As widely predicted, Barisan Nasional announced today that MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun will take on opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Kajang by-election next month.
BN's choice of candidate was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, ahead of the Umno supreme council meeting today.
Muhyiddin said that although they expect to face a tough challenge from Pakatan Rakyat, this was an opportunity for BN to offer a candidate who was a seasoned politician and beautiful.
"BN is offering Kajang voters an experienced politician who has served in the government, and is not bad looking as well," he said.
On a more serious note, the deputy prime minister said it was imperative for BN to field a candidate to answer issues tied to the BN.
"If there are issues involving BN, who is to answer? So we need to use this platform to explain and not allow voters to be 'fed' information from just one side," he added.
Muhyiddin said that not contesting would cause the Kajang voters to lose out.
He added that this was also a good opportunity for the rakyat to assess MCA under its new leadership of Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Datuk Wee Ka Siong.
He said that BN was entering the contest with a view to win, adding that they were not going to give Anwar an easy passage.
Chew, who was present, asked for support from the people, saying that she was up against a politician who was labelled as "world famous".
She said the by-election was caused by PKR to settle their internal party problems.
"I ask for your support in Kajang so that we can strengthen our Opposition in Selangor," said the former deputy minister, who made a comeback last December after a three-year hiatus from politics and the public eye.
In an interview with The Malaysian Insider recently, Chew played down her chances in the by-election when it was told to her that she was the front-runner as candidate for the Kajang state seat.
"I did not aim for it nor did I lobby for it," said the 50-year-old Chew.
The by-election slated for March 23 was triggered by the resignation of the Pakatan Rakyat's state assemblyperson Lee Chin Cheh of PKR.
PKR admitted that Lee's resignation and the by-election was a carefully laid-out plan, called the "Kajang move" by its architects, for the party's de facto leader Anwar to enter the Selangor government.
Both PKR and Anwar have indicated that it was to allow him to take over as menteri besar from the popular Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
In the last general election, Lee garnered 19,571 votes, to win by a majority of 6,824 votes. BN’s Lee Ban Seng obtained 12,747 votes, while Mohamad Ismail of Berjasa got 1,014 votes. - February 21, 2014.