KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA will proceed with its election next year despite speculation of a general election in the same year.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party held triennial elections as provided for under its constitution, and the next election is due 2011.
The last party election was on October 18, 2008.
Dr Chua said the party would only decide whether to postpone the election if it is due after 42 months from the last general election.
“The party election will be due early next year, and by then it would only be 36 months (from the March 8, 2008 general election) and I don’t see why we should postpone our election,” he told a press conference at Wisma MCA here Tuesday ahead of the party’s annual general meeting this Sunday.
MCA begins its elections at the branch level, usually around March, before proceeding to the division and national levels, and the entire process takes about four months.
Its Youth and Wanita wings also have elections in the same year.
On claims by certain quarters that a party election can distract, if not affect, MCA’s preparations for the general election, Dr Chua said: “If everybody loves the party, we can fight for positions without having to throw chairs, ballot papers or complain of missing names in the delegate list.”
On MCA having direct elections, Dr Chua said the matter was discussed in a central committee and presidential council meeting, and the consensus was that the party would not conduct direct elections next year.
“Nobody wants direct elections next year. We (MCA) need to amend the party constitution before it can be carried out. The entire process of amending the constitution, which includes calling an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) to approve the amendments and going to the ROS (registrar of societies) before it can be implemented, will take at least six to eight months,” he said.
Apart from that, Dr Chua said MCA would have to focus on consolidating and uniting the party ahead of the general election, widely speculated to be held in the latter part of next year.
“Everyone said we should spend our time and resources on the general election. Direct elections in the party is meaningless if MCA loses in the general election.
“Your party position will be a burden to you if MCA lost many seats in the next general election,” he pointed out Dr Chua said his biggest challenge now was to regain the Chinese community’s support for Barisan Nasional.
THE STAR ( October 5, 2010 )