Sabah MCA Liaison Chief Datuk Edward Khoo has finally made the party's claim public on the right to contest in the Api-Api State constituency and four other new State and parliamentary seats in the coming general election.
The new State seats are Apas, Luyang and Kepayan while the new parliamentary seat is Batu Sapi.
He said, “We have no choice but to make ourselves clear openly although it is not our traditional practice because other Barisan Nasional (BN) Chinese-based parties have been doing so in such a manner. MCA has been serving Sabah for more than 10 years and we feel it is time for our leaders to stand as candidates in the coming Sabah State and national elections.”
Khoo also said although the Api-Api seat is currently being held by PBS, the fact is that the BN candidate in the constituency came from MCA in the 1999 State election. Datuk Chau Tet On is currently Tanjung Aru BN chairman and has been serving the people here. He said MCA has the right candidates to go for the seats it is requesting.
Chau represented the BN in Api-Api seat in the 1999 State election but lost to Dr Yee Moh Chai of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) which was then in the opposition. PBS was readmitted into the BN early 2002.
It was learnt that Sabah MCA Wanita Chief Datuk Agnes Shim and Youth Secretary Michael Loi are potential candidates for Api-Api, apart from Chau. Tan Kim Beng, who has been lobbying hard, was not mentioned.
But Khoo said the MCA would not reveal the names of its potential candidates before nomination day.
Also present at the function was MCA national Vice President Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn. When asked, Dr Fong said the Sabah MCA’s claim was reasonable and he would assist in making necessary recommendations to the party leadership.