KUALA LUMPUR, 18 May 2009: MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has been given a newly-created post in Barisan Nasional — that of the coalition’s chief coordinator.
The post will require him to oversee the four states — Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor — which are under Pakatan Rakyat (PR) rule, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who announced Chua’s new position today.
Najib announced this at a press conference after a meeting of the BN supreme council today.
In an immediate reaction, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said he congratulated Chua but refused to entertain questions about his deputy with whom he has a rocky relationship.
“That’s a speculative question and I don’t think it’s relevant,” Ong said when cornered by reporters about whether the post was meant to keep Chua in check.
Chua has said that he feels sidelined by Ong in MCA, and has admitted that he has received offers to join Pakatan Rakyat.
Ong also refused to answer when asked if the post was meant to give MCA a greater role within the BN.
The spat between Ong and Chua has raged ever since the former health minister resigned from all party and government posts a year ago following a sex video scandal.
Ong has taken Chua to task over his morality in the run-up to the MCA party elections last October, in which Dr Chua was elected Ong’s deputy.
On other appointments in BN, Najib said Umno secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has been appointment BN secretary-general, and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah the BN treasurer. He is also the Umno treasurer.
Kayveas to Murugiah: Get a head check
After the BN meeting, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M Kayveas took swipes at Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk T Murugiah when approached by reporters.
Kayveas said the expelled PPP vice president should “get a head check” for making claims that he received bullet casings and a death threat warning him against contesting any posts in the PPP elections on 6 June.
“If he is from Perak, he can go to Tanjung Rambutan to get his head checked,” Kayveas told reporters.
Murugiah was expelled from PPP on 16 May for allegedly using his office in the Prime Minister’s Department to tarnish the party and for making other threats against the party, including calling for it to be deregistered.
Kayveas said Murugiah had 14 days from the date of his expulsion to appeal his case or PPP would recommend another person to Najib to take over the deputy minister post.
Najib, during the press conference after the BN meeting, said PPP’s problems were an internal matter and declined to comment further.
See also: Chua meets Husam over Perak