6 Penang MCA divisions protest proposed Bayan Baru seat swap

GEORGE TOWN: Six MCA division leaders today voiced displeasure over reports that the traditional MCA seat of Bayan Baru will be given to Gerakan in the coming general election.

Leaders of the Bayan Baru, Tanjong, Bukit Gelugor, Jelutong, Bukit Bendera and Balik Pulau divisions held a press conference demanding that MCA be given the Bayan Baru seat to contest again.

The Bayan Baru seat has been held by PKR for the past two terms.

The six divisions called for the status quo to remain after Penang Barisan Nasional and state Gerakan chairman Teng Chang Yeow was reported as saying that a seat swap between the MCA and Gerakan was “likely” for Bayan Baru and Batu Kawan.

Bayan Baru is traditionally contested by the MCA and Batu Kawan is a Gerakan seat. Both the seats were lost to opposition candidates in the past two polls.

The six leaders, led by Bayan Baru MCA division chief Ooi Siew Kim, said there was no discussion with the grassroots before the “deal” was made.

They said it did not make sense to swap the seats as the MCA had a better vote count than the Gerakan in the last polls. They claimed the seat was also a “MCA stronghold”.

“We are very shocked by the announcement made by Teng,” Ooi said.

When contacted, Teng said the seat swap was still being discussed with the central BN leadership.

“I only said there is a likelihood of a seat swap. We are discussing and there is no final decision.”