About us

back to news

Tee Keat favoured choice of Chinese voters, poll shows
26-Mar-2010, The Malaysian Insider
By Leslie Lau, Executive Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Incumbent MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat’s re-election campaign was given a major boost today, after a Merdeka Center poll found that he was the preferred choice among Chinese Malaysian voters.

The poll also placed former president, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, as the second most popular candidate, with Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek coming in last in the race for the presidency.

The poll also found that the Chinese community felt the MCA, written off by many pundits after its disastrous showing in Election 2008, remains relevant in Malaysian politics.

But Tee Keat, whose tenure as president has been divisive and plagued by growing in-fighting, does not hold a commanding lead among the three candidates.

Thirty per cent of Chinese respondents in the survey preferred him as MCA president. Ka Ting was the choice of 15 per cent of Chinese voters while Dr Chua garnered 12 per cent of the vote.

A total of 805 randomly selected Malaysians were polled in the Merdeka Center survey, conducted between March 17 and March 23. The poll results may influence how MCA delegates vote in this Sunday’s elections.

MCA leaders say the race for both the presidency and the deputy presidency — a straight fight between Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai — is neck-and-neck.

Ong is the preferred candidate, according to polls. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The emergence of Ka Ting as a candidate, less than two years after he was forced to retire for leading the party to a dismal electoral result, has turned the race into an unpredictable affair.

According to the poll, 67 per cent of Chinese respondents in Peninsular Malaysia say that the party remains relevant to the community while 62 per cent of all eligible respondents from the same area agreed that the party was relevant to the Chinese community.

However, the majority dropped to 51 per cent on whether the party was “talking about issues that are important to the Chinese community”.

When asked what they felt were the causes of the problems within the MCA, among others, 25 per cent of Chinese respondents said it was the “weakening of MCA’s position following the last general elections”.

The survey also showed that 60 per cent of Chinese respondents in the peninsular wanted Tee Keat to contest, with 57 per cent supporting the idea of Ka Ting running as president again. At the same time, 47 per cent of Chinese respondents also agreed that Dr Chua contest in the election.

Respondents were allowed to back multiple candidates for the post.

When asked what they thought of Tee Keat’s chances, 47 per cent of Chinese respondents said they were not sure while 14 per cent felt certain that he would win.

A total of 37 per cent thought he would lose.

To a question on leadership characteristics, 26 per cent of Chinese respondents say they wanted someone who could “stand and speak up on important issues”, followed by 10 per cent who wanted a leader who was “fair and democratic”.

Asked what the party needed to do to regain their confidence, 21 per cent of Chinese respondents said they wanted the MCA to “retain good leaders” while 9 per cent each wanted the party to “resolve the internal conflicts” and “listen to the people”.


© 2007 Merdeka Center. All rights reserved
Best viewed with 1024 x 768 pixels using Mozilla Browser