Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chua-Wee deal causing anxiety

LIOW Tiong Lai and his faction seem to be getting the jitters after learning that Chua Soi Lek and Wee Ka Siong had struck a deal whereby Wee was promised a ministererial post should things work in their favour.

Party insiders said that they heard whispers of dissatisfaction from Liow’s group comprising Wanita Chief Chew Mei Fun and central committee members Dr Hou Kok Chung who is the deputy Higher education minister and Wee Jeck Seng who is the deputy Youth and Sports Minister.

The insiders said Ka Siong, as the Youth chief, had demanded the Transport Minister’s post in return for rallying support from his wing for Chua.

It is also public knowledge that Ka Siong is now under investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection with possible links to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Just recently, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdul said the commission had recorded a statement from Wee and did not rule out that he might be called again.

He was also quoted as saying that there were several pending matters which had to be addressed before they could complete the case.

Chew, Hou and Jeck Seng are apparently not in favour of such an arrangement where Ka Siong would be the only person to benefit in the alliance with Chua by getting a minister’s post.

They in return also want something for the support that Chua so desperately needs to clinch the president’s post.

The insiders said that Liow’s faction do not want to be sidelined nor left out .

Worse still, the insiders said, the faction feared that Chua would not honour his promises to them.

Chua, they said, was known to be capable of abandoning any “chai tua” (candidacy list agreed upon to vote for by delegates ) pact at the 11th hour which would put teamed-up groups in a dilemma.

Chew, who is the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, is also said to be dead serious against having Chua as the president because of his tainted past.

Stacked against Chua is the sex DVD scandal, which caused him to give up all party and government posts in 2008.

The next general election is crucial for the Barisan Nasional to regain its foothold in states which it did badly and the coalition can ill afford any slip-ups or controversy.

Chua’s image will be a liability to the party and allow the Opposition to have a field day to run down the party if it is led by a man who has a tarnished reputation.

Already, the party had suffered severe losses in the 2008 elections, where it only secured 15 parliamentary and 32 state seats compared to 31 parliamentary and 75 state seats in the 2004 elections.

There could also be a fallout in the Chua-Liow collaboration where it was noted that Liow’s faction was conspicuously not seen at a dinner for some delegates in Johor on Tuesday night.

However, Kong Cho Ha was there, which gave rise of a possible pact that Chua had made with him as well.

They said it would be no surprise if Chew, once a blue-eyed girl of Ong Tee Keat comes back to the fold and pledge support for him. After all, the impossible can be possible.

Likewise, Liow’s long-standing friendship with Ong may just be rekindled and see them reunited again and teaming up to contest against Chua who is expected to have Kong as his running mate for the deputy president’s post.

In the next few days, we will see aspiring contenders for the March 28 polls drawing up lines of allegiance and alliances.

Joshua Teng
Kuala Lumpur

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