KUALA LUMPUR: Many young and new faces will be helming MCA divisions for the next three years, after emerging victorious in the party's division elections.
Among those who were successful in yesterday's elections were Wee Jeck Seng (Tanjung Piai), Ling Hee Keat (Segambut), Koh Chin Han (Jasin), Peter Lai (Seremban) and Lim Fui Ming (Jempol).
Wee, 44, who is the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, won comfortably when he polled 120 against his opponent Lim Chin Hoe, who obtained 42 votes.
“I will discuss with Johor members before deciding on my political plan. I am considering relinquishing my Johor Youth chief post as the state has young and capable leaders to take over,” he said.
Hee Keat, 36, became the youngest division chief when he defeated Tan Hoe Chieow to become the new Segambut division chief.
Hee Keat, the younger son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, garnered 117 votes while Tan obtained only 62.
Hee Keat said he would decide whether to go for any post in the national MCA election in October after discussing with the party members.
“I have informed my family of the result. My father congratulated me and reminded me that I must work harder from now,” said Hee Keat, who attributed his victory to the grassroots and not to the fact that his father was the former party president.
In the Jasin division in Malacca, Koh Chin Han defeated incumbent and former state assemblyman Datuk Chong Tam Onn by just nine votes.
Koh, 38, said he would serve his division better as well as deliver the promises he had made during campaigning.
In Seremban, Datuk Peter Lai Yit Fee, who is allied with national organising secretary Datuk Hon Choon Kim, won the top post by defeating Datuk Lee Yuen Fong, and Ng Chee Gong in a three-cornered fight.
Lee, better known as Tiger Lee, polled 134 votes against Lai’s 212 votes but Ng only obtained 10 votes.
A disappointed Lee said he did not expect to lose heavily but assured his supporters that this was not the end of his political career.
In another three-cornered fight, former Bahau assemblyman Lim Fui Ming won the Jempol division chief post by defeating acting division chief Yap Chien Leong and Teo Yook Kee, who is the Taman Satellite branch chairman.
In Perak, four incumbent division chiefs were re-elected while two divisions – Ipoh Timur and Gopeng – will have new chairmen.
Ipoh Timur deputy chairman Datuk Thong Fah Chong, who obtained 192 votes, beat incumbent Datuk Chew Wai Khoon, who had only 135 votes.
In the Gopeng division, Albert Chang Chun Cheun thrashed Lee Thim Leng by 85 votes to win the top post.
The incumbent division chiefs returned to their posts were Datuk Lee Chee Leong (Kampar), Datuk Tan Chin Meng (Ipoh Barat), Lee Hock Tow (Taiping) and Loh Koi Pin (Batu Gajah).
In the Kuantan division, Datuk Ti Lian Ker not only retained his post but his “men” also made a clean sweep. Ti beat his challenger Chang Hong Seong with a 82-vote margin.
In Kapar division, former Youth chief Datuk Song Kee Chai defeated incumbent Khoh Siew Kim, who is a former private secretary to Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh, who was the former secretary-general.
In the Kulai division, Tan Ek Seng was elected the new division chairman after defeating incumbent Chun Yoon Fook, who is aligned to former party vice president Dr Chua Soi Lek. Tan obtained 133 votes against Chun’s 97.
In Pulai division, incumbent Low Teh Hian won against Cze Hwa San.
Last year, Low, who obtained 190 votes against Cze's 166 votes, was suspended after he allegedly took out a pistol to defend himself after a 42-year-old businessman found his wife and him at his (Low’s) condominium.
His suspension from all party duties had been lifted after he was cleared of the allegation.
In Penang, state MCA secretary Datuk Lye Siew Weng suffered a crushing defeat when he lost to former Penang municipal councillor Tang Heap Seng for the Bukit Bendera chairman’s post.
Tang, who is Hye Keat Estate branch chairman, obtained 119 votes compared to a single vote obtained by Lye.
Tanjung MCA division chairman Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun retained his post for the eighth term when he defeated his opponent Loke Poh Chye by 30 votes.