MCA did not nominate its former president Ong Tee Keat as its candidate for the Pandan parliamentary seat, despite that fact that his is considered a favourite to win the seat.

Breaking his silence over the longstanding poser, Chua told reporters last night that the Pandan MCA division had nominated newcomer Gary Lim, a 39-year-old lawyer, instead of the veteran politician.

He said the party's central committee depended on the guidance of the divisions on the selection of candidates, although BN chief Najib Abdul Razak will have the final say.

"He is not supported by the (Pandan MCA) division. Maybe because he doesn't work well with (them). Maybe they feel that after so long, there should be change.

"This is what you people are talking (about). Malaysiakini said the PM should field new faces. That's what the opposition is saying, but the opposition is field those aged 81, 71 (and 73)," said Chua.

Chua was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Pandan MCA division Chinese New Year open house event last night.

Ong was conspicuously missing from the event.

'Winnable candidate'

Asked if MCA's chances would be hurt should Ong decide to stand as an independent candidate, Chua replied that it would benefit BN because the opposition vote would be split.

Chua added that Ong was not a "winnable candidate", whom he described as someone with the support of BN component parties, MCA and NGOs.

Ong has represented Pandan for five terms and was among the 15 MCA MPs who survived the so-called "March 8 political tsunami", which saw MCA's representation in Parliament halved.

He is also the sole MCA candidate to win a Parliamentary seat in Selangor.

He is viewed as one of BN's more credible leaders, best known for initiating the probe into the Port Klang Free Zone scandal, and is expected to retain the seat.

Following the 2008 general election, he was elected MCA president, only to be ousted by Chua 16 months later following a bitter feud.

Since then, Ong has been operating mostly outside the MCA and BN framework. His website does not even feature MCA nor BN's logo.-malaysiakini

Tee Keat insists still in the running as BN’s Pandan candidate

Siri Jelajah Merdeka Rakyat Anwar Ibrahim...

21 Februari 2013 (Khamis) – Selangor

1) 7.30 – 12.00 mlm – Jamuan Tahun Baru Cina DUN Sri Muda
Lokasi: Tapak Pakir MBSA, Seksyen 33, Syah Alam
(Sebelah Giant Kemuning Utama)

2) 9.00 – 12.00 mlm – Ceramah Perdana Merdeka Rakyat
Lokasi: Taman Rakyat, Taman Sri Andalas

3) Barisan Penceramah:

a. YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
b. YB Dr Xavier Jayakumar
c. YB Dr Abdul Rani Osman
d. YB Shuhaimi Shafei
e. YB Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud
f. YB Ee Au Yong
g. YB Dr Dzulkifly Ahmad
h. YB Ng Swee Lin