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Despite widespread doubts, Tee Keat says he can resurrect MCA

Despite widespread doubts, Tee Keat says he can resurrect MCA

BY LEE SHI-IAN
December 09, 2013

Many MCA members remember Ong's short tenure as president, marked by factionalism and infighting. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, December 9, 2013.

Many MCA members remember Ong’s short tenure as president, marked by factionalism and infighting. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, December 9, 2013.Former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is taking a second shot at the post he once held for only 17 months, although party members and analysts doubt his chances this time around.

In explaining his decision to throw his hat into the three-cornered fight at the December 21 party polls, Ong said he felt obliged to help pull the Barisan Nasional party out of its current doldrums.

The 57-year-old politician said MCA shaped his political career and it was only right to repay that debt by helping the party when it is down.

“In the aftermath of the May general election, MCA’s image took a severe battering and it lost the support of the Chinese community.

“I know what needs to be done to resurrect and transform MCA towards regaining its former glory. That is why I am offering myself to lead the party together with other like-minded people,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

In the 13th general election, MCA only won seven out of 37 federal seats and 11 out of 90 state seats it contested.

Ong, who was elected president in October 2008, will face deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and vice-president Gan Ping Sieu.

Current MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is not seeking re-election.

However, observers noted that Ong’s time has passed, with many members recalling that the former president had criticised the party and its leaders after his ouster by his then deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, following a protracted leadership battle.

Ong, the former transport minister, also stayed away from party events.

“His past record is a turn-off. His tenure as president was characterised by factionalism and infighting.

“Lots of hopes were pinned on him to consolidate the party due to his critical outlook but as we all know, it turned out otherwise. I don’t think the delegates would want it this time around.

“After all, once bitten, twice shy,” said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng, adding that while Ong is popular with Malaysians, it is MCA’s 2,380 central delegates who hold the key to his victory. – December 9, 2013.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/despite-widespread-doubts-tee-keat-says-he-can-resurrect-mca

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