PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Dr Chua Soi Lek has revealed he will not contest the president's post at the party elections in November.
"I love the party more than the post of president," he said.
The 71-year-old former president said that while winning the top post might be easy for him, what was most important right now was to transform the MCA into an effective party and opposition.
"I have retired for five years already.
"Let new leaders take up the challenge," said Dr Chua at a press conference here this morning (Sept 27), as he thanked all members who encouraged him to go for the president's post.
He said the party's three former cabinet ministers and four former deputy ministers (from 2014 to May 2018) should also stay out of the party elections.
"They carry political baggage, big and small, especially from the 1MDB scandal," he said, adding that their presence would remind party members, as well as the people, of the disappointment, anger and hate that toppled Barisan Nasional and MCA in GE14.
Barisan lost its grip on the federal government for the first time since independence in the May election, with the MCA winning only one parliamentary seat.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has also announced he would not be defending his post. Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, formerly the International Trade and Industry Minister, has also ruled himself out.
However, deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong will be contesting the president's post.
Dr Wee, the Ayer Hitam MP, is the party's lone MP from GE14.
Prior to GE14, Liow was Transport Minister, while Dr Wee was a minister in the Prime Minister's Department.
The four former deputy ministers are MCA National Youth chief Chong Sin Woon (education), Datuk Lee Chee Leong (finance), Datuk Chua Tee Yong (international trade and industry) and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (women, family and community development).
So far, they have not revealed their plans for the party elections.
Meanwhile, Johor deputy chief Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Perak MCA chief Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon have announced their candidacy for the post of deputy president.
Kluang MCA division chief Gan Ping Sieu is expected to go for the president's post, although he has yet to announce it.
Nomination has been set for Oct 15 and polling will be on Nov 4.