What will happen if the majority of the elected members of MCA’s powerful
decision-making body — the Central Committee (CC) — refuse to resign to allow
for fresh polls?
Under the party constitution, fresh polls can only be held if two-thirds of
the 30 elected CC members — meaning 20 of the 30 — resign. The elections
must then be held within 60 days of their resignation.
Party elections will also be due when the CC members’ term is up, which
means at the next party elections, that is in 2011, as the party had held its
elections on Oct 18 last year.
MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the 13 CC members
supporting him have vowed to quit their posts in order to force fresh polls as
they claim to have signed undated resignation letters and are waiting for the
right time to submit them to the party.
However, Liow’s faction has the uphill task of convincing seven more of the
30 elected CC members to do the same in order to force the polls.
It must be remembered that the majority of the CC members are said to be
aligned to party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and deputy president Datuk
Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Making things more difficult is talk that some of the CC members have
indicated they are not willing to resign and prefer to complete their term.
Some CC members are said to be unhappy with the development and have started
to question why they must resign just to solve the party’s internal crisis.
“Why is it that when Ong, Dr Chua and Liow are fighting, we are the ones who
have to make way for the party polls? Why don’t Ong, Dr Chua and Liow do that?”
asked an elected CC member who did not wish to be identified.
The same CC member said they had to fight hard to be elected to their
present positions at last year’s party elections but, barely a year later, they
are facing the prospect of having to vacate their seats to face fresh polls.
“You think it would be easy for us to resign? How about those with posts of
minister and deputy minister? They have got everything to lose if they do that.
Will they really do that?” he said.
Some party insiders said that even if some of the CC members agree to
resign, it will need more than just the signing of the letters as it must be
ensured that there is consensus and everyone signs their resignation letters and
submits them together.
“Otherwise, if some submit (the letters) while others don’t, it would create
another problem. The party might just accept your resignation after you have
submitted it while the others who did not submit their letters will continue to
maintain their positions. They can play you out in such a way,” the insiders
Some political observers also doubt if fresh polls can be held because,
though the three factions are said to have reached consensus to have fresh
polls, they still argue about when the elections should be held.
Liow’s group, however, claims consensus has been reached with the two other
factions — one led by Ong and the other by Dr Chua — that new party leadership
elections are necessary.
It even insisted that a date for the fresh polls has been set and is part of
the group’s “roadmap”.
The details of the “roadmap” were not revealed, and it is not immediately
known if Ong and Dr Chua are agreeable to such a “roadmap” except that Liow’s
group claims it is “privileged information”.
Whatever it is, Liow’s group will have to face an immediate obstacle — how
to face the scheduled Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Dec 5, which they had
earlier hoped will be put off so that the fresh polls could be held in
conjunction with the AGM at a later date.
Yesterday, party information chief Senator Heng Seai Kie clarified that the
AGM on Dec 4 & 5 would not be postponed and those claiming otherwise were
attempting to cause confusion.
Therefore, it would be interesting to see if Liow’s group will attend the
AGM. It will be interesting also to see if the Youth and Wanita AGMs will be
held since the leaders of both the wings are in Liow’s camp.
Political analysts note that Liow’s group is pushing for immediate fresh
polls as it wants to ride on the wave of purported discontent against Ong while,
on the other hand, Ong wants the polls to be held in the second half of next
year in order to give him more time to win over the 2,400 delegates. -MalaysiaDigest