounting to RM15.8 million was in the auditors’ report prepared by Pricewarterhouse Coopers for the JE Humanitarian Fund Monitoring Committee. Some 4,426 victims affected by the virus outbreak had benefited from the fund. All the major newspapers had published the details of the money used. MCA, however, still gave the list of 4,426 JE Humanitarian Fund beneficiaries to DAP, which did nothing during the JE outbreak but was now looking for faults.
By making the account public, the Party has shown accountability and transparency in handling public funds, which seldom practiced by other political parties.
Later, on 29th of October, the MCA Central Committee also accepted a report on the Chang Ming Thien Foundation (CMTF) tabled at its meeting in Penang. The 28 page report was prepared and compiled by the MCA Three-man Special Committee appointed by the MCA Presidential Council on 9th October 2000. Led by MCA National Treasurer Tan Sri Dato’ William Chek Lin Kwai, Koperasi Serbaguna Malaysia Chairman Dato’ Lau Yin Pin and MCA National Legal Bureau Chairman Leong Tang Chong, the Committee had compiled the report containing all the facts and events regarding the formation, incorporation, control and management of the RM10 Million charitable fund that have taken place from 27th November 1980 to 30th September 2000 in a chronological order. The full CMTF report was then published and advertised on local newspapers to clear doubts and for the public to see the truth as it was. This truly showed MCA’s concern over the matter, as such act had never happened in the Party history before.
Meanwhile, the role of Langkawi Project had expanded to include the setting up of community libraries. Incorporating the formation of “cyber clubs”, the “pilot project” would be selectively set up within the identified 20 MCA electoral constituencies. The community library cum cyber club project also entailed a long-term action plan that would bring tremendous benefits to the rural young and adult parents particularly in forming a better informed community in terms of gaining “IT” literacy, and building up a computer literate society as well as a K-economy.
During the year, the Party’s National Youth spearheaded by Datuk Ong Tee Keat had formulated innovative action plans, healthy lifestyle youth-related activity program and basic training program towards “IT” developments and computer literacy particularly among the youth. It also played an active and effective role in assisting the parent MCA body in resolving several important issues confronting the Chinese community. On the other hand, the Wanita MCA leadership led by Dato’ Ng Yen Yen had served to further educate the Malaysian public particularly among womenfolk on the roles of MCA and its “Wanita” wing. Other emphasis of the wing included issues affecting the women community and a long-term strategy to change the mindset of Malaysian women in order to participate in the mainstream of Government’s policy-making process.
An Extraordinary General Meeting of MCA on 24 June 2001 requisitioned in connection with the proposal to purchase of Nanyang Press Holding, authorised the board of directors of Huaren Holdings Sdn Bhd to implement the investment.
In Penang, Sdr Tan Cheng Liang standing by her principles abstained from voting in the state assembly.
In July 2001, the Government gave its approval in principle to MCA to establish Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). MCA actively invited internationally renowned scholars and academicians including Professor Dr Wong Gung-Wu, many doctors and professors to join the “UTAR International Academic Advisory Committee” to provide advice, assistance on founding programmes.
On 16 June 2002, the first batch of about 500 UTAR students began classes at UTAR’s temporary premises located in Petaling class begins.
On 13 August 2002, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Muhammad presided over the opening ceremony of UTAR of which classes began at the KTAR campus. This shows the government’s affirmation of UTAR.
The proposal to teaching of Mathematics and Science in the English language proved stressful. A Cabinet decision on 8 May 2002 was decided that commencing 2003, Maths and Science would be taught in English for secondary school students to improve their command of the English language to enhance their capacity to embrace Science and Technology.
The party Central Committee at a meeting decided to “oppose to the use of English to teach Science and Mathematics in Chinese primary schools” to reflect the wish of the Chinese community.
In a state by-election in 2001, PAS launched major attacks against the government and UMNO erroneously declaring that the government intended “to replace the status of the national language with English.” This resonated among the Malay community. UMNO Youth and the Federation of Peninsular Malay Students (GPMS) pushed this this rhetoric which had turned into a political issue further.
Parti Keadlian used this issue to inflame the Chinese and Malay communities of which some people began to argue irrationally.
In light that teaching Maths and Science in English received lukewarm response, MCA in adhering to the Chinese community’s wishes to retain the position of the Chinese language to teach Maths and Science in Chinese schools, took the initiative to contact the other four Chinese-based political parties to study strategies and achieve consensus in a consistent pace on adopting a proposed 2-4-3 programme.
While advocating the full implementation of using English to teach Maths and Science yet retaining the importance of using Chinese to teach Maths and Science in Chinese primary schools, MCA negotiated to teach two weekly English language lessons for the first year, increasing it to four weekly classes to teach Maths and three weekly classes to teach Science.
The BN Supreme Council meeting, after deliberating on the formula submitted by an MCA-led committee of four major Chinese-based political parties, resolved that Chinese primary schools could continue to use Chinese as the medium of instruction for Maths and Science. The BN formula also known as the 2-4-3 formula, was submitted to the Cabinet for approval at the meeting on 6 November 2002.
Therefore, the 2-4-3 was a win-win formula which also strengthened the Chinese primary school students’ proficiency in English.
A storm brewed in the Penang state assembly. On 21 November 2002, DAP tabled a motion in the Penang state assembly “to suspend Penang Outer Ring Road Project until after the completion of the Jelutong Expressway.” MCA’s Sdr Tan Cheng Liang and Sdr Lim Boo Chang acting on their conscience abstained from voting on the Penang Outer Ring Road issue. Their abstention sparked ripples among BN circles.
Although Penang civil society organisations including the “no Penang Outer Ring Road” group, 88 residents association, NGOs, all 30 clan praised and stood in solidarity with Cheng Liang and Boo Chang; however as individual members of BN, both of them had gone against the BN whip. UMNO, UMNO Youth were critical of Cheng Liang and Boo Chang in mainstream media subjecting MCA to heavy pressure.
Despite the heavy pressure, MCA stuck to our party’s autonomy and maintained that the “abstain” vote is a matter at the disposal of MCA. On 3 December 2002, the MCA President and Central Committee had decided that the party’s Disciplinary Board should investigate the incident. On 16 December 2002, the Central Committee accepted the Disciplinary Board’s findings and recommendation to suspend both their party membership indefinitely.
On 7 January 2003, the BN Supreme Council meeting discussed the matter. Speculation arose that the meeting would set off a heated debate, but no such incident arose which shows the smooth acceptance of the decision to “suspend” the duo.
On 10 July 2003, the new MCA President and the Presidential Council lifted the suspension and restored their party membership. On 13 September 2003, MCA proposed to the BN Supreme Council to restore the status of both these BN members.
The duo’s abstaining from voting reached a successful conclusion. This is an important page in MCA history. It showed that MCA adheres to a matter of principles and conscience and always upholding our autonomy as a political party.
More donations from the state government and developers piled in for UTAR campus located in Perak. Kampar has been selected as the permanent site for the UTAR campus. On 12 January 2003, Prime Minsiter Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Muhammad performed the foundation stone laying ceremony. As of May 2003, approximately RM 1 billion had been raised for UTAR’s construction funds.
