KUANTAN - The 14th general election, expected to be called soon, is regarded by most political analysts as the most fierce and bitter election ever to be held in the country.
This has been admitted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself, who regarded it as 'the mother of all elections' that will determine whether Barisan Nasional (BN) continues to be in power in Putrajaya.
Undeniably, the question on whether the Chinese community will make another 'Chinese tsunami' or give their support to BN, especially MCA and Gerakan, again, which has done a lot for them, will be a factor.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai , when asked the matter, expressed confidence that the Chinese community were now able to gauge between 'glass and diamond' for them to depend on to look after their interests and well-being.
"We have learned from mistakes and realised the weaknesses in the last general election (GE). The loss of the Chinese support in the last GE was also because of problems in MCA.
"That is why when I took over the (party) leadership at end of 2013, the first thing I did was to carry out a party transformation until the grassroot level and the transformation was crucial to restore the support of the people, especially Chinese voters," he told Bernama recently.
Liow said the as a result of the transformation, the MCA members were more united and there were no more camps or faction in the party and this helped to restore the confidence of the Chinese community in MCA.
The transformation, he said, was also crucial to ensure MCA continued to be strong and looked up to by the Chinese community, as well as able to continue working with UMNO, MIC and other component parties in BN to administer the country.
"We want to clarify to the people that MCA is not merely as passenger in the BN ?ship' and does not contribute to the country, instead, the party has its own strength which contributes to BN's success," he said.
In fact, he said, to further strengthen the party, MCA also forged diplomatic relations with political parties in other countries, such as China, Thailand and Indonesia, like UMNO with Golkar in Indonesia.
The political relations, he said, also helped in enhancing diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the respective countries, especially China.
"The initiative by MCA in signing the declaration for the Belt and Road programme between Malaysia and China has attracted the interests of foreign investors and opened business opportunities, hence contributing to the country's economic growth.
"In this matter, MCA serves as a bridge between Malaysia and China, but it does not means that we are selling our sovereignty to the republic as claimed by the opposition," he said.
He said the success in getting more investors from China to invest in Malaysia has helped to stir the country's economic growth, which was at 5.9 per cent last year and among the highest in the world.
"It is these successes that have restored the support of the Chinese community for BN, by explaining to them the policies implemented by the government.
"Now, they are more clear that the government in inclusive and also looks after the interests of the Chinese community.
"Their involvement of the Chinese community in the country's development has given them a stronger sense of belonging and with that we are able to bring more development, making them more confident of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak," he said.
Liow said MCA's close relations with Gerakan would also be another important factor in restoring the confidence of the Chinese community for BN.
Through this close relationship, he said, the people would be able to gauge that MCA was serious in fostering racial unity.
"I think this time there is no more big issues that can cause a Chinese tsunami in GE14, allegations by the opposition on transparency in the government's delivery system, corruption are being addressed in stages.
"The people have realised and they now know which government should be chosen to administer the country," he said.