KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Oct 2008: An additional deputy chairperson’s post in the Barisan Nasional (BN) should be created and the position filled by the MCA, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said.
The outgoing MCA Youth chief said because the party was the second largest in the BN, an MCA leader should be appointed as the second deputy chairperson to reflect the importance and representation of other component parties.
Speaking at the 45th MCA Youth convention at the party headquarters today, Liow said Umno’s dominant position in the BN should be re-examined.
He said even though MCA supported Umno as the leader of the BN, the position should be created, adding that the coalition’s secretary-general and treasurer also need not be from Umno.
He noted that during the struggle for independence, there would be no Alliance without the MCA, and certainly no BN today.
He said MCA needed to be play a balancing role in the BN in the interest of the nation’s stability and to improve government policies.
“The political structure and institution of BN need changes,” said Liow, adding that without these changes, both Umno and MCA faced the risk of becoming “political dinosaurs”.
Liow was making his final speech as Youth chief. Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong won the MCA Youth chief post uncontested on 13 Oct.
Starts with BN
Asked later at a press conference whether he also would also suggest for an additional post of deputy prime minister for MCA leaders, Liow said reforms must begin with the BN first before the government could be reformed.
Outgoing MCA deputy president Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy said Liow’s suggestion was timely, adding there was no hard and fast rule that Umno should head all the important BN posts.
“In 1974, the first BN secretary-general was MCA’s Tan Sri Michael Chen,” said Chan.
Chan said the top leadership should look into the suggestion seriously especially when they talk about the balance of power in the existing BN mechanism.
In response to Liow’s suggestion, Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the views of other component parties would have to be considered, too.
“The most important thing is not posts but the BN spirit,” said Hishammudin, adding that BN was in the process of revivalism and transformation.