Food for thought in the com­ing polls

Hope­fuls in the MCA elec­tions busy woo­ing vot­ers dur­ing break­fast, lunch and din­ners

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By FOONG PEK YEE pekyee@ thes­tar.com.my

THEY were no or­di­nary din­ners for many MCA di­vi­sion chiefs who at­tended the get-to­geth­ers over the week­end.

The rea­son is that their at­ten­dance would be used to gauge their align­ment in the runup to the party elec­tions early next month. Nom­i­na­tion is to­mor­row.

“There are two din­ners in Klang Val­ley to­day (yes­ter­day), in­clud­ing a birth­day din­ner,” a di­vi­sion chief said.

The at­ten­dance, he said, would be an in­di­ca­tor of sup­port to a cer­tain ex­tent.

While he said he would not be present at any of the two din­ners, his po­lit­i­cal in­cli­na­tion is no se­cret within the MCA cir­cle.

All eyes are on the par­ent body and the can­di­dates for the posts of pres­i­dent and deputy pres­i­dent.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and Gan Ping Sieu are go­ing for the pres­i­dent’s post.

The two as­pi­rants for the deputy pres­i­dency are Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.

Equally be­ing watched are in­cum­bent pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and for­mer pres­i­dent Tan Sri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

While both are stay­ing out of the ring this round, it is also an open se­cret that they are out cam­paign­ing for their re­spec­tive team.

Liow is root­ing for Dr Wee and Dr Mah while Tee and Gan has Dr Chua’s bless­ings.

Both camps have cov­ered the top three states – Jo­hor, Se­lan­gor and Perak – with the most votes.

About 60% of the 630-plus elec­toral votes come from the three states alone.

“Your win­ning chances are good if you have good sup­port from the big states.

“But first of all, you must en­joy de­cent sup­port from your home state to gain oth­ers’ re­spect,” said a party leader from Jo­hor. His view is shared by many oth­ers. “This is sim­ple logic,” said a leader from Perak.

Dr Wee, Gan and Tee are from Jo­hor while Dr Mah is from Perak.

Of the 191 MCA di­vi­sions that are send­ing 630-plus elec­toral votes to de­cide the party’s line-up next month, 26 di­vi­sions are from Jo­hor, 24 from Perak and 22 from Se­lan­gor.

The 191 di­vi­sion chiefs are seen as the “key per­sons” to tackle, with some say­ing that the chief has as high as 85% con­trol on the del­e­gates within his or her di­vi­sion un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances.

Be­sides the posts of pres­i­dent and deputy pres­i­dent, the Nov 4 elec­tions will also de­ter­mine the four vice-pres­i­dents and 25 cen­tral com­mit­tee mem­bers.

Nom­i­na­tion for the Youth and Wanita na­tional line-up is to­mor­row while polling is on Nov 3.

Ni­cole Wong and Ng Kian Nam are set to lock horns for the na­tional Youth chair­man post.

Its in­cum­bent chair­man Datuk Chong Sin Woon is not seek­ing re-election.

For Wanita MCA, in­cum­bent chair­man Datuk Heng Seai Kie may have won un­con­tested.

She has an­nounced her de­ci­sion to de­fend her post and so far no one has made known an in­ter­est to vie for the po­si­tion.

Cam­paign­ing will pick up im­me­di­ately af­ter nom­i­na­tion.

Di­vi­sion chiefs and del­e­gates are surely busy siev­ing through break­fast, lunch and din­ner in­vi­ta­tions in the run-up to the polls.

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