THE 55th MCA annual general assembly on 18 Oct 2008 saw its hottest election in party history with a record number of candidates vying for top posts.
The new party president is Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat, who beat former Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng with a 512 vote margin. This is Chua’s second failed attempt at the presidency, following his 2005 attempt against Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
Former Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek made a comeback to the party as deputy president, despite the morality debate over his involvement in a sex video. Dr Chua tapped his strong grassroots support in Johor to beat three other candidates for the deputy presidency — Datuk Ong Ka Chuan, Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, and Lee Hack Teik.
Another first for the MCA: a woman contested and won in the party’s fiercest vice-presidents’ race ever. Former Wanita chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen polled 1,659 votes, the third-highest count among eight candidates who vied for four vice-president seats. The other three new vice-presidents are Lumut division chief Datuk Kong Cho Ha, former Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, and Johor MCA chief Tan Kok Hong.
The annual general assembly, which began on 18 Oct and ended a day later, was held at the traditional venue of Wisma MCA on Jalan Ampang. The Wanita and Youth assemblies were held on 17 Oct, with the Wanita assembly being hosted at the Putra World Trade Centre.