MCA Ong’s Leadership is Losing Its Lustre

Khoo Kay Peng

I was one of those who were pleased when Ong Tee Keat decided to contest for the MCA presidency. I was silently hopeful that Ong's strong personal principles, his frankness, his no nonsense politics and his multiracial vision would be able to catalyze a significant change in the race-based BN coalition.

If there was any leader who could tell UMNO to end its extreme racial politics, it would be Ong Tee Keat. I told him that these qualities were the main reason he was spared the political tsunami and voted back into parliament by the voters.

It is time for Ong to produce the same kind of attributes to restore the lustre of his leadership. It does not matter if he could muster enough support within the party to continue to ward off his deputy, Chua Soi Lek. But it was obvious that Ong was too preoccupied with Chua to the point that it has made the latter such an important nemesis.

Chua's strength is a reflection of Ong's insecurity and weakness. On paper, there is only a remote chance for Chua to challenge the leadership of Ong. UMNO, the party who is trying to portray itself as a moral guardian, will find it hard to accept Chua's leadership of MCA or as a cabinet colleague.

Chua's sex scandal would have made Anwar's case looked pale in comparison. The latter was alleged to have conducted unnatural sex but there was no video evidence, unlike Chua's.

Unfortunately, Ong had wasted too much of his valuable time trying to contain and fight Chua. Ong should seriously try to measure his achievement in reforming his party. Has his leadership contributed to MCA's political revival?