KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has today questioned MCA on whether it will support MIC’s pick as the Barisan Nasional candidate in the upcoming Cameron Highlands by-elections or bow to Umno’s wish to nominate one of its own.
As the former ruling coalition is expected to announce its candidate on Thursday, Lim said it will be interesting to see what MCA’s stand is as this would reflect a majority vote against Umno in the BN Supreme Council.
“An interesting question is what is the stand of the MCA in the BN Supreme Council that the MIC candidate for Cameron Highlands by-election should be dropped in favour of an Umno candidate?
“If MCA supports MIC, that the BN candidate for Cameron Highlands by-election should remain a candidate from MIC, then Umno would be out-voted in a 2-1 result in the BN Supreme Council,” he said in a statement, today.
Following the statement made by Umno Supreme Council member Tan Sri Noh Omar that BN will have a better shot at winning the seat if an Umno candidate is fielded, Lim said the Tanjong Karang MP may in the future demand to take back the Ayer Hitam seat, which is currently represented by MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.
“But dare MCA side with MIC against Umno? Does Umno exercise a secret veto power in the BN Supreme Council?
“If we go by Noh Omar’s logic, then Umno will next demand to take back the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat from MCA, and Wee Ka Siong would have no parliamentary seat to go to.
“But dare Wee Ka Siong defend MIC’s right to field the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Cameron Highlands by-election?” he asked.
Earlier today, Noh said BN has a better chance at retaining the Cameron Highlands seat if an Umno candidate is chosen to contest in the by-election.
He said this was because the people have more confidence in Umno based on the Malay votes garnered for its representatives.
Noh also said Lim had provoked MIC to leave the BN pact if an Umno candidate is placed instead, as he said the Iskandar Puteri MP is afraid should Umno contest in the Cameron Highlands by-election.
MIC vice-president Datuk C. Sivarraajh ran and won the seat in GE14 last year but was later stripped as its MP when the Election Court ruled that voters had been bribed to favour the BN.
The Election Commission has also declared that Sivarraajh is barred from contesting and even voting for the next five years.
The Pakatan Harapan coalition has named its candidate as M. Manogaran from DAP, who also challenged Sivarraajh in last year’s polls and lost by a slim margin.
The nomination day for the Cameron Highlands by-election will be held on this Saturday, and polling day will be on January 26.