Smooth leadership transition was completed. On 23 May 2003, party President Dato’ Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik and Deputy President Dato’ Lim ah Lek submitted their letter of resignation from all party posts to the Central Committee. After unsuccessfully persuading the two to withdraw their resignation, the Central Committee resumed their meeting in the evening chaired by Dato’ Dr Fong Chan Onn. The Central Committee unanimously resolved to accept their resignation and elected Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting and Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy to succeed as party President and Deputy President respectively.
In recognition of the endless contributions by Dato’ Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik towards the party and to the nation, the General Assembly bestowed his the title of “Honourable Life President of MCA” and many other honours.
Dr Ling had helmed MCA for 17 years. For his tireless efforts for the rakyat, the Central Committee had resolved to pay tribute to Dr Ling at the General Assembly. On 26 July 2003, a large-scale gathering of delegates numbering in the thousands was held at Dewan San Choon, Wisma MCA to pay tribute to Dr Ling’s contributions to for the party, community and nation. Leaders from Chinese guilds and associations expressed reluctance at Dr Ling’s departure. The new MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting led all party members in awarding the title of “Honourable Life President of MCA” to Dr Ling to honour his outstanding achievements.
The Wanita MCA Central Committee had the KTAR School Board also resolved to award Dr Ling the title of “Father of Wanita MCA Development” and “Father of KTAR Development.”
On 18 September 2010, in an unprecedented move, China’s Cabinet also hosted a farewell for Dr Ling’s retirement in recognition of his outstanding service and contribution to the government and nation in the last 17 years.
Dr Ling may have retired from all party and government positions. But his brilliant deeds as a politician will stay forever in history as a model for the younger generation to learn.
Ong Ka Ting ━ New leadership, the start of the New Deal
With the MCA transition process successfully completed by Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting, representatives from the Chinese community’s two major associations i.e. Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia and the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia also completed a leadership change. In the same year on 31 October, former premier Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Muhammad also retired. Former Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi took over as Prime Minister. These changes show the new New Deal of our country which initiates a new scene. With the turn of power and succession which was carried stably also indicate that MCA practises a sound democratic system which has a national political and democratic maturity.
Support for the new leadership to restore party unity
The factional closing of ranks under the leadership of MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting and Deputy President Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy saw the reintegration of the party, restoration of MCA unity and concerted efforts to revive the party’s prestige. MCA enhanced our rapport and good relations with the Chinese community in addressing issues, and made greater contributions to national consensus.
Maintaining party integrity
On 13 June 2003, MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting chaired his first Central Committee meeting since taking office as party President.
In addition to appointing retire party President Dato’ Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik as Honorary Life President of MCA, in abiding with the Party Constitution, re-appointed the Secretary General, Treasurer General, State Chairman of the respective states, Bureau Chairmen.
On 24 June 2003, there was a minor Cabinet reshuffle where Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy was promoted to be Minister of Transport, a post vacated by Dato’ Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik.
Other Cabinet announcements were: Wanita MCA chairman Dato’ Dr Ng Yen Yen was appointed as Deputy Finance Minister and two Parliamentary Secretaries, Dato’ Fu Ah Kiow and Dato’ Ir Donald Lim Siang Chia were made Deputy Ministers. Party Central Committee members Sdr Ho Cheong Sing was appointed Parliamentary Secretary.
The minor cabinet reshuffle indicates that over and over again, Deputy Minister’s posts have been kept for MCA.
Perspectives in the new New Deal
on 10 August 2003, at the 50th MCA Annual General Assembly, Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting as the new President deliver his first party keynote address, showing great vision of new New Deal which also marks the future direction of his leadership of MCA.
He pointed out the many new changes in the world, new trends and new challenges.
His far-sighted leadership for the party was required to lead and assist party members to understand the wonderful world outside. He pointed out that the party must continue to foster the concept of a globalised view, being able to deal with the international community and keeping abreast with the worldwide political and economic impacts of new trends and challenges.
He also promised that the spirit of tolerance, open-minded attitude “to hear a harsh word, may be able to unbearable words”, to deal with the contradictions within the party, to strengthen the organization and inject new blood, called on integration and group solidarity to attract more interest. He also expressed concerns and called for the development of Chinese education and showed commitment to ensuring that UTAR becomes a university which offers high-quality education which meets the national development needs of the country and making a positive contribution.
Limiting the maximum term of office for party posts
In the same year at the MCA main, MCA Youth and Wanita AGMs adopted a common agenda, i.e. setting limits on the party’s highest positions, namely, the term of office of the MCA President, Head of MCA Youth and Wanita national chairman to a maximum of three terms or 9 years.
The three bodies successfully approved the motion at the General Assembly. This will help ensure that future leaders continue the smooth transition in office.
Practice of specific action plans shows leadership & determination
In his keynote address at the AGM, Ka Ting announced the establishment of a central working group i.e. “Chinese Primary School Development Committee” to be appointed by the party President which would also include the President personally being responsible for implementing the total construction, relocation and development of Chinese primary schools to deal with the 99 additional approvals obtained so far before the next general elections and the Government’s commitment towards the implementation for the relocation of Chinese primary schools.
Through his strategy of internal consultation soon after taking office, he successfully obtained a short term government funding of RM 4 million ringgit for school allocation to construct multi-blocks and other related projects. This shows the courageous leadership of a new generation.
MCA and Chinese guilds and associations achieve a number of resolutions
Ka Ting and representatives from the Chinese guilds and associations have always focused on group contact and communication, even though occupied with party and government affairs. MCA remains active with major corporations, including Chinese guilds and business associations, Dong Jiao Zong, etc.,
On 5 November 2003, MCA held a fresh round of dialogue with the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (FeCAM) and the Associated of Chinese Chamber and Commerce and Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM) and a dozen other Chinese guilds and associations. The Chinese guilds held 10 national exchanges, while a very large rural villagte group representatives consisting of 7 Co-ordinating Committees were invited for the first time to participate. The dialogue decided to form three working committees to undertake work relating to community welfare and interests, promote Xinhua News Agency and Chinese education development priorities. The dialogue pledged support for the appointment of Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi as the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia and passed a vote of thanks on the recently retired former premier Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Muhammad’s enormous contributions to the nation.
On 20 December 2003, MCA held a mammoth “Chinese community to support you” dinner at Stadium Negara jointly with FeCAM, ACCCIM, 7 Major Clans and more than 10 other national Chinese associations to declare support for Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi as the new Prime Minister. More than 20,000 people attended despite the bad weather. So deeply moved by the Prime Minister, the Chinese community will help to strengthen the good relations with the government.
Earlier this year, MCA and Gerakan representatives set up a “combined joint committee” to discuss party merger. In June, the top leaders of both parties attended the first meeting of the Joint Committee on the merger agenda.
On 18 December 2003, Kedah MCA and Gerakan hosted a joint dinner as a precursor for a possibility of an MCA-Gerakan merger to unite Chinese political power and concentration of services. This initial idea was mooted by Gerakan President Dato’ Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik.
Although the merger is only a concept, the ideal may not be achieved within the short term. However, the concept of access to the Chinese community resulted with heated discussion. The majority of Malaysian Chinese corporations recognize that consolidation is a good thing, even the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional secretary-general agrees.
