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Friday, September 30, 2011

Soi Lek should not be BN candidate because of sex scandal, says Tee Keat


September 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has said his successor Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is not a “winnable candidate,” pointing out that the former health minister’s 2007 sex scandal will be a major liability in the general election expected to be called soon.

Dr Chua, who deposed Ong as MCA boss in a fractious power struggle 18 months ago, has yet to confirm his own candidacy despite revealing this week that several current leaders will not run in the coming polls.

Rumours have been swirling since February that Ong(picture) will also be dropped but the Pandan MP told The Malaysian Insider in an interview this week that Dr Chua’s 2007 sex video scandal will continue to plague the MCA president and Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Is he a winnable candidate? I don’t think the Malaysianpublic can accept him. Of course, he wants to run. He has been saying five divisions want him to contest and many including him will say that personal misconduct or immorality is no excuse to deny him the right to contest.

“But they are not deep-diving into winnability. If he were to contest, it will be an acid test of the values of the electorate,” Ong said.

Dr Chua stepped down as health minister and MCA vice-president in 2008 after admitting he was the man featured in a secretly recorded video which showed him having sex with his lover.

But he made a comeback later to win the party’s deputy presidency after the MCA’s top two leaders resigned due to its poor showing in Election 2008. The party won just 15 of 40 federal and 31 of 90 state seats it contested.

The party subsequently sacked Dr Chua in August 2009 over the sex scandal, sparking an extraordinary general meeting where a vote of no confidence in Ong was passed.

Dr Chua became MCA president in March 2010 in fresh elections where he saw off Ong and former president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.

The MCA holds what is likely to be its final general assembly this weekend before federal polls are called.

But despite having three presidents in as many years, the party has seen Chinese support continue to shrink in by-elections.

Some analysts said that the Tenang polls held earlier this year saw just 18 per cent of Chinese voting for BN.

The Malaysian Insider understands that senior BN component Umno has written off Chinese support for the next general election, expecting no more than 30 per cent of the community’s backing.

Ong said in the interview that “MCA members need to ponder on why there are question marks over whether the president himself is going to contest” as this was an indicator of the party’s relevance to the public.

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