Analysts: Soi Lek’s comeback morale boost for MCA, but won’t affect Balakong polls

A. Ruban
Chua is seen to be using this by-election to boost his relevance among party members. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — Former MCA president Tan Sri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s political comeback may generate a morale boost for the ailing party, but that is all, analysts say.

Pundits believe his re-entry into politics will not translate into any votes in the Balakong by-election.

Universiti Utara Malaysia's Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani felt that Chua and the party was no longer relevant especially after Barisan Nasional lost the 14th general election to Pakatan Harapan.

“He is the past. He could give morale boost to the candidate but nothing more than that,” Mohd Azizuddin told Malay Mail, referring to Dr Chua.

Chua had sent a WhatsApp message to Tan Chee Keong, the MCA candidate in the state by-election, saying that he wanted the party and Tan to go all out in campaigning in the remaining 10 days or so.

Chua had also said that he would assist Tan in the election against DAP’s Wong Siew Ki.

Like Mohd Azizuddin, Pacific Research Centre's principal adviser Oh Ei Sun said Chua stumping for Tan would help generate some support among party members.

“Soi Lek has an enviable reputation among politicians for being a ‘straight talker’, so yes his stumping would help the MCA candidate a bit, but perhaps not enough to upset the result, as it is a DAP stronghold,” he said.

“But his resurgence would certainly not go down well with the mainstream power that be in MCA as it will be seen as a precursor of him possibly challenging the presidency again,” Oh added.

Sivamurugan Pandian from Universiti Sains Malaysia also echoed Mohd Azizuddin and Oh’s views in that Chua would be able to attract party supporters.

“But internally it may cause factions with the current leadership supporters,” he said.

Chua is seen to be using this by-election to boost his relevance among party members after several grassroots urged the former Johor MCA liaison chief to contest the party’s top post in the MCA elections on November 4.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has reportedly said that he was not looking to defend the position.

Liow had also openly declared his support for the party deputy president, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, who is the only MCA MP now, to take over from him.

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