In view of the aging tendency of the age distribution of party members, the Central Committee decided to recruit young members into the party to cultivate a new generation of successors. On 11 January 2004, MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting launched for the first time, a campaign to recruit young members in order to infuse new blood to the party. He called upon the Chinese youths, especially the highly educated and keen to join MCA to combine the elders and youngsters to be active in politics. The membership campaign successfully recruited more than 2,500 young professionals between the ages of 18 to 30 years into the Party.
On 1 February 2004, MCA joined by the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (FeCAM), the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM), 7 Major Clans, dozens of Chinese guilds and associations hosted a “Thank you from the Chinese Community” for recently retired premier Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Muhammad to commemorate his great achievements and significant for the country and people. The farewell dinner was held at Mines Exhibition Centre.
In his tenure, Dr Mahathir launched the Look East policy, strove to achieve developed nation status by launching the Vision 2020, created the Multimedia Super Corridor, guided the country in transition, practised an international outlook, overcame many difficulties and led the country towards a new era.
On 3 February 2004, the Central Committee led by MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting for the first time, held a reception for party veterans to wish them a happy Chinese New Year. Among the party elders who attended were Tan Sri Lee San Choon, Tan Koon Swan, Dato’ Kam Woon Wah, Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan, Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai, Datin Paduka Rosemary Chong, Dato’ Loh Fook Yen and Dato’ Dr Neo Yee Pan.
In his speech, Ka Ting said that “MCA’s achievements today are due to veterans who sacrificed the best years of their lives. … MCA is a mature political party which has a good foundation. This is because of your merit and contributions.”
Eleventh General Elections (GE)
The long-awaited11th GE finally arrived when Parliament was dissolved on 4 March 2004. The Election Commission announced nomination day on 13 March 2004 and polling day on 21 March 2004.
MCA Headquarters had worked very hard in preparation for the 11th GE. Since 3 May 2003, the Cadre Training Bureau organised a series of 12 training workshops with a special session on “strategic planning of election campaigns” through its Cadre training center located on the 12th floor, Wisma MCA. Election training and coordination support was also held for leading cadres of the different states in preparation for the GE which could be called at any time.
MCA HQ Chief Administrative Director, Dato’ Wong See Wah launched a central operations room before the commencement of the campaign period, with the states, the District operations room in close contact. Even before nomination was announced, the operations room was also in action gathering information, carrying out observations, dealing with any unexpected events, providing publicity materials and logistical support, and during the election campaign, held a routine news conference before the opposition propaganda made inappropriate remarks and distorting the facts through criticism. MCA HQ elections operations room had conveyed the right message to the public.
In view of the seat re-delineation for this GE, additional seats were allocated to MCA to contest. MCA increased our BN parliamentary seats to be contested from 35 seats to 40. MCA seats for the State Assembly to be contested climbed to 99 seats, up from 77. MCA secured an additional 18 seats more than the previous GE for both Parliamentary and State Assembly seats.
After intense election campaign, during the 21 March 2004 polls, BN scored the best margin of victory with a four-fifths majority, securing 90% of the 219 parliamentary seats contested. BN won 197 parliamentary seats, and 452 out of 504 state seats available.
In this GE, MCA candidates won 31 out of 40 parliamentary constituencies contested and 76 state seats out of 90 contested which is better compared to the previous 1999 GE results of 28 parliamentary electorates and 68 state seats. The figures for the 2004 GE are also the second highest number of seats secured by a BN component party.
As the largest ethnic-based BN component party, MCA was in direct confrontation with DAP in many constituencies which had a mainly ethnic Chinese majority. DAP by virtue of being in the Opposition has a connection with PAS is thus directly or indirectly helping PAS to enlarge their support base and establish a theocratic Islamic state which will implement Syariah-based criminal laws. This ultimate goal of PAS angered the Chinese community which resulted in the rejection of PAS in 2004 and 1999. After two consecutive general elections defeat, DAP still plays up Chinese sentiments in Parliament, attacking government policy to elicit sympathy from Chinese voters. Hence, MCA does encounter a certain degree of pressure.
However, apart from Penang and Federal Territory where MCA’s votes were slightly affected, MCA still contested in 40 parliamentary electorates winning 31 seats, and 90 states constituencies and gaining 76 state seats. This success rate of 82.31% at the 11th GE maintains the good results obtained at the 10th GE.
New Cabinet lineup announced – MCA gets 16 official posts
After BN’s brilliant outing at the 11th GE, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Ahmad Badawi announced the new Cabinet lineup on 27 July 2004. MCA was given the posts of 4 Cabinet Ministers, 8 Deputy Ministers (an increase by one post), 4 Parliamentary Secretaries (an increase by two posts), the highest number of government posts ever given to MCA in the party’s history. Of the 16 official representatives from MCA, 6 are new.
While there is an increase of one Deputy Minister and two Parliamentary Secretaries, it should be pointed out that MCA retained its 4 Cabinet Ministerial positions. At the Cabinet lineup after the 1999 GE, MCA saw an increase of 2 Cabinet Minsters, one Deputy Minister and one Parliamentary Secretary.
The MCA Cabinet lineup as nominated by party President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting obtained the full acceptance of the Prime Minister.
MCA’s official representation at the federal government comprised experienced leaders from the main wing as well as leaders from Wanita MCA and MCA Youth. It was also composed of new faces which is evidence of the value and recognition of Wanita MCA’s and MCA Youth’s contribution to the party.
New appointments at the MCA Headquarters
On 13 April 2004, the MCA Central Committee unanimously elected two new Vice Presidents i.e. Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek and Dato’ Fu Ah Kiow. Both replaced Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting and Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy who were previously elevated to be party President and Deputy President respectively.
Several new appointments were also made to the line-up of Party officials at the HQ and Adminsitration level in a minor MCA reshuffle approved by the Central Committee. MCA Terengganu state chairman Dato’ Lau Yin Pin was appointed Treasurer-General replacing Tan Sri William Chek lin Kwai who had retired. Other appointments are namely: Dato’ Hon Choon Kim (Deputy Secretary General), Dato’ Ir Donald Lim Siang Chai (Deputy Treasurer General), Sdr Yew Teong Look (Deputy National Organising Secretary). Three new appointments to the Central Committee were Lumut MP Dato’ Kong Cho Ha and MCA Deputy Youth Chairman Sdr Hoo Seong Chang and Malik Nawar State Assemblyman Dato’ Lee Chee Leong.
Under the presidency of Ka Ting, the vibrant Central Committee worked in co-operation and promoted a new political agenda which includes:
Revamping the MCA Disciplinary Board
The Central Committee empowered the Presidential Council to revamp the Party’s Disciplinary Board. Deputy President Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy was appointed as the Chairman to head the Board. Also appointed to the 5-men panel were Vice Presidents Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and Datuk Wira Dr Fong Chan Onn; Youth chairman Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Wanita Chairman Dato’ Dr Ng Yen Yen. The Central Committee put on record its deep appreciation to the previous Board members for their contributions following the acceptable of resignation from the outgoing Disciplinary board Chairman and party veterans.
