Malaysiakini Letter

Will the MCA EGM be turning point for country?

A Foreign Friend  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Even the Third Force can't save MCA .

I am a foreign businessman and I have had extensive investments and business interests in Asia, and Malaysia in particular, over the past 20 years.

Through conversations with my many Malaysian friends and business acquaintances, I have become an interested spectator of the current political landscape in Malaysia and it is with great humility that I would like to offer an outsider's view on tomorrow’s MCA EGM.

From my perspective, hidden behind a petty internal leadership tussle within MCA, lies a far more serious issue and I see two possible outcomes from the EGM.

Support for Ong Tee Keat, with his agenda of a clean and accountable government would force the same onto MCA, and therefore onto the entire Malaysian political landscape.

I see this as a turning point for Malaysia and as a foreign businessperson this is good news - it’s good for business!

It seems to me that any of the alternatives would result in an outcome that would not only undermine this agenda in the short-term, but would weaken MCA because it would encourage its membership to move towards the opposition.

A weak MCA (or MIC for that matter), in turn, forces Umno to consider new political alliances and that may lead to reduced Chinese and Indian representation.

Even the Umno leaders would agree that such an imbalance is ultimately unhealthy and destabilising - but should push come to shove, what other options exist for Umno?

I see an interesting by-product of this scenario which is that the opposition would also be weakened. This is because it would become less cohesive and more ideologically fragmented, something that it is already struggling with being a very new political coalition.

It has been my experience doing business around the world that the most progressive and successful democracies rely on having a strong and cohesive opposition and I think this is just as important for Malaysia.

So the outcome of the MCA EGM, far from being just an internal leadership tussle, I think will have a major impact on all of Malaysia.

So, at least for now, Ong Tee Keat has an important symbolic role to play which helps the current Umno and BN leadership to continue with a progressive political mandate.

It also gives the necessary space for the opposition to mature and become a more cohesive entity which in turn leads to a stronger and more progressive government and economy.

I and many of my friends wish only the best for this wonderful country and its people, and hope that MCA delegates will give full consideration to the importance of their vote tomorrow.

Semoga Berjaya!

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