KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Oct 2008: MCA’s outgoing Wanita chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen has called for the party to be more vocal in order to win back voters’ confidence in the next general election.
Dr Ng, who is the first woman running for a vice-president’s post in the party, said MCA had to overcome public perception, especially within the Chinese community, that it was “not visible or audible enough”.
“We are not seen to be effective in the Barisan Nasional (BN). We must overcome this perception. We need to loudly express the Chinese community’s concerns, and ensure effective measures are taken,” she said in her final speech as Wanita chief at the wing’s 33rd annual general assembly today.
She noted that in the March general election, Wanita MCA lost five of the seven parliamentary seats it contested in, and eight out of nine state assembly seats.
She called on the party to revive itself by ensuring transparency in membership approvals and conducting membership training to instil party loyalty.
She said the party should also provide financial support for MCA’s grassroots and ensure MCA’s effectiveness in the BN by voicing out the concerns of all Malaysians.
Dr Ng, who has led Wanita since 1999, said the party should already be identifying potential candidates for the next general election so it could prepare ahead of time.
Calling this year’s party election a “watershed” for the MCA, she said her candidacy for a vice-president’s post marked an era of change.
“For the first time in the party’s 59 years, there will be a woman candidate to share in the top-decision making. This will continue to gender-sensitise the party and ensure holistic male-female views in the MCA,” she said.
Dr Ng, who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, urged the Wanita delegates to vote for her at the polls tomorrow.
At a press conference later, she said she expected most of her votes to come from the Wanita delegates, which comprise 15% of delegates at the party’s annual general assembly.
“I wouldn’t contest if I were not confident. But this is not just about Ng Yen Yen. It is a watershed for women in the party and the party itself,” Dr Ng said, adding that in terms of total MCA membership, Wanita members comprised 37%.
The Wanita chief post was won uncontested by Selangor Wanita head Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who was formerly parliamentary secretary for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
The other top posts in the Wanita elections this year were also won uncontested. The movement’s deputy chief is Datuk Yu Chok Tow, while the four vice-chairpersons are Datuk Lee Pit Chern, Tan Ah Eng, Datuk Lim Bee Kau and Datuk Agnes Shim.
The race for the Wanita central committee will see 25 candidates vying for 23 seats.
Four Wanita candidates will also be standing for election in the party’s central committee. They are Tan Cheng Liang, Heng Seai Kie, Datuk Yu Chok Tow and Ong Chong Swen.