KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — MCA’s Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun will take on Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Barisan Nasional’s candidate in the Kajang by-election, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.
The former Petaling Jaya Utara MP was previously tipped as favourite for the nod to represent the coalition, following an MCA survey that showed her as the best received of the party’s possible candidates in Kajang.
The MCA vice-president will also be running against independents Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, a former Umno minister and PKR member, and Yuktes Vijay, previously a legal aide for Anwar’s defence in the Sodomy II trial.
Once a prominent MCA personality, Chew saw her star decline after she lost her PJ Utara seat to DAP’s Tony Pua in Election 2008.
She slipped further from the public’s eye after quitting her party and government posts to protest Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek winning the presidency during the 2010 MCA election, having publicly pledged to do so if the former health minister won.
She won her way back into MCA’s upper echelons in an internal poll last December, when she was voted in as one of four vice-presidents alongside Datuk Lee Chee Leong, Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, and Datuk Chua Tee Yong.
In a recent poll conducted by the Universiti Malaya Centre for
Elections and Democracy (Umcedel) with Kajang voters, the majority of respondents said that they want Anwar to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor mentri besar.
Umcedel also noted that Kajang is a safe seat for PKR as Lee Chin Cheh from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lynchpin had won the state constituency last year with a significant margin of 6,824 votes.
The by-election will be held on March 23 and nominations are scheduled for March 11.
The Kajang constituency is 48 per cent Malay, 41 per cent Chinese and 10 per cent Indian.