Monday, March 22, 2010

Nomination day for MCA begins

It is nomination day today for MCA, a day that marks the beginning of a fiery battle that could very well determine the survival of a party wracked by a destructive leadership spat since last year.

Since 1pm today, candidate hopefuls have been casting their nomination papers to compete for one of the 35 spots up for grabs in the party’s top leadership, which fell vacant last month after two-thirds of the central committee resigned en bloc to make way for fresh polls.

The air of excitement in the lobby of the MCA headquarters here this afternoon is almost palpable, with supporters for the each of the party’s various factions arriving in droves to witness the nomination process.

Some arrived with large banners, bearing the faces of the leader they supported, while others simply gathered in numbers, chanting out loudly.

Although the competition is on for all posts in the party’s central committee, all eyes will be on the contenders for the top six leadership posts namely the post of president, deputy president, and the four vice-presidents.

Over the past week, party leaders already began drawing the battle lines as they each announced their intentions to contest for one of the top party posts.

Leading the fray was incumbent party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, who many blame to be the very cause of the party crisis and looks to be the underdog in this fight.

He will meet two other heavyweights in his quest to remain number one — former party president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting and deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Interestingly, neither one leader comes without some access baggage or a stained past with Tee Keat and his alleged role in the Port Klang Free Zone scandal, Ka Ting and his role in supposedly leading the party to its dismal performance in the March 2008 general election, and Dr Chua with his controversial sex CD scandal.

Despite this however, it is still evident that each leader still command support from the different factions in the party, making the competition a close one.

Punters believe however that Tee Keat is entering this fight as the underdog as his struggle to remain a respected leader had already failed when he lost in the party’s October 10 extraordinary general meeting last year.


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