Malaysia

Tee Keat may jump ship with hung Parliament, Soi Lek claims

By Ida Lim
December 28, 2012

Ong said Dr Chua was entitled to “imagine what he likes” within the limits of respectability. — File picOng said Dr Chua was entitled to “imagine what he likes” within the limits of respectability. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 ― MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has suggested that his rival and predecessor Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat may quit the party if there is no clear winner to the next general election.

Dr Chua made the remarks yesterday to a group of pro-Umno bloggers at his office. An aide to the MCA president confirmed the remarks.

According to Syed Akbar Ali (syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.com), a pro-Umno blogger who attended the meeting, Dr Chua had said there were factions in MCA and the only way to overcome this would be to work hard.

“Revisiting the issue of factionalism and lack of support, he spoke bluntly about the Ong Tee Keat faction trying to sabotage him in Melaka. Dr Chua feels that if there is a hung Parliament after the general elections, Ong Tee Keat may just pack his bags and leave. Like Chua Jui Ming,” Syed Akbar wrote on his blog.

When asked about Dr Chua’s remarks, Ong told The Malaysian Insider that it was up to the MCA president to “imagine what he likes”.

“He can imagine what he likes... none of my business, and that is his freedom but please do respect other people’s freedom,” Ong told The Malaysian Insider.

When asked if he was leading any factions within MCA, Ong said he paid no heed to such “hearsay and gossip”.

“I’m not interested in this kind of hearsay and gossip and irresponsible fabrication. I never bothered to read that kind of things,” the former MCA president said.

He also pointed out that he hardly goes to Malacca.

When asked if he wanted to deny the allegations written in the blog, Ong said: “What is there to deny or admit? I don’t read that kind of trash.”

In the same blog post, Syed Akbar wrote that Dr Chua (left) had pointed out that he had beaten two former MCA presidents ― Ong and Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting ― in the party polls to become the current president.

“Coming back to Ong Tee Keat, he says (again with a bit of tongue in cheek) that he is the first MCA president who defeated two former party presidents to secure the MCA presidency. He says he is not boasting but it is a matter of fact. So he says he can defeat any number of factions in the MCA,” Syed wrote.

Ong had been elected to head the party in 2008, before an internal struggle led to a re-election in 2010, which Dr Chua won to take over as MCA president.

It is understood that Ong is favoured by senior leaders in Umno to defend his Pandan parliamentary seat because of his personal popularity.

But rival Dr Chua is understood to prefer another candidate.

The MCA president also faces questions about whether he should stand as a candidate for Barisan Nasional, because of his sex scandal history.

In late 2007, video copies of Dr Chua engaged in sex acts with his mistress were circulated publicly, and led to his resignation as health minister.

He was also not put up as a candidate in Election 2008, but made a political comeback in MCA later.