Ensuring a Disciplined MCA at all Levels –
A simple and practicable code of ethics governing the behaviour of party members on the “do’s and don’t’s” during party elections and the general elections was drawn up.
Publication of the “Guidelines for the MCA Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen”
On 11 May 2004, the Central Committee announced the “Guidelines for the MCA Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen”, and stated that the Guidelines are to be observed by the party’s elected representatives. All 107 MCA elected representatives were repeatedly reminded not to engage or involve in any activities that would tarnish the image of MCA. They are expected to uphold dignity and show proper decorum at all times. The party expects them to be “clean, trustworthy, disciplined and to adopt the right attitude.” In addition, they are also required to submit quarterly reports on their performance i.e. activities, service and action plans in their respective constituencies to MCA and the BN Management Committee Chairman.
Restructuring of the Institute for Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP)
MCA had established INSAP in the mid-80s as a think tank to conduct in-depth research, analysis and make recommendations on the political situation, opinions and attitudes at home and abroad as well as on economic, social issues which would be forwarded to the party leadership for date reference and implementation. INSAP was revived in 2004.
Amendments to party Constitution, a sound mechanism for party elections
On 21 November 2004, in order to improve the party’s election system, and to optimise the representation of central delegates, and to reduce the imbalance gap between Divisions with large or small memberships, an Extraordinary General Meeting was held.
After debates which saw the attendance of 1,700 central delegates, more than 99% voted in favour of the proposed amendments to the party Constitution. Secretary General Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh proposed changes to Article 12.4.
Public Service Department scholarship for Chinese students
On 16 July 2004, MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting announced encouraging news. 362 Chinese students who obtained outstanding results in SPM were awarded with Public Service Department scholarships after MCA successfully fought to obtain them.
Previously, PSD scholarships offered seemed to favour a particular community. In Cabinet, MCA had urged that Malaysian government policies should be more open and just, based on meritocracy.
Chang Ming Thien Foundation fully operational
On 25 July 2004, the Board of Trustees announced the formal operation of the Chang Ming Thien Foundation with immediate effect. RM 3 million was allocated to provide interest free loans to needy and deserving students, irrespective of race, religion and creed, so as to enable them to complete their tertiary education in Malaysia or overseas. Since 2004, hundreds of recipients have benefitted from the Foundation’s interest free loans annually.
Amendments to the “Code of Conduct for MCA members”
Earlier in 2002, MCA had released an “MCA Members Code of Conduct.” Some provisions were found to be too general or had loopholes. In 2004, at the revamp of the Disciplinary Board, it was decided to amend the “MCA Members of Conduct.” On 15 February 2005, the draft “MCA Members of Conduct” was submitted to the Presidential Council for deliberation. The Presidential Council accepted the proposal on the amendments and decided to implement them.
The new Code of Conduct now includes “Code of Conduct for Candidates at Party Elections”, “Code of Conduct for Candidates at General Elections” and the general “Code of Conduct for MCA Members.”
These Codes of Conduct contains 14 provisions which clearly explains and simplifies the do’s and don’t’s to be abided by MCA members to enable easier implementation.
To promote “Lifelong Learning”
On 31 July 2004, a brain storming session on the Lifelong Learning campaign was held between MCA and Chinese academic bodies. The gathering resolved to set up a secretariat and five working committee to carry out the necessary activities before the campaign was formally kickstarted. Party President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting had engaged with well known Malaysian scholars, Chinese NGOs, youth groups and organizations engaged in volunteer activities to lay out the theoretical foundation, planning methods, short and long-term action plans in embarking on a Lifelong Learning campaign targeted to promulgate the pursuit of knowledge.
On 8 October 2004, the MCA Central Committee led by party President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting launched the nationwide Lifelong Learning Campaign with an emphasis for personal development as learning is continuous. Chinese community leaders joined MCA leaders in participating in the “lifelong learning train” symbolically marking the programme’s launch.
Lifelong learning programmes offer a variety of activities be it formal studies, short courses, new hobbies throughout life that transform experiences into knowledge, skills and attitudes.
MCA Information Communication Technology Resource Center
On 8 October 2004, the Central Committee announced the formation of an MCA New Technology and Innovation Bureau headed by Dato’ Kong Cho Ha to encourage Malaysians to use information technology in their daily lives and to offer a one-stop ICT centre to assist in ICT e-enablement among SME associations and SME-ICT companies withint the ICT industry.
In January 2005, the MCA Information Communication Technology Resource Center (MIRC) began operations at the 12th floor of Wisma MCA to provide SMEs with ICT solutions that will enable them to remain competitive, helping them identify the technology they need and then matching it to the appropriate vendors who can help them. MIRC provides R&D information, product and service lifecycle management and marketing intelligence for both technopreneurs and SMEs. On 7 April 2005, MIRC was formally launched.
New Village Master Plan
From 2000 to 2005, in addition to funding from the state and local governments, the federal government through the Ministry of Housing and Local Government allocated a total of RM326 million for New Village development.
Through his Ministry, i.e. the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, MCA President, Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting obtained an agreement with the Economy Planning Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department to allocate a special fund for the New Village Master Planning which includes infrastructure upgrading, optimising potential land usage, agriculture development and other potential development and planning in consultation with experts.
The New Village Master Plan proposes identifying the uniqueness of every New Village for their development at the same time preserving cultural heritage sites and conserving tourist attractions.
The New Village Master Plan will also recommend housing loans, infrastructure development and other government measures to be provided to the New Villagers.
MCA Crisis Relief Squad (CRSM) established for humanitarian works
On 4 January 2005, the Presidential Council announced the formation of CRSM seeing the devastation and hardship which had wrought the region after the tsunami struck on 26 December 2004. CRSM serves to mobilise teams immediately for disaster relief in times of emergencies and in areas hit by natural catastrophes or other forms of calamities. Parliamentary Secretary Sdr Chew Mei Fun was appointed to head the working committee. On 23 April 2005, CRSM was fully established and operational.
2005 Party Elections – Strong Mandate for the New Leadership
On 27 February 2005, the Party’s Election Steering Committee held a special briefing for all MCA Chairmen, Wanita Chairmen and Youth Chairmen Chairmen at State, Divisional and Branch level. The objective of the meeting was to explain to grassroot leaders on the rules and regulations of party election as well as the code of conduct of party members so that a democratic, transparent and fair election can be successfully conducted.
On 20 August 2005, the Annual General Assembly drew a record high 99.49% attendance rate compared to the previous AGM which demonstrates the mandate given to the Central Committee. Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting and Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy were elected as President and Deputy President respectively, Dato’ Liow Tiong Lai was elected as MCA Youth chairman while Dato’ Dr Ng Yen Yen was re-elected as the Wanita MCA chairman.
In his Presidential address given after he officially received his strong mandate from the central delegates, Ka Ting brought up an important principle for future reform plans, that is, to practise “clean” and “diligence” governance, and to create a healthy political culture for MCA. This principle is in line with the concept of “be honest and upright in conducting oneself, be clean and incorruptible in discharging one’s official duties, and be steadfast and dependable in dealing with matters” that he enunciated at the 56th party anniversary in 2005.
