Tee Keat wins MCA Presidential race, Soi Lek is No 2
MCA Vice- President Datuk Ong Tee Keat yesterday won the MCA Presidential race after defeating former Vice- President Datuk Seri Chua Jui Meng at the Party polls held at the MCA Headquarters at Wisma MCA here. Ong, who is also Transport Minister, polled 1,429 votes against 917 votes garnered by Chua, a former Health Minister. Loud cheers from Ong’s supporters greeted the outcome of one of the most intense battles in Party history at 9.45pm tonight, some seven hours after the 2,378 delegates cast their ballots to pick the MCA national leaders. The Presidency fell vacant after incumbent Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting did not seek re-election. For the Deputy Presidency, Party Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, the elder brother of outgoing President (Ong Ka Ting), lost his battle for promotion to former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who resigned from all Party and Cabinet posts after a video tape of him in a compromising position with his girlfriend was made public late last year. Dr Chua polled 1,115 votes while Ong obtained 1,001, in the win described by political pundits as an upset. The other two contenders in the race were Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai who got 209 votes and Lee Hack Teik, a former State Assemblyman, who managed only 10 votes. The Deputy Presidency fell vacant after incumbent Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy declined to seek re-election. The top two positions are considered important at this juncture, especially after the Party suffered a humiliating defeat in the March 8 general election, which saw MCA winning only 46 State and Parliamentary seats compared to the 106 it had secured in the 2004 polls. Meanwhile, in the four seat Vice- President race former Wanita Chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen, created Party history after she was elected as the first woman veep in the Party’s 59-year history. Others who made the cut were Health Minister and former Youth Chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, Tan Kok Hong from Johor and Lumut Division Chief Datuk Kong Cho Ha, who topped the list of 25 elected CC members at the last Party elections. Dr Ng polled 1,659 votes while Liow obtained 1,725 votes with Kong garnering 1,798 votes and Tan 1,329 votes. Other contestants in the race were incumbent Datuk Seri Fong Chan Onn (883 votes), Deputy Home Minister and Alor Setar Member of Parliament Datuk Chor Chee Heung (1,233 votes), former veep and former Serdang Member of Parliament Datuk Yap Pian Hon (445 votes) and Kuala Langat MCA Division Vice Chairman Lim Teck Chong (268 votes).
Meanwhile delegates to the assembly also picked 25 MCA Central Conimittee delegates. They were Lee Wei Kiat, Wong Foon Meng, Tan Chai Ho, Tan Cheng Liang, Dr Hou Kok Chung, Lee Chee Leong, Gan Ping Shou, Yu Chok Tow, Wong Nai Chee, Lee Sing Chooi, Wee Jeck Seng, Gan Tian Loo, Dr Yeow Chai Thiam, Chong Itt Chew, Hoh Khai Mun, Ti Lian Ker, Liew Yuen Keong, Wong Mook Leong, Paul Kong Sing Chu, Edward Khoo Keok Hai, Tee Siew Kiong, Loh Seng Kok, Wong Siong Hwee, Dr Por Choo Chor and Loke Yuen Yow. - Bernama