LIOW Tiong Lai is so confident that the Chinese have returned in droves to MCAthat he is willing to make this prediction: DAP will tumble badly in the 14th general election.
“DAP has been playing politics with the rakyat. This time DAP will tumble, I tell you ,” he said after the end of MCA’s 64th annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
“DAP will not make it because they have failed the trust of the Chinese community. They have failed miserably. They have made too many promises that have not been fulfilled.
“We have been conducting surveys from time to time. Every month, every week, we have surveys on the ground and feedback from the ground.
“So, we’re confident that the votes are coming back. We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Liow, without revealing any information on the surveys.
When asked how MCA would double its number of federal seats to 15, and which seats the party was confident of winning, he said he preferred to keep it a secret.
“I do not need to pinpoint these seats, especially since MCA is committed to serving all the seats that we have,” he said, adding that he would definitely stand in Bentong again.
“People know MCA is sincere. MCA is working. MCA has a strong team.”
In 2013, DAP won 38 out of the 51 parliamentary seats and 95 out of the 103 state seats it contested, while MCA suffered its worst electoral defeat – winning only seven out of the 37 federal seats and 11 out of the 90 state seats it contested.
Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Najib Razak had challenged one of Barisan Nasional’s oldest coalition partners to win at least 15 federal seats to justify its number of Cabinet posts.
“With just seven parliamentary seats, you cannot get three ministers. You cannot. You shouldn’t have,” Najib said, adding that MCA should only have one Cabinet minister.
“But we did it because we wanted to show that we listened to the Chinese community,” he told MCA central delegates.
Najib had asked the delegates to tell the Chinese community to vote for BN if they wanted a strong Chinese representation in his Cabinet.
Currently, Liow is transport minister, MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, while MCA secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan is the second international trade and industry minister.
Former MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek had told Chinese voters in the run-up to the 2013 election that they must vote for BN or they would not be represented in the Cabinet.
Despite that, the Chinese voted overwhelmingly for the then Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in 2013, culminating with PR winning 2.92 million of their votes while BN received only 661,469 votes.
Overall, PR won 52% of the 11 million votes cast in 2013, but gained only 89 out of the 222 federal seats due to the disproportionate structure of seats and Malaysia’s first-past-the-post voting system.
Following the 2013 election, BN blamed its dismal electoral performance to a “Chinese tsunami”, with Umno’s mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia, asking on its front page “Apa lagi Cina mau?” (What more do the Chinese want?).
Dr Chua later backtracked on the party’s decision to snub government posts in late 2013, claiming that Chinese voters were suffering as a result.
Barely six months after Liow took over MCA’s helm in December 2013 from Dr Chua, MCA was back in Najib’s Cabinet with two ministers and three deputy ministers.