MCA drops Tee Keat, Ping Sieu and Yen Yen
MCA will not field two of its best known personalities - former president Ong Tee Keat and vice-president Gan Ping Sieu - in the May 5 general election.
Another vice-president, Dr Ng Yen Yen, will not be fielded as well.
Ong will be replaced by newcomer Gary Lim while Kluang, where Gan was eyeing, would be defended by incumbent Hou Kok Chung.
This was confirmed when the official list was released by the party headquarters this evening.
The party was informed of BN chairperson Najib Abdul Razak's choice of candidates this morning.
In another development, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek confirmed that the party will contest 37 parliamentary and 90 state seats.
This means that MCA is contesting three less parliamentary seats as compared in 2008. The three seats out of MCA's hands are Gelang Patah, Kuantan and Wangsa Maju.
Seats on 'loan'
This is the least number of Parliament seats contested since the last re-delineation exercise allowed MCA to contest 40 seats in 2004.
In 1999, MCA contested in 35 Parliamentary seats and 77 state seats, and won 28 and 68 seats respectively.
Following this handsome victory, more seats were allocated in 2004 and the party delivered once again, winning 31 Parliamentary seats and 76 state seats.
In 2008, MCA won only 15 Parliamentary seats and 32 state seats.
Chua said that these MCA seats were being "loaned" to BN component parties to ensure BN's victory.
"The decision for MCA to loan some of its seats to the BN component parties is part of the new strategies and the party will get the seats back in addition of new seats from constituency delineation after the GE," said Chua in a press statement.
'Put the party's interest first'
He said that he understood the disgruntlement among some party members over this arrangement and hoped they would put the party's interest first.
"This coming GE is a do-or-die battle for MCA, we should set our differences aside and ensure all BN candidates will emerge victorious because the outcome of the GE will affect MCA’s political future and the nation," he said.
Chua added that of the 37 candidates for Parliament, 19 (51.3 percent) are new faces, of whom five (13.5 percent) are women.
As for state assembly seats, 49 out of 90 candidates (54.4 percent) are new faces.
Chua said that MCA will face stiffer competition this time round and MCA must employ new strategies.
"The ultimate goal for MCA is to ensure that BN will continue to form the government after the GE," he said.
Met at the MCA headquarters today, Ng told reporters that she had already informed the party leadership that she does not want to defend her seat.
"I feel very relaxed. I can now continue with my life," she said.
Ng said that she would continue with her party duties and help MCA candidates with their campaigns.