General Guidelines for Public Office published
The new MCA leadership which was elected with a strong mandate from the central delegates during the party elections at the 52nd Meeting of the General Assembly. On 4 October 2005, the Presidential Council passed the General Guidelines for Public Office.
The General Guidelines for Public Office also sets limits to the length of the terms of office bearers at all levels i.e.
||General Term Limit
||2 Parliamentary Elections or 10 years
|State Executive Councillor
||2 State Assembly Elections
The term limitation allows helps institutionalise and facilitate the process of renewal of party leadership while allowing MCA members to contribute their full effort, creativity and dynamism within their term of 8 to 10 years when they are at their peak. At the end of their term of office, they will tehn move on to different roles, having passed the baton to other capable candidates with ideals and quality, giving the successors their full support and blessings so as to accelerate the renewal process. Only by doing so can MCA continue to operate at an optimal level.
MCA leaders who are recommended by the party to take up public office represent MCA in participating in the formulation and implementation of policies affecting Malaysia. They are the main navigators that leader MCA in moving forward. As such, Articles in the Code provide that MCA leaders have to set an example with their own conduct to practise the principle of having a healthy political culture. They have to possess certain fundamental qualities, such as incorruptibility and respect for the law, an upright and honest image, effectiveness, pragmatism, sense of responsibility , a close relationship with the people, and have the basic language skills to participate in policy discussions with all levels of government and the public. It is even more important for them to be selfless, putting the interests of the people and communities first, rather than being concerned about themselves.
Development & Implementation of the MCA 9-Point Party Platform
MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting led MCA into a new era. In order to implement “diligent” and “clean” governance, the MCA 9-Point Party Platform was formulated which lays out the basis for the party’s future political directions and plans. It is the result of a consensus arrived at following collective and in-depth consultations. It takes into account the valuable opinions and suggestions provided by various representatives and members of the community to create a better future.
The MCA 9-Point Party Platform covers :
1. A Healthy Political Culture
2. Lifelong Learning Campaign
3. Revitalising Education
4. Chinese Language Education
5. Economic Competitiveness
6. Development and Promotion of Culture
7. New Villages Development
8. A Just and Caring Society
9. Rakyat Malaysia
On 6 January 2006, the Central Committee unanimously adopted the MCA 9-Point Party Platform (9PPP) which puts into practice the long-term political direction of the party in the future.
The 9PPP covers a very broad spectrum. In order to ensure effective implementation of the 9PPP with specific ideas and action plans, two Coordination Committees were set up. The Deputy President presided over the coordination meetings to ensure that all plans and concerted efforts of the party were implemented progressively.
On 18 July 2006, the Central Committee announced funding for MCA Divisions and Branches to promote the 9PPP and effectively enhance the vitality and influence of MCA.
Teaching of Mathematics & Science in Chinese Primary Schools – (6-2, 3-2) Formula
To ensure that the fundamental education of Chinese in Malaysia is safeguarded, MCA has tried its utmost best to help solve the problems of teaching Mathematics and Science in English for Chinese primary school pupils at Standards 4 to 6. Long negotiation were held with Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin bin Tun Hussein Onn, Minister of Education within the Barisan Nasional channel. As a result, the 6-2, 3-2 formula was adopted whereby Mathematics is taught in Mandarin for 6 periods and 2 periods in English. As for Science, it is taught 3 periods in Mandarin and 2 periods in English.
It is MCA’s position to look after the aspirations of the Chinese particularly while advocating mother-tongue education. If there are any differing views on government policy, both sides would seek a compromise to solve the problem. MCA will always hold that mother-tongue education is best suited for teaching Mathematics and Science in primary schools while continuing both subjects in English at the secondary level to enhance the competitiveness of both the community and nation.
Establishment of the MCA School of Political Studies
On 22 January 2006, MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting conducted the official opening ceremony of the MCA School of Political Studies.
Other than advocating a mass political line and active recruitment of more members to enable the party to grow in strength, MCA cannot neglect the issues of the quality of its membership and upgrading of abilities of future party leaders. The MCA School of Political Studies aims to inculcate a healthy and appropriate politico-cultural mindset and to promote cadre training to enhance the quality and effectiveness of members and leaders at all levels.
Besides the cadre training courses specially arranged for party members, other courses are open to the public. The purpose of such courses is to keep participants informed on the latest position of the party so that they are able to better understand MCA. Participants are instilled with the values of humanity, professionalism, political awareness and etc.
“Tun Tan Cheng Lock Day” Commemoration Ceremony
On 9 June 2006, the MCA Central Committee meeting resolved, that 13 December 13 each year will be commemorated as “Tun Tan Cheng Lock Day” as a sign of respect of one of the nation’s founding fathers. A state funeral was accorded to the late Tun Sir Tan Cheng Lock when he passed away on 13 December 1960.
On 15 December 2006, MCA leaders together with other leaders of the Chinese Guilds and Associations who under the leadership of MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting held a “Commemoration Ceremony for the Late Tun Sir Tan Cheng Lock” at his resting place in Kampung Musai, Melaka. In his elegiac address, Ka Ting said that “the late Tun Tan should be called the ‘Political Father of Malaysian Chinese.’” This was because for without him, we would not have MCA today. Similarly, without Tun Tan, the Chinese in the country would have missed the opportunity of obtaining national independence and their Malaysian citizenship.
Cheng Lock’s memory will forever be etched in MCA for his tireless efforts in fighting for civil rights for the ethnic Chinese community coupled with efforts to promote racial harmony and national unity. He will always be remembered in Malaysian history for his sacrifices and contributions towards Malaya, in being part of the Alliance party which obtained independence from the British.
In 2006, following an announcement by MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting at the party’s 57thanniversary celebrations that MCA should go into full computerization in the next 3 years, the HQ immediately set up a committee to help realize this E-MCA aspiration. With help from MIRC, the HQ accomplished meeting the requirement of a computerized administration within a one-year period. The HQ also reviewed and upgraded the party’s website by displaying a new look. It is hoped that all MCA States and Divisions will emulate the HQ by adopting the same programme in E-MCA as the electronic contact system enables better rapport and connection with each other.
MCA Headquarters Budgetary Control System
In order to effectively manage the allocation of funds to Divisions, MCA Headquarters launched a Budgetary Control System, and concurrently formed a Headquarters Management Committee headed by the Secretary General. The Committee members include the Treasurer-General, National Organising Secretary with the MCA HQ Chief Administrative Director being its Secretary. Thus, MCA HQ’s administration and financial budget are systematically managed.
To encourage more Chinese youths to join MCA and provide them an opportunity and a platform, Resolution 1.2 which was passed at the 53rd meeting of the General Assembly “welcomes all aspiring Malaysians from all ages to join MCA to co-operate with the party to strengthen the Chinese political power base in the country.”
MCA will also open an Under-35 category within MCA Youth to enable more support and creativity within the party with the hopes that this synergy will attract more youths to join MCA.
The Cabinet heeded MCA’s recommendation that staff promotions at public universities (IPTA) be based on merit and not race. This saw 4 non-Bumiputras appointed to the post of Deputy Vice Chancellor at Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia.
