KUALA LUMPUR: About 50% of MCA’s 70 candidates for 44 parliamentary and 26 state seats in the 15th General Election (GE15) will be new faces, says party president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said MCA will field 35 fresh faces, consisting of 17 in parliamentary seats and 18 in state seats.

“This is a balanced composition, whereby 50% of the candidates are new faces.

“Most importantly, we must work hard to garner support,” he told a press conference at Wisma MCA yesterday.

To ensure women’s participation in politics, Dr Wee said there are seven female candidates in MCA’s lineup for parliamentary seats.

According to him, there will also be two candidates below the age of 30 contesting under MCA’s banner in the parliamentary seats of Ampang and Kulai.

Of the 26 state seats that MCA is eyeing, they comprise 17 in Perak, seven in Pahang and two in Perlis.

“Among the 26, there are five female candidates,” added Dr Wee.

He noted that MCA will take on the parliamentary constituencies of Batu and Bandar Tun Razak as part of the 44 seats that the party will contest in GE15.

This came following negotiations in Barisan Nasional whereby MCA agreed to swap Wangsa Maju for Bandar Tun Razak with Umno and Padang Serai for Batu with MIC.

MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Yew Teong Look will contest in Batu, while Datuk Chew Yin Keen will go for Bandar Tun Razak.

According to Dr Wee, Chew, who is also the Bandar Tun Razak MCA division chief, is not a “stranger” to locals.

“Even though the seat was contested by Umno in 2018, he had worked hard in assisting Barisan,” Dr Wee said, explaining that his statement is to clear the air regarding Barisan’s candidate announcement on Tuesday night, when Batu was named as an MIC seat while no one was named for Bandar Tun Razak.

Dr Wee said some MCA vice-presidents will not be contesting in GE15, namely Datuk Tan Teik Cheng and Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.

Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie is also not contesting.

“Tan wants to guide young leaders to take over. As for Ti, he feels he can continue serving as a senator while campaigning in Pahang,” said Dr Wee.

He revealed that Heng decided not to contest in GE15 because she has been a senator for two terms.

“MCA’s top seven have scrutinised the candidates list and made a collective decision. This was also discussed with an open heart,” he said.

MCA’s top seven refers to the party president, the deputy president, the secretary general, and the four vice-presidents.