Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ong Tee Keat: What MCA polls mean

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the election for the MCA presidency was not a contest of personalities.

He said the election was not about whether he, former party president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting or whoever else, was stronger.

"This election is the party's endorsement of the reform that it needs to go through, in the face of the worst general election the MCA had ever gone through, on March 8, 2008.

ong-tee-keat-2"This election is a platform for delegates to say whether they want to bite the bullet now, so that they can stand tall after the 13th general election," he said in his blog Saturday.

He said, over the past 17 months, he and the party had been hurt and wounded by certain quarters who resisted change and still wanted to live in their comfort zones.

Party made mistakes

"But I am not deterred because I believe the overwhelming majority of members want to see MCA transform.

"March 8 has shown us that issues like transparency, accountability, good governance and being seen to be vocal resonate among the electorate. We must admit that the party has made mistakes in the past, which led the voters to reject us.

"Do we still want to go back to the old ways of doing things and be condemned by voters, come the 13th general election? Or, do we want to move on and be in tune with the voters' expectations,?" he asked.

He said, a vote for him was a vote for transformation; an endorsement that the party needed to discard its old way of doing things.

"A vote for Ong Tee Keat is a vote for MCA to be a respectable political party, not a social organisation. A vote for Ong Tee Keat is a vote for MCA to stand up and be heard, and not be cowed into submission," he said.

Nomination will be on Monday while party election is on March 28.

'No, I'm not quitting race'

Meanwhile at a function in Kota Kinabalu last night, Tee Keat reiterated that "there has never been any contemplation (for me) to call it quits", reported Bernama.

This was the MCA president's response when asked on the possibility of him and former president Ong Ka Ting reaching an agreement that one of them would pull out from the contest for the party's top post at its polls on March 28.

Asked to comment on Ka Ting's statement in a television interview Friday night, where Ka Ting had said that he did not rule out such a possibility before nomination day on Monday, Tee Keat said: "I don't know what he said, I was then not watching TV, but suffice to say I'm appreciative of any kind deeds at resolving the party crisis."

"But so far to my understanding and also for your information, as far as I'm concerned, there has never been any contemplation (on my part) to call it quits. And so far nobody has approach me for anything."

ong-chua-ong-mcaOn Ka Ting's claims that MCA was still an organised and united party when he left it for retirement in 2008, Tee Keat said the problems he inherited when taking over the president's post was "common knowledge".

"He (Ka Ting) can make such a claim, but the fact remains that the disciplinary case involving Dr Chua Soi Lek, in fact that was the legacy I inherited, because that case was supposed to be resolved during his tenure and of course when I had no choice but to take it over, so I had to go by the rules and do the due diligence.

"Of course, the unprecedented defeat during the 2008 general election...that was a time a lot of people including candidates and myself felt that there were issues like Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) that was a timebomb, that we failed to address at the height of the election...Ka Ting was still the president then," he added.

Tee Keat said he mentioned this with no intention to issue or throw any innuendos or to implicate anybody, but just wanted to put the facts and the record straight.

Decision at right time

Meanwhile, former MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, when met by reporters on arrival at the Kota Kinabalu Airport here yesterday, made it clear that he would not be too quick to make any announcements without getting feedback from the central delegates.

"If you look at the history of MCA, every time there's a contest, I will always be one of those people last to announce.

"I want to get delegates' input before I make my final decision. This is to respect the central delegates," he said.

He added that Kota Kinabalu was his last stop in meeting central delegates and that he would be making his announcement "when the time is right".

Asked on speculation that he might go up against incumbent Ong Tee Keat and Tee Keat's predecessor Ong Ka Ting for the president's post, Chua said: "Nobody can stop people from speculating. I'm looking at various options (posts to contest)."

Chua was also asked whether there were individuals who approached him to make a compromise regarding his possible candidacy for the president's post.

"Nobody has approached me. Even just now I met Ong Tee Keat as I arrived, we exchanged greetings.

"He asked how things were going with me. I said OK," he said.

courtesy of Malaysian Mirror

No comments: