KUALA LUMPUR: Former MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek won the president's post with a slim 68-vote majority today, edging former number one Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting and incumbent Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat in the party's elections.
Dr Chua, 62, polled 901 votes to Ka Ting's 833. Tee Keat came in third with 578 votes.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai clinched the deputy president's post when he garnered 1,171 votes to beat former vice-president and fellow Cabinet minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha by 65 votes. Kong had obtained 1,106 votes.
For the four posts of vice-president, sole woman contender Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen had the highest number of votes - 1,528, followed by former vice-president Datuk Donald Lim (1,469), Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung (1,202) and Central Committee (CC) member Gan Ping Sieu (also 1,202).
Today's victory is a pleasant one for Dr Chua, who had to battle the two heavyweight rivals but showed that he remains popular in the party despite many upheavals.
On Jan 2, 2008, he quit his Cabinet post and MCA vice-presidency after admitting that he was the man in a widely circulated sex video.
In the October 2008 party elections, he defeated former secretary-general and Ka Ting's brother, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, for the party's second highest post.
He was involved in a leadership tussle with Tee Keat when he was sacked in August last year for tarnishing the party's image because of the sex video.
He was reinstated as a party member by an extraordinary general meeting which also passed a vote of no-confidence in party president Tee Keat.
Subsequently, he was reinstated as deputy president by the Registrar of Societies, who in turn relegated Liow, who had filled the deputy president's post by then, back to vice-president.
Dr Chua buried the hatchet with Tee Keat to forge a "greater unity" plan but continued to face resistance from Liow and his supporters, including Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Wanita head Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who continued to push for fresh polls.
On March 4 this year, he resigned with 21 other CC members to pave the way for the fresh polls today, his second resignation in two years.
A total of 2,315 of the 2,377 eligible delegates voted today, the highest ever turnout in the party's history.
A total of 101 candidates contested the posts of president, deputy president, vice-president (four) and CC member (25) in this party polls, which were last held in October 2008. -- BERNAMA