Presidents of MCA, GERAKAN and SUPP have lost their political and moral legitimacy to lead

For the first time in Malaysian history, at least three incumbent Presidents of BN component parties will not be standing as candidates for their respective parties. They are MCA President Dr Chua SoiLek, GERAKAN President DrKohTsu Koon and SUPP President Peter Chin. They may be joined by a fourth – PPP President M.Kayveas.

Their non-candidacy is yet another indication of the emasculation of the BN component parties under the ‘rule’ of ‘Big Brother’ UMNO. Not only has UMNO forced other BN component parties to ‘return’ seats such as the Grik parliamentary seat (GERAKAN) and the Kuantan parliamentary seat (MCA) and the Pasir Panjang state seat in Perak (MIC) to ‘Big Brother’, there are strong indications that even more seats would be given to UMNO including Wangsa Maju in the Federal Territories (MCA) and the Gelang Patah seat in Johor (MCA) which I will be contesting in for the upcoming General Election.

If this trend continues, the Barisan Nasional (BN) might as well change its name to UMNO Plus since it will comprise of an over-dominant UMNO plus a number of powerless component parties helmed by Presidents whose candidacies are decided by the UMNO President.

Furthermore, by not contesting, these leaders have lost all legitimacy to lead their respective parties within the BN. They will not represent the BN in parliament or in the cabinet unless they take the ignominious road of being ‘back door’ Ministers via the Senatorship route which some, including Dr. KohTsu Koon, have shamelessly done. They will be sitting at the BN table as non-elected representatives while being surrounded by UMNO leaders who are elected representatives.

The notion that these leaders are stepping aside to allow younger blood to be groomed is even more laughable especially when Dr. Chua Soi Lek himself cannot guarantee that his ‘protégé’ in Gelang Patah, Jason Teoh, whom he showered with effusive praise in the past, will be able to contest in the MCA seat of Gelang Patah!

If all of these BN component leaders are serious about grooming younger blood to take over, then they should promise to step down as the Presidents of their respective parties after the 13th general election! To date, none of these leaders have made such a promise. This, in fact, is the worst kind of leadership by example – not daring to face the voters to get a mandate and yet, still wanting to be in charge of their respective parties.

If in the mother of all elections that is the 13th General Election, these BN component party leaders are not ready and able to stand up and face the voters but still want to remain as party presidents, then I call upon all Malaysians to reject all candidates belonging to these parties since they are being led by leaders who have lost their political and moral legitimacy to lead.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur