The voting pattern among the Chinese in the Hulu Selangor by-election is a wake-up call for MCA leaders that the community is no longer just concerned with basic needs but also national issues, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said.
Dr Chua said the party needed to relook its approach as just providing allocations for Chinese schools, halls and better drainage systems was no longer enough.
“Apart from basic amenities, the Chinese are now more concerned about national issues,” he told reporters here after Barisan Nasional claimed victory in the Hulu Selangor by-election last night.
Results from polling stations showed that there was strong support for PKR from areas where the community formed the majority.
Dr Chua said the MCA would also be more vocal from now on.
He said the party would also send more leaders to Chinese villages to interact with the people to make them feel that they were part of the national agenda.
“We need to listen to them and get their feedback as well as update them on national issues,” he said.
Dr Chua also reckoned that the internal problems in the Kuala Kubu Baru division had contributed to the weak support from Chinese voters.
“Infighting exists in all parties but we will have to talk to the people concerned,” he said.
He said the 1½-year party crisis had also affected the Chinese support in the constituency.
“This is a wake-up call for all leaders to put aside their personal differences and work for the good of the rakyat.
“Otherwise, we will be consumed by the political dustbin and be called a political dinosaur,” he said.
On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s comment that the by-election was an acid test for MCA, he said Najib had made the reference not just to MCA but also himself and Pakatan Rakyat.
“If it was just a reference to MCA, there would not be so many big guns coming here to campaign,” he said.
Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the party would conduct a post-mortem to find out the reason behind the voting trend of the Chinese in the constituency.
Ask whether the poor response from the Chinese voters would make it more difficult for MCA to deal with Umno, Kong said Malaysia was a multiracial country and all component parties must work together.