Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ong Ka Ting joins fray, to go for No 1

Former MCA president Ong Ka Ting has confirmed his intentions to contest for party presidency during the central committee elections on March 28.

Ka Ting said the decision to go for the top post was in response to calls by party delegates, veterans and ordinary members who have urged him to do so.

ong ka ting and mca 140508"Most importantly, I believe that their calls are motivated primarily by their genuine concern and love for the party in order to see a quick end to the damaging factional in-fighting which is going on.

"To all these members who care and love the party, I say I hear you, loud and clear," said Ka Ting in a media statement today.

Ka Ting said though he had promised in the past that he would not seek re-election, the current state of affairs with the party has made him reconsider.

"When I announced on June 28, 2008 not to seek re-election of the presidency, I thought I would be leaving the party in safe and united hands.

"To my great dismay, this not only turned out to be otherwise, but also, the good values of healthy political culture.

"Good governance and collective leadership, practised and advocated by my team during my presidency, have become almost entirely a thing of the past as soon as I have retired."

'I'd be selfish if I stayed out'

Ong, who is former housing and local government minister, said when he took over the party's leadership in May 2003 during a tumultuous period of internal strife, one of his immediate tasks was to amend the party constitution to limit the president's term to only three years.

Similarly, he said his team had also formulated strict financial management system including budgetary framework in which the party's assets were managed.

"Most of all, the party was made debt free after having fully settled our debts during my presidency.

"Sadly, in the last one year or so, after putting our constitution to a severe test, it has revealed various weaknesses in the light of excessive presidential powers and the abrogation of the general assembly as the supreme body of our party," he said.

"There is, therefore, an urgent need for these weaknesses to be quickly addressed and rectified," he said.

ong ka ting interview 140408 01Furthermore, Ka Ting lamented that the party had also been plagued by in-fighting ever since the Oct 18, 2008 party elections, which had brought shame to MCA and its supporters.

Given the circumstances, Ka Ting said he could have "taken the easy way out" and stayed out of the fray because he would be greatly embarressed should he fail to win the presidency.

"However, with the current state of affairs in the party and being the immediate past president, it will indeed be selfish on my part if I do not rise to respond to this call for duty and undertake this challenge to bring stability, and restore credibility and rule of law in the party.

"All in all, I am doing this out of my love and concern for the party and community," he said.

Ka Ting is the first person to announce his intention to challenge Ong Tee Keat as party president. Ong announced last week that he would defend his post.

Former deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek is expected to announce his candidacy this Friday, and thus making it a three-corner fight.

By contesting in the party's fresh polls on March 28, Ong also created a political history as it would be the first time that a former party president has come out from retirement to contest the top party post.

Nominations for the 31 posts up for grabs - president, deputy president, four vice-presidents' posts and 25 central committee seats - will be held next Monday.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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