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DAP has clearly stolen the show from MCA lately. A few months back, Tony Pua , an Oxford graduate and former CEO of a public listed IT company, officially joined the DAP, which created a bit of a stir among the Chinese community.

Just last Tuesday, Jeff Ooi , the godfather of Malaysian blogging, finally took the plunged and crossed over to the DAP from Gerakan, a member of the ruling BN.

Having got through its lowest point in history in the wake of the reformasi movement, when droves of young Malaysian chose the multiracial Parti Keadilan over the Chinese-based DAP, the party is now enjoying a reinvigoration, its fortune having turned around since the last elections in 2004.

The MCA, founded with a mission to represent and safeguard the interests of the Chinese Malaysian community, cannot afford to appear feeble. But the Chinese party is caught in a self-made dilemma. The Chinese see no reason to be grateful when the MCA successfully defends their rights, but there will be hell to pay should it fail to make good of its electoral promises.

Worse, it has never been a secret that the MCA is expendable so long as Umno is in a dominant position. Acutely aware of its own constraints and limitations, the MCA is constantly on a lookout for ways to prove to the Chinese community its legitimacy despite its being a "ruling" party. Unable to offer something original and innovative, the MCA has no option but to search in haste some fresh and youthful faces just to stay "relevant".

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