12th General elections-MCA suffers a setback
On 13 February 2008, the Prime Minister announced the dissolution of Parliament to make way for the 12th General elections, and the Election Commission announced the date of nominations to be held on 24 February 2008 and the polling day to be held on 8 March 2008.
For this election, MCA had put forward 40 candidates to contest for Parliamentary seats, and another 90 candidates to contest for State seats.
The party leaders had hoped that they will receive the support of the people through the rendering of their services to the public in the political, economic, educational, cultural, social, and other fields such as the construction of more Chinese primary schools, the expansion, relocation, and redevelopment of those schools, the development of New Villages as well as for agriculture, helping to acquire legal land leases for Chinese farmers in Perak, and to fight for other issues which are of concern to the Chinese community. By placing advertisements in the newspaper, and on television channels, going on campaigns, and visiting households, it was hoped that the party’s message and contributions will be spread to the public, and that the people will once more put their trust in to the party. Unfortunately, MCA’s efforts were not able to resolve the growing dissatisfaction with Barisan Nasional.
This was partly due to the opposition parties which had pursued a populist propaganda. Pakatan Rakyat had preached the upholding of values such as justice and democracy while at the same time criticizing Barisan Nasional’s so called ‘race-politics’ in order to stir up the racial sentiments of the different ethnic groups through the use of technology such as mobile phones, SMS and the new media i.e. internet new portals and blogs, thus culminating in the political tsunami result of 308.
On the whole, the 12th general elections was the worst election record for the Barisan Nasional coalition. MCA had only gained 15 Parliamentary seats out of 40 and only 31 State seats out of the 90 contested, winning less than half the number of seats that it had won in the previous general elections. The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), which had contested in 9 Parliamentary seats, lost 2/3 of the seats, reducing them to only 3 Parliamentary seats. Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia fared even worse, ending up with only 2 Parliamentary seats from the original 7 which it had contested.
Relying on UMNO’s 78 Parliamentary seats and the seats obtained by Barisan Nasional’s Sabah and Sarawak component parties, the coalition managed to maintain its power and become the ruling government through a simple majority, but lost its crucial two-thirds majority in Parliament.
In the state legislatures, Barisan Nasional not only was unable to recover the state of Kelantan to the Islamic party of PAS since 1986, but it also lost its administration in the states of Kedah, Penang, Perak, and Selangor through the combination of seats won by the opposition parties of PKR, DAP, and PAS.
President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting bears responsibility for MCA’s losses
In the first three days after the results of the 12th general elections, MCA President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting issued a public statement announcing that he will bear responsibility for the Party’s setback and that he will not hold any positions in the Cabinet. This decision was made based on the concept of accountability and responsibility, and also to reflect the spirit of the party President’s purpose which is not for political power or status.
Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting also stated that he will continue to fulfill the responsibility entrusted to him as MCA President to lead the party through its critical moments. He stressed that he will coordinate with all party leaders and members at all levels in order to conduct an in-depth and objective review of the general elections and the Party’s position and to make the appropriate adjustments to MCA in view of the new political situation so that the party may continue to play an effective role in politics.
New Cabinet lineup
On 18 March 2008, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi announced his new Cabinet lined up. MCA, through President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting had secured 4 Minister and 6 Deputy Minister positions, thus ensuring that the party will have sufficient representatives to continue voicing out the interests and rights of Malaysians in the Cabinet and Federal government. The Minister and Deputy Minister positions appointed are as follows:
|Ministry of Housing and Local Government
||Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan
|Ministry of Transportation
||Datuk Ong Tee Keat
|Ministry of Health
||Dato’ Liow Tiong Lai
|Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development
||Dato’ Dr Ng Yen Yen
|Ministry of Finance
||Dato’ Kong Cho Ha
|Ministry of Home Affairs
||Dato’ Chor Chee Heung
|Ministry of Education
||Dr Ir Wee Ka Siong
|Ministry of Higher Education
||Dr Hou Kok Chung
|Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture
||Sdr Teng Boon Soon
|Ministry of Youth and Sports
||Sdr Wee Jeck Seng
MCA’s success in attaining four Minister and six Deputy Minister positions in important, strategic sectors despite suffering heavy losses in the general elections surprised many political observers. However, the party’s success in attaining those positions lies with the MCA President who had made a commitment to ensure that MCA is well represented in Cabinet through Barisan Nasional’s power-sharing tradition, adhering to the principle that MCA is a BN partner, and through discussions held with the Prime Minister.
“Governing with the people, sharing among the races”
After the 12th general elections, the Central Committee held two days of meeting and brainstorming sessions and seminars to discuss the future direction of the party. The meeting also appointed several leaders to formulate plans for the actions discussed.
On 26 April 2008, the Central Committee decided to adopt the theme of “Governing with the people, sharing among the races” as the party’s main direction, and had proposed Four Core-Values to be the new thrusts of the party. The Four Core-Values are:
1) Democratic principles
2) Rights of the people in accordance with the Federal Constitution
3) People centric
4) National aspiration
MCA will continue to abide by the principles advocated by the party’s founding fathers of “a party based on one race, the direction towards various races” to ensure that the rights of the Chinese community will always be upheld, and at the same time, to defend the Federal Constitution which ensures freedom, democracy, and human rights to all Malaysians regardless of race.
President Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting does not seek re-elections
On 28 June 2008, the Party President issued a statement that he will not seek reelection in the coming party elections to be held in October. He also stress that after 3 months since the 308 political tsunami, MCA has already stabilized itself and is now working towards the transformation direction. Therefore, he would allow the party grassroots some time to accept the party’s change and so that the central delegates, by using their own judgment and wisdom, may elect the next Party President.
MCA free from loans
On 24 July 2008, MCA President Dato’ Sri Ong Ka Ting announced in the Central Committee meeting that MCA had cleared off all its debt with the bank on 18 April 2008. The President also then announced that the party is now ready to acquire back the 20.33% shares in Wisma MCA Sdn Bhd which the party was forced to sell off in the 1980’s due to the financial recession back then.
On 15 August 2008, the party President and the Treasurer General, Tan Sri Lau Yin Pin, signed a Sales and Purchase agreement worth RM27.6 million with representatives from Koperasi Jayadiri (KOJADI), thus realizing the party’s aim of owning 100% equity shares in Wisma MCA Sdn Bhd.
2008 Party Elections
The MCA Central Committee had decided that the nomination day for the 2008 party elections was to be held on 13 October 2008, with 18 and 19 October 2008 to be the for the party elections and Annual General Assembly. Both the incumbent Party President and Deputy President, Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting and Dato’ Seri Chan Kong Choy had declared their intention to retire and not seek reelections.
On the evening of 18 October 2008, Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek were elected to be the President and Deputy President respectively. Out of 25 members of the committee, more than half of them elected were new faces.
