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Gag order to improve MCA effectiveness

SHAH ALAM, 8 Jan 2009: MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the directive for all party bureau chiefs to have their press statements endorsed by the presidential council was made to improve the effectiveness of the party.

“We have to make sure they (MCA bureau chiefs) do things right. By that, I mean we have to be mindful that the impact will not be flawed,” he told reporters after attending the press launch of CNI’s 20th anniversary celebration at Wisma CNI, near here, today.

It was reported that the order was made last week and effectively puts all MCA statements under the purview of the president, who appoints the majority of the presidential council members.

The decision is seen by certain quarters as a move to silence deputy president and Ong’s main rival Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who is also the party’s government policy monitoring chief.

Ong, who is also Transport Minister, stressed that he had picked the right people for the right job in the party.

“They may be able to do the job and have the aptitude necessary, but we need to take a cautious approach (to endorse press statements by the presidential council),” he said.

On the boardroom changes in The Star recently, the newspaper owned by Huaren Holdings, MCA’s investment arm, Ong said the decision made was beyond the jurisdiction of the party.

“The decision is under the purview of the newspaper’s board. The Star is independent. We leave it to the professionals. While Huaren Holdings comes under us, we only do what is completely necessary under our jurisdiction,” he stressed.

Recently, the English daily announced that Datuk Steven Tan had given six months’ notice of his intention to relinquish his position as executive deputy chairperson.

This follows his voluntary retirement on 30 June 2008 as group managing director/chief executive officer, a position succeeded by Datin Linda Ngiam.

However, Tan, 60, remains as a non-executive director. — Bernama


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