5:47: Chor Chee Heung has re-entered the hall.
5:45: Donald Lim is seen greeting his supporters with a wide, happy smile on his face.
5:37: Rumours gaining strength that Ng Yen Yen, Gan Ping Sieu, and Donald Lim have secured their places as vice-presidents. While some claim the list also includes Khoo Keok Hai, others say it is Chor Chee Heung.
5:18: Ng Yen Yen has appeared outside the hall, accepting supporters’ greetings, smile very happily. MCA delegates, meanwhile, are returning to MCA hq in anticipation of the results of the polls.
5:11 Counting of the votes for deputy president has started.
5:07pm: Strong rumours are circulating that Chua’s men have grabbed around 60 percent of the 25 CC posts after 80 percent of the votes were counted. The speculation has been fueled further by sudden clapping by Chua’s supporters outside the hall.
Most candidates with government posts, such as exco members and deputy ministers, are said to have managed to get elected.
Some senators, however, did not get through.
4:37pm: Secretary-general Wong Foon Meng said that vote earlier today was completed in only one-and-a-half hours despite the highest turnout of delegates ever because the number of ballot boxes were increased.
“We had to make some preparations knowing that the turnout would be very high so we increased the number of ballot boxes,” said Wong.
All but three of the 2,318 delegates who registered for the extraordinary general assembly had cast their votes.
As there are 101 candidates, the counting is expected to take five to six hours under tight security, with results expected earliest at 7pm.
Wong said the counting of ballots began with votes for the 25 central committee seats and would end with the tallying of votes for the president’s post.
4:25pm: Party workers are still counting votes for the central committee seats. They have yet to start counting the ballots for vice-presidents, deputy president and president.
3:30pm: There is a lot of anticipation in the MCA headquarters fueled by numerous rumours buzzing through the corridors about the ongoing vote-count.
One rumours claims that Chua is the winner, complete with the breakdown of votes. Another claims that Tee Keat had pulled off a “miracle”.
Yet another rumour claims that two vice-president aspirants – Donald Lim and Yeow Chai Tiam, who controlled a number of votes in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan – had ordered delegates whom they have direct control over, not to vote for Chua, giving Ka Ting a narrow victory.
1:53: MCA workers counted 2,315 votes. Three delegates did not take their ballot papers.
1.20PM: As party workers, candidates, delegates and the press have lunch, the counting process begins. All counting agents and scrutineers have been barred from bringing their cellphones into the hall.
12.25PM: The polling booths have been officially closed.
12.19AM: Voting has just ended, with party workers now sealing the ballot boxes. Counting of ballots – 2,318 in all – will begin at 1pm, it was announced.
11.58PM: In the first sign of uneasiness over the voting process, central committee delegates have voiced concern over ballot papers.
With a particularly large number of candidates for CC (86) this time around, it was decided to have two ballot papers listing the candidates clipped together.
According to Wee Ka Siong, many delegates took the clip off when voting, but subsequently voiced concern that the votes would get mixed up and cause problems during the vote count.
11.48PM: After voting, former MCA vice-president Ng Yen Yen was optimistic about her chance.
“This morning I met many delagates. Their response was very supportive and positive.”
But she added as a qualification: “In politics, you only know about the outcome when the votes are opened.”
11.23AM: Ka Ting left the MCA headquarters by car after casting his vote. Before departing, he said he is happy and satisfied with the voting process as everything has up to now gone smoothly.
11.19AM: Tee Keat told reporters he does not believe he is the underdog in the presidential contest, saying this is “spin by certain media”.
On his chances, he said he is always cautiously opstimistic.
10.53AM: From MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong’s Twitter: “I hope after today no more party crisis.”
10.50AM: EGM chair Yik notes that he is presided over more MCA EGMs than anyone else, and thanked the delegates for their support.
10.15AM: Deputy MCA Youth chief Dr Mah Han Soon is appointed chief scrutineer.
10.10AM: Extraordinary general meeting chairperson Yik Phooi Hong announces that 2,318 out of 2,380 central delegates are present. This is a 97 percent turnout.
9.30AM: Candidates have been lining up along the route to the San Choon hall where the EGM will be held and greeting delegates.
Some candidates who failed to find a spot near the hall are spotted along the staircase leading to the hall.
9.05AM: Ong Ka Ting arrives at the party headquarters and proceeds to pose for photographs with his running mate Liow Tiong Lai.
Speaking to reporters later, Ka Ting described his mood as “perfect”.
8.05AM: Ong Tee Keat arrives at the party headquarters sporting a wide smile.
He told reporters that he was unperturbed by speculations in newspapers that he can secure no more than 15 percent of the total votes.
“I have been sleeping and eating well,” said Tee Keat, responding to the news article.
7.45AM: Dr Chua Soi Lek is the first presidential candidate to arrive at the party headquarters. He is accompanied by his son and Labis MP Tee Yong.
Asked if he confident of his chances, Chua let out a smile and asked: “Do I look worried?”