Malaysia

Tiong Lai goes to the ground to keep MCA presidential hopes alive

BY EILEEN NG
October 07, 2013

Faced with the possibility that his political career could come to a premature end two months before MCA’s December polls, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic) is meeting party grassroots for support against a censure by his political foe's faction.

The MCA deputy president hopes to meet all 2,400 central delegates before the October 20 extraordinary general meeting (EGM), where one of the four EGM resolutions is to “censure” him for refusing to accept the party’s collective decisions.

The same resolution also noted that not only has Liow failed in his duties as general election preparation committee chief, but also that his recent actions had caused infighting and tarnished the party's image.

“I won’t be given a chance to address the delegates at the EGM. Since my access to the delegates will be limited, I’ve decided to take this approach,” Liow told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.

The other three resolutions concerns his bid to accept government posts at various levels, as opposed to the party’s earlier stand of not taking up any government posts because it fared badly in the 13th general election.

At the May 5 general election, the senior Barisan Nasional Chinese party only won seven out of 37 federal seats and 11 out of 90 state seats it contested, which was worse than its Election 2008 results.

The Bentong MP started his tour at his home state of Pahang on Saturday where he met delegates from his federal constituency as well as from other divisions in the state.

The 52-year-old also met delegates from Johor yesterday, a stronghold of his nemesis, party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Liow, who announced his bid for the party’s top post last month, is optimistic about his chances, claiming that delegates were upset that he was to be solely held responsible for the party’s poor performance in the general election.

“Many delegates called to tell me although their division chiefs had pledged their support for the president, in no way that reflected their wishes,” he said.

With dark under-eye circles and sounding tired, Liow accused Dr Chua of using the EGM as a pretext to put an end to his bid for the presidency as he had disagreed with the latter on various party matters.

It included the proposed reverse takeover bid by Matang Holdings Bhd of listed electronics firm Scope Industries Bhd in June as well as his objection to the lifting of the suspension of Datuk Tee Siew Kiong, a staunch supporter of Dr Chua, for taking up a Johor exco post.

“For the past three years, I have supported him because I do not want to see the party in chaos. But he took my support for granted and is trying to victimise me.

“I don’t know his strategy but he definitely wants to kill me off before I can go for the election. It’s very obvious he is trying to stop me from going after the presidency,” Liow said. - October 7, 2013.