KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai won the MCA presidency with a 186-vote majority in a hard-fought race.
He polled 1,186 votes to defeat his main challenger Gan Ping Sieu who garnered 1,000. Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat was a distant third with 160 votes.
The 52-year-old Liow is a fourth term Bentong MP and deputy president prior to the elections yesterday.
The deputy presidency went to Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong who won 1,408 votes to defeat Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai who polled 927.
Liow said after his victory that he would work on transforming the party and lead it into a new era.
"It is time for us to put the party's unsatisfactory performance in the last two general elections behind us," he said at the 60th MCA annual general meeting at Wisma MCA here.
In 2008, MCA won 15 parliamentary and 31 state seats out of the 40 parliamentary and 90 state seats it contested.
In the May 5 general election this year, the party only won seven parliamentary and 11 state seats.
Liow said he believed all elected leaders could work as one.
The former Health Minister said the leaders were all great assets to MCA, and he believed they would give their best to rebuild the party.
"We will make sure that whatever we do is based on people-oriented principles," he said, adding that they would continue to reach out to the grassroots.