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Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 9:07:35 AM
by foong pek yee
The vice-presidency race is a crowded one with nine jostling for four posts, making it more difficult for all contestants.
THE aide of an MCA vice-presidential candidate was all excited when I asked her for an update on her boss’ campaign.
She reeled out some names of the local grassroots leaders who turned up at his dinners.
They were not known to be her boss’ supporters and therefore their presence was a good sign, she explained.
The vice-presidency race, with nine candidates jostling for four posts, is a crowded one, making it more difficult for each and every one of them.
But, there are at least two non-starters among them – Lee Wei Kiat from Selangor and Dr Leong Yong Kong from Kedah.
The fact is the potential winners ought to have a national image to begin with, and Wei Kiat and Dr Leong, who is also Gurun assemblyman, are political unknowns.
With that, central delegates need to choose four from the seven.
The most promising winning combination is Datuk Lee Chee Leong from Perak, Datuk Chua Tee Yong (Johor), Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (Selangor) and Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung (Johor).
Chee Leong and Tee Yong are from the team aligned to president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, while Chew and Dr Hou are aligned to deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Dr Chua, who is not seeking re-election, and Liow, who is contesting the president’s post, have come up with the “winning combination” to avoid an intense fight.
Vice-president Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said they must be picked after careful consideration and consultation by both sides and he expressed confidence that they could work together after the elections.
A senior party leader from Perak also described the candidates as a good mix and have their own strengths.
He said they should show their sincerity in the polls by helping each other to win.
The youngest among the nine, Tee Yong, 36, an accountant by training, is a second-term Labis MP and former agriculture and agro-based industries deputy minister.
He is hardworking and is the party’s young professionals bureau chief.
Most of all, youth is on his side, and fielding a young leader is in line with the party’s objective to bring in new blood to the party.
Chee Leong, in his 50s, is a very experienced politician who is known to be hardworking and a grassroots man.
A former assemblyman and executive councillor from Perak, Chee Leong was also Kampar MP and former deputy home minister until the May 5 general election.
Dr Hou, in his 40s, was a former Kluang MP and deputy higher education minister.
The 49-year-old Chew was a former Wanita chief and former deputy women, family and community development minister.
As the rose among the thorns, Chew may bank on support from the women central delegates.
Another vice-presidential candidate to watch is Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who is 63.
The former Lumut MP and former transport minister is MCA secretary-general, the third-highest post in the party after the president and deputy president.
Tanjong Piai MP Datuk Wee Jeck Seng was a former deputy youth and sports minister, while Datuk Chong Itt Chew is Kedah MCA chairman.
The candidates may seem promising, but it takes more that just that to win the race this Saturday.
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