Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ka Ting comeback - NST

Eileen Ng

KUALA LUMPUR: The surprise, last-ditch attempt to rally support for the return of Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting as president of the MCA ahead of Saturday’s nominations has received the endorsement of party elder, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek.

This hint of a momentum for Ka Ting came as incumbent president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat announced his candidacy as widely expected, declaring he has no running mates and would work with others to be elected with him.

Ka Ting, on his part, indicated he was mulling over the possibility of a comeback, telling the ntv7 Mandarin news at 5.30pm:
“If I can really help, also for the sake of MCA’s future, I will step in...I cannot decide yet. I need to see the situation first.”

A major concern within the party is the shape of the eventual victorious line-up. Electing top leaders who cannot work with each other will prolong the already protracted crisis. A key campaign theme will therefore be which line-up best offers a chance of reunification.

The emerging grouping with Ka Ting back as leader, is reportedly supported by groups led by vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai; Ka Ting’s brother, the former secretary-general Datuk Ong Ka Chuan; and former deputy president during Ka Ting’s reign, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.

This new grouping and the declared candidacy of Tee Keat raise the question over the position of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and his supporters, among them two vice-presidents — Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen and Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha. Kong, for instance, secured the most votes as a central committee member, a feat he repeated when he stood for vice-president.

Collectively, Dr Chua and his backers retain sizeable support in the party. Dr Chua has been tight-lipped. Asked specifically on Tee Keat’s candidacy, he said: “He can announce what he wants. I don’t want to talk about the elections.”

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