Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'PM backs Ka Ting' SMS irresponsible act: Soi Lek

Former MCA deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek today described as an irresponsible act the wide circulation of an SMS claiming that former president Ong Ka Ting, who is making a comeback, has the blessings and support of the prime minister and deputy prime minister.

"Since yesterday many delegates claimed to have received SMS stating that Ka Ting was contesting the presidency (in the MCA fresh polls on March 28) because he has the blessings of Najib Tun Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin.

"This is not true. I have met Najib and Muhyiddin, and they said they would not interfere in the party elections," Soi Lek told reporters in Alor Star.

Soi Lek was in Kedah overnight and is in Perlis today to meet delegates. He was accompanied by Kedah MCA deputy chairperson Chong Itt Chew, who is a former central committee (CC) member, and other Kedah MCA leaders.

Meanwhile, MCA Youth chief Dr Wee Ka Siong said today he respected Ka Ting's decision to contest the presidency in the party elections.

He said Ka Ting was entitled to contest the post after having considered the views of various quarters, especially veteran delegates who had appealed to him to make a comeback to resolve the party's leadership crisis.

"Come March 28, every delegate has the responsibility to determine the MCA leadership that can unite the party, set a clear direction and bring victory to the party and the BN," he told reporters at the lobby of Parliament.

The deputy education minister said it was a test for the delegates to restore the party's image and credibility following the various events which had challenged the party leadership over the past one year.

"I know that the delegates are mature enough to make a wise decision," he said.

Ungentlemanly act to bar two ex-CC members

On another matter, Wee expressed disappointment over the statement by party secretary-general Wong Foon Meng that two former CC members Wong Mook Leong and Wong Nai Chee were ineligible to contest the elections.

He said this was contrary to the party constitution because Article 41 stated that no one could prohibit the re-election of any former CC member.

"How can we convince young people to join the party when candidates such as Wong (Nai Chee) are sidelined? I feel the decision is most saddening and the political ploy to oust them is not gentlemanly," he said.

Nai Chee and Mook Leong are among the 21 CC members who resigned en bloc this month, forcing the party to hold the elections.

Foon Meng had said in reply to a letter from Nai Chee seeking clarification on their status that they were ineligible to contest in accordance with Article 33 of the party constitution.

The article states that those eligible to contest were CC members, central delegates, elected representatives, state liaison committee chairpersons and divisional chairpersons. Foon Meng said Nai Chee and Mook Leong were not in any of these categories.

- Bernama

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