MCA resignations a ploy to kick out Tee Keat

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

The mass resignations of 21 MCA central committee members last Thursday was apparently part of a grand scheme brokered by party leaders  to throw out their sitting president since the implementation of last year’s peace plan.

A top party leader told The Malaysian Insider that all factions of the embattled party had agreed that MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat deserved the boot.

“We agreed to give the peace plan some time to work but there were problems even from the start. We knew that we were heading down this road,” said the leader, who declined to be named.

The party leader added Ong had deepened his own grave when he refused to acknowledge results of last October’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and insisted on staying on as president.

The peace plan was introduced upon intervention by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when it was clear that the second largest component party in Barisan Nasional (BN) had reached a deadlock in its crisis.

The plan may have cemented the stubborn chief’s position but it had also loosened the soil beneath him as other leaders came together to decide when and how to remove him.

For one thing, the plan saw the reinstatement of formerly sacked deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Like Ong, Dr Chua had also lost his chance to make a return to the party when delegates voted against his reinstatement at the EGM but agreed that his sacking, which was made over his sex scandal, should be overturned.

The party source said that the combination of Ong and Dr Chua as president and deputy was a match made in hell as the latter had troubles seeing eye to eye with the former.

“You would not understand this. It is actually merely about party administrative matters. Ong would go about doing things at his own whims and fancies and Dr Chua found it difficult to work with him. It is very hard when you are there as deputy but you find you are often powerless,” said the source.

Indeed it was clear that the Dr Chua-Ong union was not really representative of an ideal “peace plan” as the duo were hardly seen on friendly terms and even when in attendance at official functions, Dr Chua would often leave early.

It was just a matter of time before the upswell broke the surface and shattered the ground beneath Ong.

With Thursday’s resignations, said the source, the posts in the party’s top leadership has now been opened like a buffet table and it would be interesting to see who would vie for a place.

Upon the announcements of the resignations, the remaining members of the MCA central committee decided to hold the polls to elect a new leadership on March 28.

The leader noted that for now, Dr Chua is set to take the lead.

“He will contest for presidency and it looks as if he will be going up against Ong,” he added.

The leader said party vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who had been the strongest opposing voice in the anti-Ong camp since the last EGM, may settle for the party’s deputy presidency.

“Of course, politics is very fluid and things can change at any time. Everyone has their own agenda. But for the sake of getting Ong out of the picture, Liow is willing to step back and let Dr Chua contest for top post,” he noted.