Monday, October 20, 2008

New MCA leadership urged to seriously ask for second DPM's post

The new MCA leadership has been urged to seriously ask for a second Deputy Prime Minister’s post.

Datuk Ong Tee Keat (Right) discuss something with Datuk Seri Dr Chua
Soi Lek during the 55th general assembly today
Penang delegate Tan Teik Cheng said the party should conduct serious negotiations with Umno to appoint an MCA leader as second DPM.

"If there is a second Deputy Prime Minister from MCA, he will help to guarantee the benefits and rights of the Chinese community in cabinet and Barisan Nasional," he said.

Selangor delegate Kow Cheong Wei urged that such negotiations be carried out before Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak succeeds Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

However, he said such a post should be given with the consent of all component parties and the agreement that they respected MCA as the second largest party and a founding member of the coalition.

"Such a post should only be given if MCA can share the same status with Umno. There is no need for such a post if it has no actual power," he added.

Another Selangor delegate Ng Kok Kiang said such a request must be made to Umno. "We do not want lip service. We want the request to be made and an answer from Umno, otherwise we will become a laughing stock to the Chinese community," he said, adding that MCA should also get a ministerial post related to the economy so that it can help develop the country.

On Friday, newly-elected vice-president Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, speaking as the outgoing MCA Youth chief, proposed the creation of a second deputy chairman's post in Barisan Nasional (BN). Former deputy president Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy also described the proposal as appropriate, timely and not baseless.

In winding up the delegates' debate, newly-elected MCA president Datuk Ong Tee Keat vowed to follow up on calls from the party's central delegates who want the government expedite judicial reforms, review the Internal Security Act (ISA) and revamp its economic policies.

"I assure all (party) members that I will follow up on all the issues raised by the assembly's delegates because that is the mandate given by them to me.

"The delegates are like the cooks. We are the dish they choose. They are the ones to taste it, decide whether it is good or not.

"I agree with my deputy (Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek)’s analogy that too much belacan added to kangkong will make the dish taste bad. (The combination of Ong and Chua’s surnames Weng Cai sound like kangkong in Chinese).

"But I will do all that is necessary to ensure MCA remains relevant (politically)."

Ong said he will try to accomplish all the reforms listed out in his presidential election manifesto.

On the president’s right to appoint the secretary-general and other posts, especially the vice-presidents, he said it was too early to talk about that.

"It will be decided as soon as the first central committee (CC) meeting is held," he said.

Earlier, in his deputy presidential round-up of the debates, Chua had told the assembly he knows how to play second fiddle.

"Weng Cai (kangkong) is tasty as long as it is not fried with extra belacan as it will become unhealthy," he said, adding that as Ong is a strict leader, he shouldn’t have any problems working with him.

Chua hoped the delegates will not see the role of the deputy president as a blind-follower as "sometimes, we have to agree to disagree".

"The emerging two-party system in the country means MCA must be competitive in tackling national issues instead of focusing only on socio-communal problems.

"Otherwise, we will close shop in the next general election if we fail to reform and change," he said.

Chua said his immediate concern was to work with Ong to formulate a mechanism to fine-tune the party.

He also thanked the delegates for differentiating his public performance and his private life, an indirect reference to the sex video exposure that almost killed his political career and which forced him to resign as health minister and from all party posts in January. - New MCA leadership urged to seriously ask for second DPM's post The Sun Daily, Malaysia

BERITADARIGUNUNG: Kopitiam talks say this; Anwar's political game and Abdullah's knock on the glass door allow this to happen. We blame no one else. But when the dust settles down, we will all shoulder the problem. It is all because of greed and naivety.