KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said MCA’s willingness to carry out internal transformation was a timely step to enable the party to continue to remain relevant and get a place among the Chinese community. He said the internal transformation came with a plan on MCA’s participation in formulating a framework to strengthen the future of the Chinese community in the country. Each party member, he said should also take into consideration current developments in the party leadership and together realise the future direction of the party which could benefit the members, the people and country.

“Starting with internal changes, MCA must see all its existing strengths and be brave enough to see all the shortcomings that are still besetting the party till now,” he when opening MCA’s “Unity Gathering” themed “Teguh Bersama” (Unity is Strength) at Kolej Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman here today. Najib said leadership challenges in MCA had caused it to become weak, and as such, its leadership needed to create a ‘sense of togetherness’ in the party to regain its past glory. “It is easier said than done. In my experience, Umno also faced similar problems but we have resolved ours. MCA just like other parties needs to overcome its internal problems. “MCA needs to show new vigour and desire for change to continue being relevant as the party has reached a critical juncture in its history and that this may be the last call for MCA.

“As for the future of MCA, the party members must be ready to get up, stand together and work together to be committed to revive MCA for the betterment of the party itself, Barisan Nasional and the nation,” he said. As BN chairman and Prime Minister, Najib said he acknowledged and appreciated MCA as a senior partner in the coalition. “I want MCA to realise and feel that Umno and BN need you (MCA) and you (MCA) need Umno and BN. It is the foundation of the relations between the Malay and Chinese leaderships since Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Razak saw the coalition succeed until today,” he said. Even though the younger generation is not aware of the anxious historical moments when achieving independence, Najib said the older generation was more learned and appreciated unity, trust and sincerity as important values in making Malaysia a successful nation.

“This is what BN and MCA need today. It’s all about sincerity and honesty to each other. This is not about winning the next general election. It’s about nation building which means we are friends to solve our problems together. “We give some space, and differences of opinion within the family of BN as long as it can be seen in positive light. Although we are different, but in the bigger picture, we are all the same with the same dreams, vision and aspirations,” he said. Therefore, the prime minister stressed that MCA was an important partner in BN, whereby the party must remain as the voice and conscience of the Chinese community in the country.

“This is my hope, that when we are firm in the belief that unity is strength, we will walk the talk, and deliver. I am counting on MCA, as much as MCA is counting on me and the BN. “We will prove to people that BN is still the best choice for Malaysia. I also wish to see MCA becoming stronger as a successful BN partner,” he said. Commenting on the ‘Teguh Bersama MCA’ campaign, Najib said the assembly was the starting point of party’s rejuvenation to continue jointly contributing to the development of Malaysia to build a strong nation, respected by other countries. “We must cooperate and stay united to build our strength. I hope the “Teguh Bersama’ programme will unite the Chinese community and the Malaysian community as well,” he said.