Monday, April 05, 2010

Ong Tee Keat denies being offered spot in MCA presidential council

Defeated MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat today denied he had been offered a spot in the party's presidential council, only minutes after his successor said he had turned it down.

“I had the opportunity to approach Ong Ka Ting and Ong Tee Keat to be members of the presidential council but they declined the offer,”

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek told reporters after a handover ceremony held at the party's headquarters at noon.

But Tee Keat, who was standing just outside the conference room, denied he had declined Dr Chua's offer when asked his reasons for turning it down.

“Is there such an offer?” he quizzed, seemingly surprised.

The two leaders have been known to be at odds with each other for a long time. Chua was Tee Keat's deputy before he trumped the Pandan MP at the MCA's party elections two Sundays ago.

“The presidential council is normally meant for current leaders. I don't need to sit on the presidential council to contribute to the party,” Tee Keat said.

“You must understand... the quota is limited,” he added, in an attempt to play down the difference between him and his former No.2.

Tee Keat told reporters that for him, the “battle is over.” He was quick to add that he would continue to push his “ideals”, but did not elaborate what they were.

The transport minister whose Cabinet position is now uncertain after losing in the party elections said he would remain focused on his work.

Chua appeared in no hurry to push the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for a spot in the Cabinet, which traditionally includes the president of the ruling coalition's component parties.

Asked when he planned to meet with Najib, an unsmiling Chua shot back: “I don't know when I'll meet with the PM. It's up to him.”

The former health minister had quit all party and ministerial posts two years ago after a sex video of him and his mistress leaked out to the public.

Chua said he was focused on regaining split support for the party, noting the upcoming 10th by-election in Hulu Selangor, which was formerly a Barisan Nasional stronghold until the general elections two years ago.

But he declined to comment on how he would do it when asked, saying he would elaborate tomorrow.

The MCA central committee will be meeting tomorrow for the first time after its elections.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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