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Monday, December 23, 2013

Time for MCA to engage the people

Published: Monday December 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Monday December 23, 2013 MYT 8:16:36 AM

WONG Kai Shyuan deleted so many emails and SMSes (short messaging service) on his handphone last week that his fingers still hurt.

The messages he received were from candidates contesting in the MCA national elections last Saturday.

Wong is a central delegate who voted at the elections and thus a prime target of election hopefuls.

Even his telco friends complained to him that the service was congested because of the MCA elections.

“This shows that our members know how to make use of social media very well.

“If only they had used their skills to attack the Opposition in the May 5 general election,” lamented Wong at the debate during the party’s annual general meeting on Sunday.

Those at the AGM may laugh over Wong’s “plight” but this is really no laughing matter. The leadership already recognises the urgency to start preparing for the next big battle ahead — the 14th general election (GE14).

First, they must get their members to start working now instead of waiting until Nomination Day.

The GE14 may be several years away but the Opposition actually started campaigning via social media right after the May 5 general election.

There is a regular flow of information available to all their followers — as if every day is a run up to polling day.

Like it or not, their texts are both well written and easily understood by the layman.

Apart from that, the DAP in particular is also very updated on issues currently affecting the people ranging from the toll hike, GST (goods and service tax), petrol price hike, sugar price hike to crime as well as security.

As a party in the ruling coalition, MCA may face some constraints in addressing such issues.

However, this is not a good reason for them not to engage the people on such issues. Reforming the party, transforming the party and winning back the Chinese community’s support will have to start with a small but important step, which is knowing how to engage the people in the first place.

Let this be the first step to be taken as the party begins a new era under the newly elected leadership.

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