KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The list of MCA candidates for the general election is expected to be finalised soon by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The president of Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a component party of ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), said the party has finalised the list and submitted it to Najib, who is BN chairman, and was waiting for his approval.
While some of the MCA candidates have started campaigning, there are at least two seats that have been under the spotlight - Tanjung Malim and Alor Gajah.
Perak MCA chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon is lobbying for the Tanjung Malim parliamentary seat where MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan is the two-term MP there.
Over in Malacca, talk is rife that Najib's political secretary Wong Nai Chee may contest the Alor Gajah parliamentary seat, where MCA's Datuk Koh Nai Kwong is MP.
Liow said there were no worries over any seat dispute as BN has a mechanism to resolve all issues.
"We have a special mechanism to resolve any disputes internally. We are different from Pakatan Harapan where its component parties have open flares and are not united," he told a press conference after launching MCA's manifesto for the general election at Wisma MCA here on Sunday (April 8).
On seat swaps, Liow said it will only be possible if there is a consensus by component party leaders.
Earlier in the day, MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong said his lobbying efforts to include Yong Peng into the North-South Expressway upgrading project have not been wasted.
The project was included in the BN's manifesto which was unveiled on Saturday (april 9) night. Under the project, the North-South Expressway from Yong Peng to Johor Baru would be widened from a four-lane to six lanes highway.
"Finally, my efforts were not in vain when my suggestion was accepted by the Prime Minister with an open heart and was included in the Barisan manifesto that was announced last night," Dr Wee said in a statement on his Facebook page posted on Sunday (April 8).
"With more convenient road facilities, it will also improve the local economy especially in Yong Peng, which has become the focus of domestic and foreign visitors," he said.
The MCA deputy president and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department noted that Yong Peng is the main state road for those heading to Segamat, Muar, Batu Pahat, and Parit Sulong.
It also acts as an alternative road to those heading to the east coast from Johor.
He said the traffic situation in Yong Peng was unimaginable, especially during peak periods.
Dr Wee said the upgrading highway project in the manifesto will ease traffic congestion.
"This is just the beginning and I have bigger plans for Ayer Hitam. With greater support and a strong mandate from the people, I am confident I will be able to build a greater Ayer Hitam," he said.
Dr Wee's protege Ling Kian Soon, 34, is about to face his first big political test - vying for the Yong Peng state seat against opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) which won the seat in 2013 - at the upcoming 14th general election.
Dr Wee himself is being challenged by DAP's Johor chairman Liew Chin Tong in Ayer Hitam, Johor.