Tanjung Piai: Discontent in UMNO as MCA tipped to run

The Tg Piai seat has been traditionally contested by MCA and DAP since 2004. In 2018, DAP ceded the seat to Bersatu to contest under its PH campaign. Source (pic): MMO

Expectations that MCA will contest the Tanjung Piai by-election for Barisan Nasional is already causing discontent among local Umno members, according to sources.

Yesterday at the Parliament lobby, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said BN will announce their candidate for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election later today.

BN is scheduled to officially announce their by-election candidate at 8.30pm here tonight.

On Monday, Pakatan Harapan (PH) announced 66-year-old Karmaine Sardini as their by-election candidate; earlier that day, Gerakan also named its deputy secretary-general Wendy Subramaniam as its candidate to contest the constituency.


PONTIAN: Expectations that MCA will contest the Tanjung Piai by-election for Barisan Nasional is already causing discontent among local Umno members, according to sources.

An Umno division source said many grassroots members were upset after learning last night that the BN leadership has agreed for MCA to contest the Tanjung Piai by-election.




“We (Tanjung Piai Umno members) were hoping that the candidate will come from us as we have been hard in preparing the groundwork when the parliamentary seat fell vacant after September 21.

“The Umno division and BN leadership owe us an explanation on the decision as most of us were led to believe that the candidate would be from our (Umno) division.

“More so the division leadership led by Datuk Jefridin Atan as we gave our trust in him to lead us,” the source told Malay Mail today.

Yesterday at the Parliament lobby, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said BN will announce their candidate for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election later today.

He said the decision was made after he met Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and MIC president Tan Sri S.A Vigneswaran via Skype to finalise the choice of the candidate.

Following that, it was speculated that MCA’s Tanjung Piai division chief Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng, who was Tanjung Piai MP from 2008 to 2018, would be selected.

Today, the source said that some Tanjung Piai Umno division leaders could boycott the candidate announcement in Pontian tonight.

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“One can‘t help but to feel demoralised after what we went through, with several days of sleepless nights at the Tanjung Piai Umno division office as we prepared for the announcement.

“However, I am told there are some Umno members who are in-charge of the district polling centres (PDM) who will also hold separate meetings with their respective teams to gauge feedback and calm disgruntled members,” said the source, adding that this was important as Umno needs to give access to all the 27 PDMs to MCA in light of BN’s campaign.

Another Tanjung Piai Umno source, who is in charge of one of the PDMs, said that there could be a grassroots call to suspend activities in support of BN’s by-election campaign until the coalition leaders explain.

“BN’s Tanjung Piai candidate maybe from MCA, but don’t forget that the Umno division controls a majority of the PDMs as well as machinery,”

“At the same time, our Umno division boasts more than 20,000 members, not including our allies from PAS who have been assisting us,” said the source, a divisional youth leader, referring to Umno having an upper hand.

The same source claimed things grew tense last weekend and peaked on Monday after MCA members were seen to be very active during BN’s election machinery launch for the by-election here.

“It was the Umno members who had to take the initiative to calm down the MCA members during the event.

“Following that, some of us knew that the BN leadership had tentatively made their decision for MCA to contest,” said the source.

BN is scheduled to officially announce their by-election candidate at 8.30pm here tonight.

On Monday, Pakatan Harapan (PH) announced 66-year-old Karmaine Sardini as their by-election candidate; earlier that day, Gerakan also named its deputy secretary-general Wendy Subramaniam as its candidate to contest the constituency.

The Election Commission has set November 2 as Nomination Day and November 16 as polling day for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election.

The by-election was triggered after incumbent, the late Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, died of heart complications on September 21.

Dr Md Farid won the seat in the previous general election after he defeated Wee and PAS’s Nordin Othman in a three-way contest.

The Tanjung Piai constituency is a mixed seat comprising 57 per cent Malays, 42 per cent Chinese and 1 per cent Indians.

The seat has been traditionally contested by MCA and DAP since 2004. In 2018, DAP ceded the seat to Bersatu to contest under its PH campaign.

Source:



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