Updated at 8:15pm, 22 Oct 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Oct 2009: MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and former deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today agreed to work as a team and resolve the crisis in the party under a “greater unity plan”.
Ong said Chua agreed to work with him, without pre-conditions, to strengthen and unite the party, and had requested secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng to review the call for a second extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
“The greater unity plan has received the blessing and support of Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chair[person] Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has been briefed on the latest development,” Ong told a news conference attended by Chua at the party’s headquarters here today.
Also present were deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, vice-presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen and Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, and Wong.
Ong Ong declined to elaborate when asked on the “greater unity plan”, only saying that the plan “not only outlines the details, like the five-year Malaysia plan, but also provides the platform for all to work together as a team.”
Ong said unity was of utmost importance as there were still a lot of unfinished things that needed implementation for the benefit of the people and grassroots members.
“This is one of the unfinished jobs that I mentioned earlier. This is the beginning of the process. We all know that we need to put in our full commitment to make it work,” he said.
Ong said he had also accepted the suggestion by Liow to work closely for the greater good of the party.
Asked on Chua’s role, Ong said both of them would cooperate for the benefit of the party, and that he was optimistic that the commitment would strengthen the MCA.
“This is after taking into consideration the 47% support obtained by Chua in the last EGM and the nearly 50% support I had in the EGM.
“I want to stress here that we gathered here today for the sole purpose of implementing the greater unity plan for the sake of party unity,” he said.
Chua Asked whether he and Chua met the prime minister yesterday, Ong said: “I met the prime minister every now and then. Not only last night; in fact, in the past few days.”
Asked whether he would make good on his promise to step down as MCA president based on the EGM results, Ong said, “I have been cautioned by members of the public to remain in between the public’s trust in me and the personal pledge that I made earlier.
“In the name of public trust, it’s only fair that I, in my capacity as MCA president, endeavour to live up to the expectation of the people and members. We take full attention [of] the EGM results.”
Chua, when asked whether there would be any more exchange of words between him and Ong after today’s meeting, said, “For me, it’s simple. If people don’t undermine me, I won’t retaliate.”
Chua admitted that both he and Ong met on several occasions after the 10 Oct EGM, and that the latest meeting was three days ago.
Chua also thanked the prime minister for his encouragement and understanding, and added that Najib, in a closed-door meeting with both of them yesterday, had advised them to unite.
He said that Najib had told them that “for the sake of the party and the BN, we should unite, stabilise the party and move the party as a team.”
When asked on his status, Chua said: “In my case, my membership was suspended, and then annulled through the EGM. Many senior lawyers felt that I should be the deputy (president), but I won’t enter into a legal argument; so I thought the best authority would be the Registrar of Societies (ROS)”.
Chua said he has filed a letter to the ROS to look into the matter.
On Liow‘s appointment as the deputy president, Chua said, “It’s not a question of whether I [accept] it or not; in politics when you are appointed or reappointed, the most important is whether the central delegates [accept] it or not. I will just be very open minded with what the ROS has to decide.” — Bernama