BIDOR: MCA has confirmed that they would not be contesting the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat, left vacant by the late Karpal Singh.
MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said in light of the constitutional crisis triggered by PAS in its move to implement hudud in Kelantan, the party needed to focus its strength to ensure it did not happen.
"We had a meeting in Penang with party grassroots members and other Barisan Nasional component party leaders.
"We have come to a consensus that we will not stand there," he said after opening a Parents' Day and swearing-in of Tanjung Malim MCA Youth and Wanita divisions committee members function here on Saturday.
"Because it is a MCA seat, we have to be given due respect on our decision," he said, adding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had also agreed on the matter.
Liow said that other Barisan component parties would not be contesting as well.
Liow stressed that MCA had a duty to defend the Federal Constitution and would go around the country to garner support from the people to prevent the implementation of PAS' hudud.
He said a "safeguard the Federal Constitution" committee, headed by party deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, had been formed for the task.
Earlier in Penang, MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan told a press conference at the state MCA headquarters that it hoped its supporters understand the importance of defending the Constitution.
"We hope the people will understand that MCA must make a correct decision at this critical time. We also hope voters who supported MCA understand the decision that we have made," he said.
Penang MCA chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun had also said the state liaison committee fully supported the decision.
The Bukit Gelugor by-election nomination day is set for Monday, May 12, and the polling day on May 25.