KUALA LUMPUR: The upcoming Balakong by-election will see MCA contest under its own party logo for the first time.
This is significant as the 69-year-old MCA – the second largest Barisan Nasional component party – had always contested under the coalition’s dacing (scales) symbol.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who announced the decision after chairing the party’s central committee meeting yesterday, said it was in line with the party’s decision to “reform, walk its own path and walk the path for all” after the 14th General Election.
The party was badly defeated in GE14, winning only one parliamentary seat and two state seats – its worst performance in the country’s electoral history.
Barisan also lost its grip on the Federal Government for the first time since independence in 1957.
“People began to move away from the 60 years’ of rule by Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance) towards a whole new political life.
“MCA also readjusted its political role, discarded its historical political duty and baggage, and embarked on a new journey.
“The party is armed with the determination to be a constructive opposition party with pragmatism, and without fear and favour,” said Liow.
He said MCA would inform Barisan leaders of the party’s decision to use its own logo in the Balakong by-election, which is one of three by-elections since GE14.
Balakong, a Chinese-majority state seat in Selangor with over 60% Chinese voters, fell vacant after its DAP assemblyman Eddie Ng Tien Chee died in a traffic accident on July 20.
In GE14, Ng won 41,768 votes to beat Barisan’s Lim Chin Wah (MCA) who got 5,875 votes and PAS’ Mohamad Ibrahim who obtained 6,230 votes.
Liow said MCA had shortlisted a few candidates for the by-election and that his deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong would announce the candidate at the right time.
He said party vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is the campaign director.
Nomination is on Aug 18 and polling on Sept 8 – the same for the Seri Setia by-election, which was called following the demise of incumbent assemblyman PKR vice-president Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin on Aug 2.
Meanwhile, Liow said MCA was one of the three founding members of the country alongside Umno and MIC, and that the question of leaving Barisan did not arise. But as an individual party, he said MCA must reform and strengthen itself.
“This is the party’s priority,” he added.