|The MCA central committee today unanimously voted to postpone the party elections that will begin from March in view of the impending general election, expected to be called in March.
“As such, the party election process shall commence within three months after the conclusion of the general election for the country,” party president Ong Ka Ting told reporters after chairing a five-hour meeting at the MCA headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Ong declined to answer directly if the party’s decision was made based on insider information from the ruling Barisan Nasional – in which MCA is the second largest party – on the date for the general election.
“I think the media has turned the topic of the general election into a very hot issue and any Malaysian who reads newspapers will not disagree with this (theory). We would not know how soon it is, but it’s time for us to get ready,” he said.
He also declined to speculate on when the polls would be held when asked by reporters.
The MCA party constitution was amended last year to allow the central committee – the party’s highest decision-making body – to postpone the party polls on the grounds of an impending general election. However this provision can only be used after the lapse of a three-and-a-half years after the last general election.
The last general election was held in March 2004 and the party’s constitutional amendment kicks into effect from September 2007 to allow the party to postpone its polls.
The triennial party election was scheduled to kick off in March with elections at branch and divisional levels, followed by the election of office-bearers into top party posts later.
The MCA’s decision today also raised the speculations on the general election being called any time soon, more so after the police force have reportedly had their leaves frozen and the Election Commission’s warning that the election is “around the corner”.
Legally, the general election is not due until April 2009 but the decision to call for an election is entirely Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s.