JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru MCA division has called for fair and friendly competition as the party goes into its divisional-level elections on June 10 and 11.
The division’s incumbent vice-chairman Dr Au Tai Yiat said members and candidates must refrain from resorting to provocation or stirring up emotions.
He said some unrest surfaced following the nomination day last Thursday (June 1) after party president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who is also the Johor Baru division chairman, decided not to seek re-election.
Dr Au clarified that Dr Wee had much earlier expressed his wish not to seek re-election as the division chief to give others an opportunity to lead.
“Dr Wee wanted to focus his time at the national level to also strengthen the party and nurture more future party leaders, which we understand. He made the same stance during a division meeting called on May 20, which was attended by about 50 members.“We tried to convince the party president to contest and continue leading the division as chairman, and he told the division exco members to form a task force to discuss the matter.
“Dr Wee also reiterated that he is willing to give way to anyone who wants to contest the top position,” he said in a press conference yesterday.
When nomination day came, for most of the day, no one came forward to vie for the number one post. Dr Wee then submitted his nomination form in accordance with the Registrar of Societies’ regulations, as the division could not carry on the process without a candidate for the top position.
“It came as a surprise when the division’s incumbent deputy chairman Ang Boon Heng showed up at around 7.40pm to submit his name for the post.
“Ang was not present in both the meetings held on May 20 and 27, despite calls and messages to invite him, as he claimed that he had no interest in any positions.
“After he submitted his form, he rushed off, and we did not have the chance to speak to him. Dr Wee then retracted his nomination, like he said he would,” said Dr Au.
Seeing that there was a challenge for the top post, incumbent division MCA Youth chief Bong Seng Heng decided to go for it as well, added Dr Au.
After submitting his nomination, Ang claimed on Facebook that Dr Wee “did not dare to face the competition when contested”.
Dr Au said such actions caused confusion in the party, including among members from other states who sought clarification.
When contacted, Ang said he would be holding a press conference to comment on the matter.
A total of 344 delegates from the Johor Baru MCA division will be casting their votes to elect the top positions on June 11.
The polls will be held simultaneously with the respective annual general assemblies on June 10 for the Youth and Wanita wings and June 11 for the main body.