By Alan Ting
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 (Bernama) -- MCA will likely adopt direct election for all the central committee (CC) positions instead of just the president and deputy president posts, said party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
He said the direct election system, which was discussed during the "greater unity plan" (GUP) briefing to the party grassroots on Sunday, would allow the members at the branch and divisional levels to determine the party leadership.
"While the party has deliberated on direct presidential election, it's not just the president but the whole CC should be elected in the manner where more members can participate and decide on the leadership," he told Bernama Tuesday.
He said the party would adopt the Umno direct election method, which has broaden the voting right to some 140,000 party members, not just the party delegates, and is manageable and practical.
"Of course one method is using the party membership list. However, we feel that with one million members, the logistics involved can be huge. One million turnout is equivalent to one tenth of the number of voters in the general election."
Moreover, Dr Chua said, using the party membership list could create more controversies as the list might be disputed while the logistical requirement would lead to the issue of poor monitoring system.
"So, I'm more in favour for more people involved but it's manageable. One of the mechanisms considerd is the Umno method.
"We feel that it may also work for our party, not the two-tier system as suggested by some party leaders," he said.
Some party leaders have suggested that MCA adopt the two-tier election system where the posts of president, deputy president, state chairman and deputy state chairman are elected directly from the branch level, while the vice-president and other CC positions by the party delegates.
However, Dr Chua said the party had not come up with the final details on the system except some framework.
"When we had the unity briefing, we discussed it. Tomorrow, I will present it at the CC meeting," he added.
On fresh party polls, Dr Chua said there was no doubt that there was a need for a new mandate for the party leadership, but the question was the timing.
"The next party election is in 2011, which means we've got one and a half years from now. So, we need to get the system ready and amend the party constitution.
"Politics is not static. If the grassroots say we don't need fresh elections as the party is stable now, then it's well and good. But we must be prepared to face the grassroots, may be six or eight months down the line when the new model of electing the central leadership is put in place."
Dr Chua said the CC at its meeting tomorrow would also discuss funding for the divisions to carry out their activities after the party lost several state and parliamentary seats in the general election last year.
"We will discuss whether the funding should be based on the number of members in a division and whether the party has a state or parliamentary seat in the divisional area. If there is, then we should give such divisions more funding.
"However, if the MCA elected representative is a minister or state exco member, the party should not fund the division. Instead, they should help fund the divisional activities," he said.