To stay or to quit BN: GE14 defeat reveals generational gap in MCA

A Tambun division leader said there was a tug between the younger members and the old guards on whether to stay or leave the BN coalition. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
A Tambun division leader said there was a tug between the younger members and the old guards on whether to stay or leave the BN coalition. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

IPOH, May 18 — After suffering its worst electoral defeat ever, there have been calls among MCA members for the party to leave Barisan Nasional (BN).

Division leaders contacted by Malay Mail, however, could not come to a consensus if the Chinese-based component party should remain in the coalition, or exit it.

A Tambun division leader who spoke on condition of anonymity admitted there are “whispers” among members urging party leadership to leave the coalition.

“For me, it will not make any difference as we will still be an Opposition,” he said.

“We will know the direction of the party after a central committee meeting,” he added.

He said there was a tug between the younger members and the old guards on whether to stay or leave the coalition.

“For the younger members, they still see hope if the party stayed on in the coalition but the older members do not share that sentiment as they had never become an Opposition party,” he added, noting that generally, members are disappointed with BN.

An Ipoh Timor division leader said it was unfair to leave BN now that it was going through some problems.

“We must remember we depended on Malay votes to maintain our ministers after Chinese abandoned us. It is not right to leave the coalition now. What the party should do now is revamp itself and look into its agenda and policy. What is its vision for the future, what the people want. Do not bulldoze through ideas like last time,” he added.

A Batu Gajah division leader said the party must ask itself if it could survive on its own without BN.

“We must think of the long term. Do not act on emotions,” he said.

“I hope party leadership will decide to remain in the coalition and work hard to regain the people’s confidence instead,” he added.

A division Wanita chief said the party was still deliberating on its next course of action.

“A post-mortem is underway. We will need to study the situation thoroughly...gather feedback from the ground and deliberate on the options,” she said.

She added MCA is still a political party.

“In politics, it’s either you win or lose. Not losing in 60 years does not mean we can’t lose. Losing this election is a call for us to change, so we change,” she added, noting that the recent general election had allowed the party to reset itself.

“Now we are an Opposition party, we must be an effective and constructive Opposition,” she added.

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