The MCA elections yesterday saw former party vice-president Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker losing out in his bid to retain his position.
Taking to Facebook today, Ti explained that his loss and the outcome of the polls were mainly due to Pahang being left out of the so-called menu given by party leaders.
While Ti initially seemed to be a strong contender, the electoral votes were determined by the size of each division, with larger states carrying more weight.
The main candidates vying for the vice-president posts included incumbents Datuk Lim Ban Hong (Melaka), Datuk Tan Teik Cheng (Penang), and Ti himself (Pahang). They faced stiff competition from two prominent challengers, Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng (Johor) and Datuk Lawrence Low (Selangor), whose states boasted significant electoral votes.
Two other candidates, Datuk Nicole Wong (Wilayah) and Datuk Dr Pamela Yong (Sabah), represented smaller states with fewer electoral votes.
In this context, he said popular votes (the actual number of votes obtained) and electoral votes (based on division size) played a crucial role in determining the winners.
According to Ti’s post, the winners were largely influenced by a “menu” crafted by state and division leaders. This menu featured four names, with the states of Johor, Selangor, Penang, and Melaka being the chosen favourites.
He said Pahang was notably absent from this influential menu. As a result, the winners of the vice-president posts were from Johor, Melaka, Selangor, and Penang.
Ti suggested that the party members often relied on these menus, as many were not politically literate and needed guidance. The “menu votes” strategy, where states predominantly follow the distribution of 1, 3, 4, and 6 from the menu, was a deciding factor.
He said when Perak MCA adopted the same menu, it signalled that the election’s outcome was almost certain, and Pahang’s chances dwindled. Consequently, he stopped campaigning and had advised his supporters to brace for a disappointing result.
After being excluded from the influential menu list, Ti tried to secure votes from Pahang and the east coast states. However, the results showed that Wilayah obtained 137 votes, Pahang secured 136, and Sabah garnered 135 votes, reflecting the broader voting patterns.
This election outcome also underscores the significant role played by state and division leaders in shaping the preferences of MCA party members. Ti’s loss, despite being an incumbent, highlights the challenges faced by candidates who do not have the support of strong party leaders.