Malaysia: Liow: MCA will defend human rights

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 (Sin Chew Daily) – The MCA will not tolerate racist policies and will strongly oppose against unfair policies, while making every possible effort to safeguard fairness and human rights, said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said that in multi-cultural Malaysia, new values are needed. The MCA must also show the people, particularly the new generation, a “new MCA”.

He said that although MCA is a mono-racial political party, it takes the multi-racial line, just as stated in the party constitution.

Liow told Sin Chew Daily that the MCA attaches great importance to transparency, anti-corruption, democratic freedom and human rights, and thinks that these can check and balance some racists and chauvinists.

“We have been very disgusted by racist politics, such as the call of taking actions against the Chinese.

“We must not allow such extremism,” he said.

He believes that the new generation does not wish to see MCA pursue a racial line and the party itself does not wish to see the government or any political parties to use racism to create racial antagonism.

He said that with the changing times, the MCA can longer use the old practice of negotiations or internal negotiations, but must make high-profile political discussions to achieve desired results.

Liow said that MCA’s reform is imperative. In addition to upholding the objectives of the party constitution, the MCA will no longer serve as merely a racial group’s representative, but also a representative of “replacing racial values with universal values”, “replacing rights of a racial group with human rights”, and “replacing mono-racial group’s view point with multi-racial groups’ view point”, when negotiating with Umno in the future.

He said that such negotiations will no longer be a zero-sum game, while racial antagonism will not be created, too.

Liow said that although the DAP have won 38 parliamentary seats in the 2013 general election, it could not help the Chinese community and Malays would not support the DAP.

“In today’s pluralistic society, the MCA wants to be a political party for all, gaining not only the support of Chinese, but also Malays and Indians,” he added.

Liow hopes that the Chinese community can give the MCA some time and opportunity to prove its reform determination and sincerity.

He said that the party must carry out internal and external reforms. Internal reforms refer to institutional reform, organisational transformation, training programmes and the passing down of resources and power. Meanwhile, external reforms include a joint reform with Umno and other BN component parties. Also, the MCA must stay close with the Chinese community and the people, as well as interact with the grassroots.

He believes that the people want to see the party’s direction and the focal point of its reform.

Liow said that the MCA must have political dominance, particularly in Chinese community-related issues. It can never have power without political dominance.

He said that as a ruling party, the MCA must have three things, namely the right to speak, dominance and enforcement power, to help the people.

As for whether the MCA will review the decision of not joining the Cabinet, he said that the MCA will not be in a hurry to pass the motion of reviewing the decision, but it must be discussed and decided by the party’s central delegates.

Liow said that he will be pushing the direct election system for party president post or expansion for the delegate voting system, as well as re-registration of party members.

He said that the idea to have direct election for party president is correct and many people want the MCA to move towards a greater democratic system. Therefore, after clarifying the rules and details, the proposal will be discussed and debated. If it is supported, a motion to amend the party constitution should be tabled.

He said that even if the party president post is directly elected, the MCA still needs its central delegates for the selection of other posts.

He said that under a direct election system for the party president post, it is proposed that reregistration for part members should be carried out at the same time.

“Just like the existing electoral system, the people need to register before voting and if MCA members wish to vote, they must first register to become active members,” he explained.

He stressed that re-registration does not mean deletion of membership. If some party members do not want to compete or vote, they can choose not to register and the party headquarters will not remove their memberships.

Liow said that the party needs new forces and thus, it will solicit new members through a better mechanism in the near future.