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Monday, December 23, 2013

Let bygones be bygones, says Wee

Publication: NST
Date of publication: Dec 23, 2013
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 008

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and his deputy, Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, have given their assurances that unity within MCA will be given priority.

In his winding-up speech at the end of the party's two-day 60th annual general meeting, Liow urged MCA members to unite.

"From today onwards, there is no Liow or Chua camp. There is only one camp, which is the MCA camp. We are starting a new journey and I would like to focus on party unity."

Wee said continued infighting would derail the party's plans to reinvigorate itself and face the 14th General Election.

"Let bygones be bygones. Let us forget about the party election (results). It is time to move forward. If we continue to attack each other, we will not be able to fight the war and win it," he said at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

He said MCA's true enemies were the opposition, and it was time for party members to close ranks and unite to face their adversaries.

"They (party members) may be disappointed with the defeat of their preferred candidates, but this is how democracy works. If you love the party, both sides of the divide can work together as a team."

When asked to comment on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who said MCA needed "political Viagra", Wee said: "I don't believe in Viagra and I don't think we need Viagra.

"What we need, perhaps, is an isotonic drink like 100Plus. We just need to re-energise.

"The problem is MCA's ability to mobilise its members. We need to identify these problems and resolve them.

"If we want to fight for the party's survival, we need to make members understand that we are going to fight a war soon," he said, referring to GE14.

He said should preparations be undermined by another round of internal bickering, the party would not survive the next general election.

"Right now, our aim is to garner the support of at least 30 per cent of the Chinese community.

"I think it is achievable, as we have always maintained that level of support, except in the 13th General Election."

Meanwhile, delegates at the final day of the AGM unanimously passed 13 resolutions.

The resolutions adopted, among others, included those involving party affairs, politics, the economy, education, governance as well as on community and quality of life.

On party affairs, a resolution called on all MCA members to stay united in support of the new leadership's efforts to reform and transform the party in order to regain the people's trust in the Barisan Nasional component party.

On politics, a resolution, among others, condemned all forms of racism and that stern action should be taken against those who incited or propagated racial hatred.

On the resolution on the economy, MCA supported the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on condition that the six per cent rate was maintained for at least five years and that proper safety nets were put in place beforehand to protect the lower-income or vulnerable groups.

MCA also supported the government's efforts to rationalise subsidies as part of the economic transformation programme to shift from a blanket subsidy to targeted subsidies for the needy.

The 64-year-old party also wanted the government to reduce wastage of public funds and plug leakages in the economic system to reduce government deficit.

It supported the establishment of the Integrity Management Unit in all public agencies to enhance compliance and adherence of procedures, in line with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's efforts to avoid abuse of power and eliminate corruption.

On the resolution involving community and quality of life, MCA wanted the Home Ministry to step up crime prevention and enforcement efforts and regain public confidence in the police force.

The two-day AGM concluded yesterday after debates by 18 delegates and winding-up speeches by newly elected vice-presidents - Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, Datuk Chua Tee Yong, Datin Chew Mei Fun - and Wee and Liow.

On Saturday, it saw the election of new office bearers for the 2013-2016 term, while elections for MCA's Youth and Wanita wings were held on Thursday and Friday, which also saw the election of new office bearers.

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