24 Apr 2013
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16 Apr 2013
Rafizi Ramli, the PKR candidate for Pandan, expressed disappointment at news that former MCA president Ong Tee Keat had been dropped from contesting in the coming general election in what appeared to be a "vengeful" move against him by arch rival Chua Soi Lek.
"It is unfortunate that a man of principle like OTK was dropped from BN. This signals the end of any hope for decency from BN. I was quite hopeful that we could have a healthy contest because it could have been a showcase of a new and matured brand of politics," Rafizi, who is also the PKR strategy director, told Malaysia Chronicle.
"Alas, there is no place for decent people in BN. We will continue to work hard and galvanize the message of change in Pandan."
Pandan bellwether: Politics of policies & ideas or politics of personalities & revenge
Soi Lek, who wrested the MCA presidency from Tee Keat in 2010 after a bitter tussle, made the announcement on Monday afternoon after receiving confirmation from Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Soi Lek had weeks ago said Tee Keat would be dropped but Najib had intervened, saying Tee Keat could contest Pandan as a direct BN candidate.
Speculation was rife that Soi Lek had then threatened to quit the MCA if Najib overruled his wishes. This despite the general feeling among political pundits that within the MCA, Tee Keat probably had the best chance to win Pandan. The 56-year-old Tee Keat is a 6-term Member of Parliament, holding the Ampang Jaya seat for 4 terms and Pandan for 2 terms.
Earlier, Rafizi had expressed hope that he would face Tee Keat. The 35-year-old Rafizi was also confident that Pandan would stand out as a "bellwether" for new politics and how seats should be contested based on ideas and policies rather than on personalities and gutter politicking.