Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who is the manipulator? Who is the kingmaker?

Lim Sue Goan, Malaysian Insider

Mar 23, 2010

It is a three-cornered fight for the MCA presidency. Who do you wish to be elected the party president? Is it former president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, former deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek or incumbent president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat?

It is not something to be determined by you and me, but by the 2,380 central delegates of the MCA. They are bearing a very heavy responsibility as they are going to choose party leaders on behalf of a million party members, as well as the Chinese community of Malaysia. How are they going to make the decision?

Many newspaper analyses show that Tee Keat has no chance to win the battle as his performances and record as the president are obvious to all. Therefore, it is going to be a fierce fight between Ka Ting and Dr Chua. The two of them are familiar enough to the public.

Ka Ting has a strong leadership ability. He successfully united Team A and B after taking office in 2003. It is his advantage to win votes. However, he has left office for more than a year.

As for Dr Chua, he possesses a strong organisational capacity. He is supported by the grassroots since he has been active among them over all these years. It is the key for him to make a breakthrough but unfortunately his image is not as good as his opponents’.

In the 2005 party elections, Ka Ting defeated former Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng by winning 1,515 votes (65 per cent support). As for Dr Chua, he was elected the deputy president among the four candidates in the 2008 party elections by gaining 1,115 votes (48.52 per cent support). But the previous results can only be used as a reference.

To a large extent, MCA party elections depend on the factions and commands from the high level. For example, how many votes are controlled by district chairmen, state chairmen, state assemblymen and members of Parliament. Candidates who are able to gain more support from district factions and leaders will have a bigger chance to win. But ironically, all the candidates contesting for high posts this time claim that they have not formed any alliance with others.

The fresh polls are complicated as they involve interest transmissions and the manipulation of old forces and veterans. Elections require forces, friendship and contacts. There may be tens or hundreds of manipulations, who are wrestling and deploying behind the scene to make a fresh poll result.

Therefore, it is not as simple as treating the delegates or shaking hands with them. If Dr Chua did not mention about it, not many would know that the MCA owns more than RM2 billion in assets. No wonder the fresh polls are so bustling.

According to analyses, Ka Ting and Dr Chua are evenly matched. If Tee Keat gains only 20 per cent of support, then Ka Ting and Dr Chua may get 40 per cent of support each. However, there are always swing voters who vote based on their own judgement or conscience.

The fight is intense and many factions can be seen in the current fresh polls. I believe that there are not many swing votes but the small percentage of swing voters may become the kingmaker.

In the Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting (EGM) last year, both Tee Keat and Dr Chua were voted out together and the results were actually affected by mere one per cent of votes. At that time, many people tried to guess who was the third force; was it a veteran camp or an outside force?

The fresh polls may also be dramatic. If you do not believe me, just wait and see! — mysinchew.com
*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

Comment: How I wish its a one-to-one contest between Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek.. The long standing fight between the two has finally come to an expected ending. Ka Ting's presence has altered the rivalry and it will not be surprising if he turns out to be the victor. His return from retirement to contest the party's top post indicates the question of integrity.. how in the world will people trust the politicians...
..28Mar 10, 7.40pm.. Results has just been announced, Dr Chua Soi Lek won and he is the new President of MCA, defeating both ex-Presidents. The reps have fully used their rights and potrayed their different view of his smeared image. Both Ongs should respect the votes given to him... Shouldn't they..?

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