Saturday, May 11, 2013
Review Allocation Of Seats For MCA, Gerakan
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Centre for Technology Policy and International Studies director Prof Dr Azmi Hassan said MCA and Gerakan members should make up a smaller composition of the Cabinet.
Azmi, who is also a geostrategy member, said it was not wrong for the prime minister to reduce the allocation of seats for the two parties.
"The number is not important, what's important is the role they (MCA and Gerakan) can play to win back support from the Chinese voters," he told Bernama here Friday.
He said MCA members also needed to hold on to the pledge made at the party's annual general meeting.
MCA had previously announced the party's stand not to accept any post in the government, should the party's performance in the just-concluded general election fare worse than the 12th General Election, whereby they won 15 parliamentary and 32 state seats.
In the 13th General Election, MCA won only seven of 37 parliamentary seats contested and 11 of 90 state seats.
Gerakan won only one parliamentary seat, Simpang Renggam, of the 11 seats it contested, and three state seats, namely Pemanis in Johor and Tanjong Papat and Elopura in Sabah, out of 31 seats it contested.
Before Parliament was dissolved on April 3, MCA had four full ministers in the Cabinet, namely Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen (tourism); Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha (transport); Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung (housing and local government) and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (health).
Besides that, the party also had seven deputy ministers, namely Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai (finance); Datuk Chua Tee Yong (agriculture and agrobased industry); Datuk Lee Chee Leong (home), Datuk Wee Ka Siong (education); Gan Ping Sieu (youth and sports); Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung (higher education) and Datuk Heng Seai Kie (women, family and community development).
Meanwhile, Gerakan has one full minister when its president, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who was appointed senator, was given the post of minister in the Prime Minister's Department, while two other party members, Senator A. Kohilan Pillay was deputy foreign minister and Datuk Tan Lian Hoe (domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism deputy minister).
For Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) political analyst Mohd Shukri Shuib, the seat allocation can be reduced but the government should never neglect representatives of the race in the Cabinet so that the Chinese will have confidence in the government's efforts.
"If the Chinese do not trust Chinese politicians in MCA and Gerakan, find other alternatives such as appointing others such as intellectuals or specialists who can gain their confidence," he said.
An analyst from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Fuad Mat Jali said, MCA and Gerakan representatives should remain in the Cabinet to retain national unity in the country.
The concept of power sharing practised by BN needs to be continued, but at the same time, the party's trust needs to be a foundation for the MCA and Gerakan to work towards getting the people's confidence.
"For me, MCA's decision not to accept any post in the Cabinet needs to be reviewed on the basis of unity and the interest of the Chinese community.
"We still need Chinese delegates in the Cabinet to bring about the aspirations of part of the community which still supports BN, and their voice needs to be represented at the top level," he said.
Mohd Fuad said although individuals who weren't politicians could represent the people in the Cabinet, the participation of MCA and Gerakan people's representatives who won in the general election should be considered to avoid discontent among any quarters.
"The lack of representation from the party could cause their representatives, especially those who won, to feel demoralised, unless they really do not want to hold a post," he said.
For Dr Noor Sulastri Yurni Ahmad from Universiti Malaya (UM), MCA and Gerakan's participation in the Cabinet should not only be reduced but also exempted, following their performance which indicates the people do not want representatives from the two parties.
"Those who win with a large majority should be given a chance to hold a post. If their victory is small, there is no need to keep them because the government is taking a risk by appointing them for the next five years and the people will be angry," she noted.
Noor Sulastri Yurni suggested that MCA and Gerakan seats be filled by component party representatives from Sabah and Sarawak who obtained a large majority.
Cheras Umno division chief Datuk Wira Syed Ali Alhabshee concurred, saying Cabinet members should consider the people's decision which clearly showed rejection for MCA and Gerakan.
"The trend for the 13th General Election shows that the Chinese do not need BN, only 10 to 15 per cent support them, so we should follow what they want and not give them anything (post).
"Based on the 1Malaysia concept, the prime minister wants to prove that he is a leader for all races, but if the Chinese community feels it does not need BN, then it's not wrong to form a Cabinet made up of other races," he added.