Kuala Lumpur, Dec 16 – For the past few weeks MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has been working behind the scene with his estranged deputy Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to unite the party prior to the Dec 21 party election.
In revealing this, party insiders said that the plan would include Liow replacing Dr Chua who will not be defending the president’s post and Youth Chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong taking over Liow as the deputy president.
The plan also includes both sides having two representatives each (2+2) for the four elected vice-president’s slot.
The plan also includes 13 representatives from Dr Chua’s side and 12 from Liow’s side (13+12) for the 25 elected slots for the party’s central committee position.
“However, some of their supporters couldn’t agree on this. They believe should one group take the presidency, the other group should take the deputy presidency but both sides couldn’t come to any agreement,” former MCA vice-president Datuk Yap Pian Hon told Bernama.
He said this may explain the reason why Dr Chua announced on Wednesday the plan would only cover the election of central committees (CC) up to the vice-president and not the party president and deputy president’s post.
The nominess on Dr Chua’s side for the two vice-president posts are two former deputy ministers Datuk Chua Tee Yong and Kampar division chairman Datuk Lee Chee Leong.
The same side’s 13 names for CC include Jason Teoh, Datuk Dr Lee Hong Tee, Datuk Tan Chin Meng, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, Datuk Ei Kim Hock, Datuk Wong Koon Mun, Datuk Koh Nai Kwong, Datuk Edward Khoo, Ooi Siew Kim, Datuk Chin
Tung Leong, Datuk Seri Dr Lim Chin Fui, Datuk Lua Choon Hann and Datuk Gan Tian Loo.
On Liow’s side, party insiders said under the peace plan the nominees for VP posts are Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung. Their 12 group line up include incumbent central committee (CC) members Datuk Toh Chin Yaw, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Datuk Hoh Khai Mun, Tan Cheng Liang, Datuk Paul Kong Sing Chu, Datuk Yoo Wei How, Datuk Alex Chuah Poh Khiang, Datuk Ti Lian Ker, Datuk Chai Kim Seng, Tan Shu Pei, Kuala Selangor division chairman Tan Chong Seng and Teh Chai An.
While both Liow’s and Chua’s group are supposed to nominate two people each to run for MCA vice presidency under the “peace plan” but the question is can supporters of both factions accept it?
“Judging from the fact that both sides already have more than two people each running for vice presidency, such compromise seems to be difficult though it is not impossible,” added Yap.
Under the plan, the Chua group recommended Datuk Lee Chee Leong and Datuk Chua Tee Yong, but pro-Chua Kedah MCA chairman Datuk Chong Itt Chew has also made public his intention to contest.
Similarly for Liow’s group that recommended former Wanita chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and deputy secretary-general Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, pro-Liow members Datuk Wee Jeck Seng and Lee Wei Keat are also joining the fray despite the effort to persuade both of them to run only for the CC post.
This also indicates that Dr Chua and Liow could not stop any of the central delegates from contesting in the party elections that is likely to see more than two aspirants from each camp going for vice presidency.
The talks among the party inner circles are that both Dr Chua’s and Liow’s group seem to be putting up two group of candidates to contest in this election though both sides denied this.
The second group from Dr Chua’s side are VP aspirants Datuk Chong Itt Chew and either party secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha or Johor State Exco Datuk Tee Siew Keong.
Similarly, Liow’s side was said to be putting up another front through Wee and Lee for the VP race in order to take a clean sweep on all four veep posts.
Both Dr Chua’s and Liow’s group seem to be focusing on VP and CC level, thus creating suspicion among their respective supporters that both sides were putting up two fronts for the battle.
“Most of them don’t trust each other. This may explaine why the so called peace plan itself is not comprehensive enough,” said former Padang Besar division chairman Datuk Loh Yoon Foo.
Therefore, it is interesting to see how the delegates will vote on Dec 21 election with many party members still unsure on how the so called ‘political brickmanship’ is going to work.