10 October, 2009

Delegates reject Ong but Reinstates Dr Chua Only As A Member

Party chief Ong Tee Keat loses motion of no confidence by 14 votes, Chua Soi Lek reinstated as full member but fails to remain as deputy chief.

Embattled MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat lost in a vote of no-confidence against him while suspended Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was reinstated as a party member but not as the deputy president at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the party here on Saturday.

A total of 1,155 delegates voted for the no-confidence motion, which was the first resolution, while 1,141 voted against it. Eight ballot papers were spoilt.

A total of 1,204 of the delegates agreed that the presidential council's decision on Aug 26 in accepting the recommendation of the disciplinary board and the subsequent decision of the central committee to expel or suspend Dr Chua be annulled, as per the second resolution, meaning that he would be reinstated as a party member.

A total of 1,184 of the 2,304 delegates also decided against the third resolution - that suspended Dr Chua be reinstated as the deputy president.

The results were announced by Speaker Datuk Yip Phooi Hong at 4.10pm after two recounts of the votes for the first resolution.

Ong was evasive when asked if he would resign after losing the confidence vote.

"You cannot simply don't follow what I say," he answered in cryptic fashion to a question of whether he was resigning.

"Any development and action to be taken will be discussed collectively by the central committee.

"There is nothing much we can elaborate on at this juncture," said Ong.

While it may appear to be Barisan Nasional’s (BN) biggest nightmare come true with the second biggest party in the ruling coalition split like never before, it could also provide an opening for the party to move forward.

The central committee may decide to appoint an interim president and vice-presidents Liow Tiong Lai and Kong Cho Ha have already been mentioned as possible candidates.

But what is clear from today's results is that the biggest loser is Ong who while he has not immediately done so will have to resign.

Dr Chua may not have been reinstated as the party No 2 but he has shown that he remains a potent force in the party and Ong had made a mistake in trying to sideline him.

But uncertain days lie ahead for MCA with both camps not expected to give up the fight easily.


PRESS STATEMENT BY DATUK SERI DR. CHUA SOI LEK

I would like to thank MCA central delegates and all party members for their enormous support that lead to my reinstatement as a MCA member.

I accept the decisions made by all central delegates and I hope that the MCA central leadership will respect decisions made by the central delegates in the MCA EGM.

Thank you.

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