PETALING JAYA, 12 Oct 2009: Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek wants MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and all his appointed central committee members to resign following the no-confidence motion against Ong that was passed on 10 Oct.
Ong Chua, the former MCA deputy president who has been openly at loggerheads with Ong since they were both elected at the party elections in October 2008, also said Ong should not chair the 15 Oct central committee meeting unless it was to announce his resignation.
Chua said Ong and his appointees should respect the decision of delegates at the party extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Saturday.
“He (Ong) has only been party president for less than one year. When he was elected, he had more than 60% support. In a year, this has deteriorated to 49%. He had a month to campaign [before the EGM], he had ministers and deputy ministers’ support. Yet, he still couldn’t defend the no-confidence motion,” said Chua.
“In this context, [Ong’s] credibility and integrity are involved, his moral standing as a leader. He should resign,” Chua said.
Chua said even though the MCA constitution requires a two-third majority in votes to remove a party official, given the circumstances, Ong should go to give the party a fresh start. The 1,155 no-confidence votes against Ong were about 360 votes short of the two-third majority.
Ong narrowly lost the no-confidence motion by a total of 14 votes at the EGM following Chua’s sacking from the party, which was later commuted to a four-year suspension. At the EGM, Chua was reinstated as a party member but not as deputy president.
Chua acknowledged that the MCA had turned into a “fractured party”, but disagreed that it could not recover.
“The MCA can recover as long as people who are there [in the party leadership] do the right thing for the sake of the party. This is a golden opportunity to put the party on the right footing. If they do the wrong thing, we will start all over again,” he said.
ChuaChua said the message from the general assembly was clear: that party leaders must take the middle ground and not side any particular camp.
“If the different camps are accommodated, then this will be good. If they say, ‘This is an Ong Tee Keat [person], can appoint; this is a Chua Soi Lek [person], cannot appoint’, then that is not good,” Chua said.
Fresh elections needed
Chua called for fresh elections at the central committee level. He said that the leadership should reflect the MCA’s mission and should be worthy of respect, not just within the MCA but also among Chinese Malaysians and all other Malaysians.
Chua, however, refused to respond to repeated questions from the Chinese-, Malay- and English-language media on whether he would stand if fresh elections were called.
“How many times do you want to ask the question? When the party makes the decision whether to have new elections or not, then only you ask me. Don’t speculate, please,” Chua said.
“I am still a part of the MCA. I will continue to play my role as an ordinary member of the MCA to strengthen the party and the Barisan Nasional,” he said.
Ong has said in his blog that he respects the central delegates’ decision. He also said that he would act in the party’s best interests after consultation with colleagues and supporters, and after Thursday’s central committee meeting.
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