AGE FACTOR: Sources say MCA president has never actively campaigned for any seat
KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has hinted he might not contest in the next general election.
Citing his age as a factor, the 65-year-old politician said he did not want his twilight years to be taken up by politics.
"I am not young any more and if I contest, I will have to serve until I am 70. I don't want politics to take up the remaining years of my life as I believe there is life after politics.
"MCA is not like the DAP where the leaders can contest anywhere regardless of age.
"Ours is different, we have hierarchy and we must respect the sensitivity of all."
MCA sources also pointed out that although the former health minister had actively visited every state to meet with members and the people, he had never given the impression that he is interested in any seat.
"This is because he had never actively campaigned for any seat," said the source.
If Dr Chua decides not to contest, he will be the second leader after Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to do so.
As for Gerakan, the party's secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow said the party has decided not to field any outsiders as candidates as it feels that it has enough talent pool from within.
Among the new faces speculated to be making their debut include lawyer Jayanthi Dewi Balaguru in Segambut and lecturer Dominic Lau Hoe Chai (Batu).
Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn has been nominated for Beruas and vice-president Datuk Mah Siew Keong (Teluk Intan). Gerakan has two parliamentarians Liang Teck Meng (Simpang Renggam) and Datuk Tan Lian Hoe (Gerik).
"One of our main criteria in choosing candidates is for the incumbent to remain in their own state as we do not encourage parachute candidates," said a party leader.
MIC is holding the cards close to its chest, refusing to confirm or deny names of likely candidates in the next general election.
Its secretary-general, S. Murugessan, said so far, none of the party veterans and incumbents have stated their decision not to contest.
"Even for the parliamentary seats, the incumbents who have been around, are relatively young. We can expect some new faces, but things are under wraps for now."
Murugessan said the guessing game would be on-going for some time now until the president announces the list of candidates.