MCA results not telling much


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 29 Jul 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The long-awaited MCA division elections are over but the results have not helped in making the picture on national-level polls this October any clearer.

A day after the polls involving 191 divisions, party campaigners are still analysing the results of the elections.

Most of the national-level aspirants claim that the results favour them but the more cautious ones say they need a little time to digest the results.

The division results saw the emergence of several new faces such as Chew Kok Woh (Beluran), Wee Jeck Seng (Pontian), Wee Ka Siong (Johor Baru) and Ling Hee Keat (Segambut) but generally, the more older grassroots leaders were able to keep their reign as division chairmanship.

The division polls also saw veterans like Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn (Alor Gajah) and Datuk Chua Jui Meng (Bakri) winning while Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek retained his Batu Pahat chairmanship uncontested.

Datuk Lee Hwa Beng was the biggest casualty when he was defeated in Kelana Jaya by division Wanita leader Ong Chong Swen by six votes. In Bukit Bintang, incumbent Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng kept his seat, winning by one vote.

Party leaders said that in some divisions some committee members may not be aligned to the chairmen who were voted in.

Perhaps the only clear outcome so is that members have become matured as evident in relatively-smooth branch and division elections.

The division polls on Sunday had voted in the central delegates, who in turn will decide on the national-level leadership on Oct 18.

The outcome of Sunday’s voting pattern would have an impact on how the competition for the national level polls would shape up.

So far, only vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat has announced his intention to contest for the president’s post following the decisions of Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy not to seek re-election.

It has been speculated that Soi Lek may make a bid for the president’s post although Jui Meng has also been tipped for the slot.

Dr Fong, who is said to be also keen on the party’s number one post, said: “Whatever my decision, it will be for the sake of stabilising the party. Things are rather uncertain after the March 8 general election.”

The division polls also saw two veterans – Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh and Datuk Yap Pian Hon – being elected as delegates to the national assembly.

They have indicated their intention to join in the fray for top posts.

Party observers said they were bracing for a “crowded fight” at the top but expected some form of horse-trading to be worked out eventually.

Those tipped to be eyeing the deputy presidency post include vice-president Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.

But weeks from now, as events become clearer, the contenders would be criss-crossing the country to drum up support for the big fight.

Related Story:Veterans see victory as stepping stone to the top

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