GEORGE TOWN: MCA will not contest the Bukit Gelugor by-election on May 25 because it has to focus all its strength on preventing the constitutional crisis triggered by PAS’ plan to implement hudud in Kelantan.
The Islamist party wants to table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament next month on the matter.
MCA, said party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, had a duty to defend the Federal Constitution and would be going around the country to garner public support against PAS’ hudud.
A “Safeguard the Federal Constitution” committee, headed by MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, had been formed for this purpose, he said.
“We are not worried about losing (in Bukit Gelugor) but there’s an urgent matter at hand. We will continue to strengthen our services there,” said Liow, adding that despite having to pull out from the by-election, he was confident of MCA coming back stronger in the next general election.
Other Barisan Nasional component parties, he said, would also not be contesting the seat.
“Because it is an MCA seat, we have to be given due respect to our decision,” he said after attending the swearing-in of Tanjung Malim MCA Youth and Wanita committee members in Bidor.
Earlier, announcing the decision during the Penang state liaison committee meeting, party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said:
“After deliberation and listening to feedback from the grassroots and the people, and discussions within Barisan Nasional, we decided during an emergency presidential council meeting not to take part in the by-election.
“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Barisan Nasional chairman, had endorsed the decision.
“We hope the people will understand that MCA must make a correct decision at this critical time.”
State MCA chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the liaison committee decided to fully support the decision.