KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — Voters should not write off MCA in the coming general election just because DAP succeeded in making large gains in the previous polls, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said today.
The MCA president said before Election 2008, DAP had only 12 parliamentary seats and cautioned the public not to assume that the opposition party will repeat its performance from four years ago, which he called a “one-off” event.
“People get very gung-ho about the last election... Just because of one record-breaking result, a lot of people already passed a doomsday sentence on Barisan Nasional, on MCA.
“It’s the first time they (DAP) have a breakthrough and everybody says the rest are closing down, the whole country belongs to DAP,” he told reporters after opening the “Malaysian Chinese at the Political Crossroads” conference here.
Dr Chua pointed out that MCA had never dismissed DAP despite its performance prior to the “political tsunami” of 2008, and asked that voters not write off the ruling party so readily.
“MCA used to have nearly 30 MPs but we never passed comment that DAP was done for,” he said.
“The people can change. Do not take the people for granted. We never take the people for granted. So please don’t write off Barisan Nasional so fast.”
He also stressed that a vote for DAP was not a vote to strengthen the opposition in general like before but was a vote to benefit Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner PAS, which he claimed would impose Islamic values on non-Muslims.
He said the “wrong choice” in the next election would have a big impact on the country and said Chinese voters needed to increase their awareness of, according to him, the threat PAS represented to Malaysia’s multiracial fabric.
Dr Chua added that he wanted to see MCA members work harder to regain support from the Chinese unlike DAP, which he charged was taking for granted that the community would support them.
“All of us must work hard. The people have their expectations and if we can meet their expectations, which may be a rising expectation, then we can get some support,” he said.