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Sunday, December 1, 2019

MCA cuts membership age to 16, targets schools

MCA president Wee Ka Siong.
KUALA LUMPUR: Members of MCA have voted to lower the membership age from 18 to 16, and to allow non-Chinese Malaysians to become affiliate members, without voting rights.
The change in the membership age is in line with the new lower voting age of 18 approved by the Dewan Rakyat recently.
MCA president Wee Ka Siong said the party’s next challenge would be to attract teenagers aged more than 16 to join the party. However, as an opposition party, MCA faced restrictions in access to schools and school children, he said.
The resolution to lower the membership age was approved by 1,495 delegates at the party’s annual meeting today. Three members objected and one member did not vote.
The amendment has to be approved by the Registrar of Societies.
Wee said MCA faced a challenge in reaching out to young people, while members of the ruling government were able to enter schools using their official positions to reach out to teenagers and educate them on voting.
“Education Minister Maszlee Malik has never given an answer as to why opposition members cannot enter schools,” he said.
He himself needed to obtain the approval of the education ministry before being able to enter schools in his Ayer Hitam constituency for any functions he was invited to.
On people of other races joining MCA as affiliate members, Wee said the party welcomed anyone who is interested. “We do not target only the famous,” Wee said.
Wee added that there had been people who had asked him if they could join the party.
Under the current rules, membership of the MCA is open only to Malaysians of Chinese descent, and there are only two categories of membership: ordinary and life.
The new rule must also be approved by the Registrar of Societies.
MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon said MCA currently has 1.07 million members.
In 1993, the party opened its doors to all Malaysians of Chinese origin, including those with non-Chinese names, and people with a Chinese mother or Chinese grandparents.
The party’s main political rivals, the DAP and Gerakan, are open to all Malaysians and are nominally multiracial, but draw their support largely from the Chinese community and the party leadership is mainly Chinese. - FMT

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