The following is the list of the newly elected MCA Central Committee:
Datuk Ong Tee Keat
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek
Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha
Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai
Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen
Sdr Tan Kok Hong
Central Committee members
Sdr Lee Wei Kiat
Senator Dato’ Wong Foon Meng
Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho
Sdri Tan Cheng Liang
Sdr Dr Hou Kok Chung
Dato’ Lee Chee Leong
Sdr Gan Ping Sieu
Dato’ Yu Chok Tow
Sdr Wong Nai Chee
Dato’ Lee Sing Chooi
Datuk Wee Jeck Seng
Datuk Gan Tian Loo
Dato’ Dr Yeow Chai Thiam
Dato’ Chong Itt Chew
Dato’ Hoh Khai Mun
Dato’ Ti Lian Ker
Dato’ Liew Yuen Keong
Dato’ Wong Mook Leong
Dato’ Paul Kong Sing Chu
Datuk Edward Khoo Keok Hai
Datuk Tee Siew Kiong
Sdr Loh Seng Kok
Senator Dato’ Wong Siong Hwee
Sdr Dr Por Choo Chor
Dato’ Loke Yuen Yow
MCA launches a new team
After the 308 political tsunami, MCA had, through democracy, elected a new leadership team. The Central Committee was reminded that reform was not only a slogan to be uttered, but it is the current mainstream of the Malaysian society. However, the road to reformation is not an immediate process, and MCA needs the full support of its members for it. Since the opposition parties have claimed 5 states as their own, thus the party needs to embrace different strategies in order to recover their losses in those states.
MCA President leads a delegation to the People’s Republic of China
On 18 January 2009, Party President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat had responded to an invitation extended by the People’s Republic of China by leading a delegation of 68 Chinese political leaders and businessmen to Beijing. During the visit, both sides exchanged views and experiences on business opportunities and political administrations.
The delegation met with the leadership of the Chinese authorities, including Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and member of Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mr. Jia Qinglin, Mr Wang Jiarui, Vice-Minister Liu Hongcai, Minister of Transport Li Shenglin, and various leaders from the Ministry of Railways, the Civil Aviation Administration, COFCO, the Ministry of Commerce, and the National Tourism Administration. Among the fruitful results of the mission were:
- China’s top universities were invited to establish campuses in Malaysia to come
- Al-Bukhary Foundation pledged to provide 50 full scholarships for Chinese students living in poverty to study various disciplines at approved universities in Malaysia were made
- China’s resumption of rice exports to Malaysia. Both sides also explored the development of agricultural products, palm oil
- Develop the halal food market in China
- New AirAsia direct routes to Tianjin, Xi’an and Chengdu
- Liberalization of the aviation sector
- Invited Chinese companies to invest in seaport expansion and development in Tanjung Pelepas and Johor port as well as developing Senai airport as an aviation hub
- Proposed that Bank of China in Malaysia offer low interest loans and micro-credit facilities to small and medium enterprises in Malaysia
- Ties with the Ministry of Health on medicines and medical equipment
Visit by the Deputy Speaker of Taiwan
On 3 January 2010, MCA Secretary-General cum Deputy President of the Dewan Negara Dato’ Wong Foon Meng, along with MCA members of Parliament and Senators, met for two hours with a delegation from Taiwan, led by Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Taiwan, Mr Tsing Yon-Chun.
Visit by the Chairman of Kuomintang
On 28 February 2009, the MCA President and Central Committee members played host to a delegation led by the Chairman of Kuomintang, Mr Wu Poh-hsiung. The two parties had engaged in an hour long discussion and exchanging of views.
Visit by a Delegation from the People’s Republic of China
On 25 March 2009, the MCA President and members of the Central Committee played host to a delegation from the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China at MCA Headquarters.
Three Thrusts of MCA’s Transformation
In light of the political tsunami of 2008, MCA President Dato Sri’ Ong Tee Keat had proposed the Three Thrusts for MCA’s Transformation during the Party’s 60th Anniversary. Party members were urged to join in promoting the three thrust for change.
A) Tackling Economic Challenges
To reform and improve the quality of public transportation. President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat, as Transport Minister, had led a radical reformation of the public transport system. The four major reforms headed by him are:
- enhancing public transportation through the use of information technology and monitoring systems, such as using satellite navigation systems (GPS) to track buses, the implementation of the Kuala Lumpur Urban Intergrated Traffic Information System (ITIS) using close circuit television, and the implementation of customer service centre and call centre management systems.
- Simplifying procedures such as ensuring those who have received summons will be able to pay up
- The establishment of a special law enforcement team to avoid overlaps and confusion in job jurisdictions.
- To enhance compliance of the law by increasing the number of law enforcement officers as well as to provide training for public transport drivers.
Higher Opportunities for Private Education (HOPE) Foundation
- MCA through the HOPE Foundation has helped many students to further their education to a higher level. Help was given in the forms of subsidies to qualified students, regardless of race, and has helped 1200 poor students to further their studies to private universities in Malaysia.
Technical Resource and Internship Network (TRAIN)
- A vocational training network called TRAIN was set up with the full support of MCA President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat. TRAIN is meant to provide vocational training to all students regardless of race, as a means for them to master living skills. About 1500 students to date have benefited from this project, and about 10,000 education coupons worth RM50 million have also been given to students who have showed interested.
A new milestone for Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
- The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Chinese Language is one of 32 courses offered by UTAR, and is recognized by the Public Service Department, thus allowing students to be admitted into the civil service.
B) Proactive in Mainstream Politics and Policy Making
Investigations into the Port Klang Free Zone scandal
The Ministry of Transportation had appointed internationally renowned accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to set up a special task force to investigate the misuse and mismanagement of public funds in the PKFZ. The results of the investigation, which revealed the involvement of fraud, were made public and reports with the police and the MACC were lodged.
Banning of support letters
In January, Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat in his capacity as Transport Minister, announced that all government departments are not allowed to issue support letters to any who are bidding for government contracts. The Whistleblower Act was also introduced to encouraged people to report any misusage of public funds.
Abolishment of Monopoly Policies
Due to the fact that the e-kesihatan programme was too costly, thus burdening 700,000 taxi drivers nationwide as well as creating a problem of monopoly, the Ministry of Transportation decided to end the programme on 14 October 2008. Besides that, the PUSPAKOM contract with the government which was originally for 15 years, thus allowing the monopolizing of the market, was reviewed to 5 years, after which the contract will be awarded based on open tender.
Liberalising the Economy
On 22 April 2009, the Cabinet announced the abolishment of the 30% Bumiputera equity for 27 service sub-sectors as part of the process of liberalizing the economy. The process also involves the liberalization of the economic sector as well as the abolishment of the 30% Bumiputra equity for all listed companies in Bursa Malaysia.
Direct Funding for SJKC Board of Directors and the construction of 20 new SJKC
MCA had recommended that allocations for SJKC schools be given directly to the Board of Directors of SJKCs, and the recommendation had been accepted by the government. Also, the government had allocated RM 95 million for the construction of 20 new SJKCs.
C) Enhancing Inter-Ethnic Relationships
1 Malaysia Concept
In early 2009, shortly after becoming Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak introduced the 1 Malaysia concept. This concept was synonymous to the racial harmony concept as espoused by MCA, as well as the ideology of MCA’s founder, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who said that “One of the main objectives for the establishment of MCA is to work together with the Malays and other races to help Malaya become One People, One Nation, One Government.”
l MCA lends a helping hand to Metro Tabernacle Church
When the Assembly of God Metro Tabernacle Church located in Desa Melawati was torched on 8 Janury 2010, MCA was among the first to condemn this act and had resolutely defended the right to freedom of religion as enshrined in the Constitution. MCA President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat had also offered the services of San Choon Hall for free for church members to perform their Sunday worship.
