Candidate dilemma dogs MCA 

( – MCA’s candidate conundrum over the Pandan parliamentary seat foreshadows similar headaches awaiting the party in other constituencies, particularly its traditional power base of Johor.

The dilemma for MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who is responsible for drawing up the party’s proposed candidate list, was laid bare for all to see in February.
Over Chinese New Year festivities, Chua announced that Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, his predecessor as party president, will not be fielded to defend the Pandan parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional. Instead, Ong will be replaced by 39-year-old lawyer Gary Lim whom Chua said represented the party’s young talents without political baggage.
Ong however insisted on remaining Barisan’s candidate.
In selecting MCA’s candidates, Chua has to weigh the merits of offering “fresh faces” or incumbent candidates who are either big names in their own right or more familiar to voters.
There is no sure-win formula to that given the unique political dynamics and needs of each constituency.
Johor Umno leader Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed weighs in on the dilemma MCA faces in fielding candidates in Johor, where the party won half the 15 parliamentary seats it holds.
Validating the views of political pundits, Nur Jazlan notes that Chua may be reluctant to field Ong for a parliamentary seat in order to thwart a potential challenge for the party’s top job later on.
The record shows that Chua and Ong have been bitter rivals during the protracted MCA leadership crisis of 2008 which ended with Chua ousting Ong from the presidency.
MCA is due to hold party elections six months after the 13th general election. Aside from Tee Keat, Chua will also have to decide what to do with the “Ong brothers”, former MCA president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting and the latter’s brother Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
Ka Ting and Ka Chuan are members of parliament for Kulai in Johor and Tanjung Malim in Perak, respectively.
Although Ka Ting is not keen to stand as a candidate, factions aligned to the former minister are said to be adamant on nominating their own candidate instead of endorsing Chua’s choice. 

“Soi Lek wants to put his man in Kulai so there is a [disagreement], so for nothing they may lose the seat.

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