SLIM to none. That sums up the chances of MCA regaining its position as the political party of choice for Malaysian Chinese.
Recent surveys show an overwhelming number of Chinese still support DAP and the opposition.
These findings cast doubt on the claim by MCA president Liow Tiong Lai that DAP candidates will be knocked out in the next election.
In a survey conducted in August this year, Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) found that 68% of the Chinese respondents favoured Pakatan Harapan, while only 21% supported Barisan Nasional. A total of 7% were undecided and 4% supported PAS.
Chinese voters’ approval for PH state governments in Selangor and Penang also remained strong at 58% and 65% respectively, said IDE.
In another survey carried out by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research in September, more than two-thirds of ethnic Chinese respondents, or 68%, believe that the country is generally going in the wrong direction, compared with 51% in a similar poll conducted in April 2013.
Only 11% of the Chinese respondents in the survey of 1,000 people believe the country is going in the right direction, down from 21% in April 2013.
Liow had predicted on Sunday that DAP will tumble in the next general elections, which must be held by next August.
Merdeka Center’s executive director, Ibrahim Suffian said it was premature for Liow to make such a claim.
“It’s still too early to say whether there is a substantive improvement in Chinese voter support to MCA at this point in time.
“So far, available data still show that DAP is favoured over MCA. However, we can’t rule out some minor variations due to changes in turnout amongst voters of different age groups,” Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insight.
Merdeka Center research manager Tan Seng Keat said even if there was a swing back to BN, it would be from a small percentage of loyal MCA supporters who voted against BN in the last election because they believed there was a genuine chance of changing the government
In 2013, MCA suffered its worst electoral outing, winning only seven out of 37 parliamentary seats and 11 out of 90 state seats it contested. DAP won 38 out of 51 parliamentary seats and 95 out of 103 state seats it contested.
MCA is said to have some 1.09 million members and is the second largest component party in BN, but only 661,469 Chinese voters (18.4%) voted for BN in 2013, while 2.92 million (81.5%) voted for Pakatan Rakyat.
IDE said most Chinese respondents are still angry with BN for introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April 2015, leading to a sharp rise in the price of goods.
“Most are unhappy with the current economic situation,” said IDE.
It found that the rising prices of goods topped the list of concerns among Chinese respondents (53%), followed by the pressures of life (23%), wages (10%), crime and social issues (6%), infrastructure development (5%), unemployment (2%) and other issues (3%).
The IDE conducted the survey among 4,468 people.