Extraordinary General Assembly
On 26 August 2009, the MCA Presidential Council had deliberated and accepted the proposal by the MCA Disciplinary Board, and had expelled Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek from the party with immediate effect on grounds of breaching the party’s Code of Conduct for MCA members.
On 27 August 2009, supporters of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had petitioned an Extraordinary General Meeting to hold a vote of no confidence against Party President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat.
On 11 September 2009, the Party Secretary-General received a joint requisition stating that 921 members of the Central Delegates, which totals to at least one-third of the delegates, had already requisitioned in writing for an EGM to be held on the following resolutions:
- That the members of the General Assembly have no confidence in the leadership of the current President of MCA, Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat.
- That the decision of the Presidential Council on 26 August 2009 (accepting the recommendation of the Disciplinary Board) and the subsequent decision of the Central Committee (if any) to expel or suspend Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek from membership of the MCA is hereby annulled.
- That following from the passage of Resolution (2) above, that Sdr Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek be rightfully restored to the position of Deputy President of the MCA.
- That if by the time this EGM is called, any appointment that has been made by the Central Committee in accordance with the Constitution of the MCA of Any Party Officials mentioned in Article 20 of the Constitution of the MCA including that of the Deputy President of MCA, that the said appointment(s) be and is hereby revoked.
- That if by the time the EGM is called, any disciplinary action is taken against any or all the requisitionist by any member of the MCA or by the Disciplinary Board, the Central Committee of the Presidential Council or if any sentence has been meted out against any one or more of the requisitionists, that the General Assembly do hereby resolve:
a) that any and all such disciplinary action be dismissed;
b) that any sentence that has been meted out be annulled;
c) that any complaint or disciplinary action be considered and treated as dismissed.
After negotiations by both sides, the Secretary-General resolved to convene the EGM on 10 October 2009 at the San Choon Hall, Wisma MCA. On the day of the EGM, the Speaker, Dato’ Yik Phooi Hong, said that both parties had written in to substantiate that as Resolution 4 and 5 did not happen, the two said Resolutions will be withdrawn and that the delegates will cast their votes for the first three resolutions.
Results of the EGM
- That the members of the General Assembly have no confidence in the leadership of the current President of MCA, Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat.
Adopt : 1155 votes
Reject : 1141 votes
Spoilt : 8 votes
Total : 2304 votes
- That the decision of the Presidential Council on 26 August 2009 (accepting the recommendation of the Disciplinary Board) and the subsequent decision of the Central Committee (if any) to expel or suspend Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek from membership of the MCA is hereby annulled.
Adopt : 1204 votes
Reject : 1095 votes
Spoilt : 5 votes
Total : 2304 votes
- That following from the passage of Resolution (2) above, that Sdr Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek be rightfully restored to the position of Deputy President of the MCA.
Adopt : 1110
Reject : 1184
Spoilt : 10
Total : 2304
On 15 October 2009, in view of the controversy that emerged from the EGM, MCA President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat had directed the Secretary-General at the Central Committee meeting to conduct another EGM in accordance to Article 30.1 of the Party Constitution to vote on the following motion:
- That the current Central Committee be dissolved to seek new party election; or
- To endorse the Central Party leadership of President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat.
The Central Committee at that meeting also appointed Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai as the new Deputy President in accordance with Article 174 and Article 23 of the Party Constitution.
On 3 November 2009, at the 8th Central Committee meeting, the President announced that he had received a letter from the Registrar of Societies which stated that the results of the EGM on 10 October 2009 did not fulfill Article 35 of the Party Constitution which stated that at least two-thirds of the central delegates votes was needed to dismiss an elected post, thus affirming that the post of Deputy President was never vacant, therefore affirming that Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek still held the Deputy President post. The Central Committee also adopted the views and opinions which were provided by the Registrar of Societies.
The President also pointed out that when he had first appointed the Central Committee appointments the previous year he had stated that all appointments were only for a year and that all appointments will be subjected for review. As such, that was the reason why the President had appointed Dato’ Donald Lim Siang Chai, Dato’ Tan Chin Meng, and Sdr Chua Tee Yong to replace Dato’ Wira Chor Chee Heung, Sdr Yoo Wei How, Sdr Gan Hong Su, and Dato’ Chai Kim Sen whose positions had been reshuffled. He also announced that the post of National Organizing Secretary, previously held by Sdr Yoo Wei How, will be filled soon. The President also appointed Sdr Lim Hong Sang to succeed Datuk Leong Tang Chong as Chairman of the MCA Legal Bureau and Senator Heng Seai Kie as Chairman of the Information and Communication Bureau, succeeding Sdr Lee Wei Kiat. The President also tabled the “Greater Unity Plan for MCA” at the Central Committee meeting where it was endorsed by 27 of the Committee members.
MCA Greater Unity Plan
On 22 October 2009, in order to quell the party’s internal problems, MCA President Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat, together with Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Dato’ Sri Kong Cho Ha, Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Dato’ Wong Foon Meng, Senator Heng Seai Kie, and other members of the Central Committee, held a press conference in MCA Headquarters to announce the Greater Unity Plan.
Under the Greater Unity Plan, Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek will return to the committee without any conditions imposed on him. The President also announced that the Greater Unity Plan had been endorsed by the Prime Minister, and that he will ask Secretary-General Dato’ Wong Foon Meng to review the legality of the 1128 EGM.
Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat also stressed that now is the time to forgive and forget, and that all factions should put aside any disagreements and work together for the party’s future so that Party leaders will be able to focus more on the strengthening the Party and win back the confidence of the Chinese community in MCA.
Dialogue with Grassroot Leaders
On 15 November 2009, MCA had a dialogue session with the party’s grassroot leaders at the San Choon Hall. The dialogue was well attended with 625 leaders, or more than 80% of the division leaders present at the session.
Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek chaired the dialogue which discussed five main agendas:
1) funding for divisional activities, given that the party has sufficient resources for this;
2) whether the resolutions for the 1128 EGM are in line with the Party Constitution;
3) direct elections for the post of President and Central Committee (CC) members, and the model to be used if the proposal is accepted;
4) how to achieve the Greater Unity Plan and and to stabilize the Party;
5) preparations for the next general elections.
During the dialogue, party leaders and grassroot leaders analyzed, exchanged views, and gave in-depth commentaries about a number of issues.
The MCA Integrity Restoring Task Force was led by MCA Vice-President Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai and 13 other highly respectable Party members. The purpose of the taskforce was to defend the Party’s integrity by holding fresh elections in order to solve the confusion of the EGM held on 10 October 2009. The taskforce requested that an EGM be held by quoting Article 30.2 in the Party Constitution which stated that the consent of at least one-third of the Central Committee (13 members) was needed. However, on 18 November 2009 Central Committee rejected the EGM with a vote of 23 to 10.