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Published: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday December 17, 2013 MYT 11:21:06 AM

MCA polls: Liow and Gan defeat Ong in ‘cheering contest’

Straight fight: Dr Wee shaking hands with Lim after the nomination for the deputy president’s post.

Straight fight: Dr Wee shaking hands with Lim after the nomination for the deputy president’s post.

Kuala Lumpur: The loudest cheers were reserved for Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Datuk Gan Ping Sieu as they filed their nomination for the MCA president’s post.

After all, one of the two is going to be the party’s No. 1 man after Saturday’s elections.

The third man in the fray, former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, had his share of attention but there is unlikely to be a second coming for him.

Liow, the incumbent deputy president, filed his nomination at 1.43pm yesterday while Gan, an incumbent vice-president, filed his about an hour later.

Ong, who filed his nomination at about 4pm, just about an hour before nomination closed, became the centre of attraction when he walked into the San Choon Hall.

The reason is that he could affect the chances of the other two in this very tight race, although he is expected to get less than 10% of the 2,385 votes. Some party observers say he may even get less than that.

Still, the votes he will draw matter to the others, which is why there was talk of last-minute negotiations to get him to pull out of the race.

Ong knows he is the underdog and played the part well.

Claiming that he had been subjected to attacks in cyber space, he said: “Why focus on attacking me when I am not important and do not pose a threat?”

The former Pandan MP has lost his home ground. The fact that he had to go to Kubang Pasu (Kedah) to fight for a central delegate post at the recent divisional elections showed that he was not confident in his own state.

(Those who want to contest in the MCA national elections must be a central delegate.)

Liow, the Bentong MP, and Gan, a former Mengkibol assemblyman, both have their strong and weak points.

Both are trilingual (English, Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia) and enjoy a high profile in the party.

Speculation about their chances will definitely intensify in the next few days.

It is learnt that the supporters of Liow and Gan have even started counting the number of votes their bosses can garner.

They are going after each and every one of the central delegates, the majority of whom are in Selangor, Johor and Perak.

It is the central delegates who will matter on Saturday but during nomination yesterday, Ong could bask in the limelight for a while.

Tags / Keywords: Politics, MCA, Liow Tiong Lai