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Heading To The Polls With One Voice
January 7th, 2018 | 09:44 AM | 994 views
MCA and Gerakan have jointly called for unity ahead of the 14th General Election, pledging to campaign hard together to ensure an improved performance for Barisan Nasional.
Both parties’ presidents also sent a warning that action will be taken against their members if they are found undermining the joint effort.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan chief Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong underlined the need to discard the negative perception that the two parties are in a “zero-sum game”, in which one party gains what the other loses.
“It is not a zero-sum game for MCA and Gerakan in our bid to woo Chinese voters this coming general election,” said Liow.
He pointed out that such a perception of their relationship from the past could be very costly for the two Barisan component parties this round.
The Chinese-based MCA was set up in 1949 while Gerakan, a splinter party, was formed in 1968 before it joined Barisan four years later.
Their joint rally at the MCA headquarters in Wisma MCA here yesterday, themed MCA-Gerakan Stronger Together, is historic, marking a new chapter for the parties in the wake of unparalleled challenges.
MCA has about 1.1 million members while Gerakan has 400,000.
In the last election, MCA won seven parliamentary and 11 state seats. Gerakan bagged one parliamentary and three state seats. A year later, Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong won the Teluk Intan parliamentary seat in a by-election.
The two parties saw a continuous slide in the last two general elections in 2008 and 2013.
Liow said the MCA-Gerakan relationship must be mutually beneficial from now on.
“We are brothers and sisters, and one family with one voice.”
Liow noted the importance for them to maximise their synergy for the 14th general election.
MCA is set to contest 40 parliamentary seats and 90 state seats while Gerakan is expected to vie for a total of 45 seats this round.
Liow said the election will be crucial as it marks the start of a golden decade for the country.
“The Government has established a good foundation and the development of the entire country is on the right track.
“The time has come to up the momentum.
“We must bring these positive developments to the Chinese community and restore confidence among the Malaysian Chinese.”
He also revealed that Mah and he had achieved an understanding with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on improving the rights of the Chinese community and development opportunities for them.
Only about 15% of the Chinese electorate supported Barisan in the last election and the coalition is striving to at least double the support.
Liow said the upcoming election is also a crucial battle that would determine the country’s future direction.
“We all know that religious and racial extremism has gone up in recent years.
“As such, we must unite against extremism and bring the country back on track.
“The Chinese votes are important. The Chinese community must be within the mainstream of the government,” he said.
Liow singled out the need to protect the Federal Constitution, uphold the principle of moderation and safeguard the country’s diversity.
He said MCA and Gerakan are duty-bound to lead the Chinese community to create a new breakthrough in facing the unparalleled challenges.
Yesterday’s rally saw a multiracial turnout of 3,118.
The central leaders from both parties stood onstage shoulder-to-shoulder.
courtesy of THE STAR
by Foong Pek Yee
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