Continued show of power manifest in MCA lineup
Posted November 11, 2008on:
|MCA No 2 Chua Soi Lek sidelined|
|Nov 11, 08 6:59pm Malaysiakini.com|
|Newly-minted MCA president Ong Tee Keat surprised everyone by naming senator Wong Foon Meng as secretary-general at the party’s first central committee meeting today.
Vice-president Liow Tiong Lai, who is also health minister, had long been speculated to assume the powerful position which though unelected, is ranked No 3 in the party hierarchy.
The 54-year-old Wong Foon Meng currently serves as the deputy president of the Senate.
However, the surprises did not end there.
Senator Tee Hock Seng has been made party treasurer. The wealthy businessman was also given the task of Federal Territory chief.
MCA Youth vice-chairman Yoo Wei How is the party’s organising secretary – which earns him a place in the central committee, making him the committee’s youngest member at 35.
There were comebacks too as former deputy finance minister Loke Yuen Yow gets to assist Wong as deputy secretary-general.
An interesting major reshuffle was in Tee Keat (photo, second from right) vacating the Selangor liaison chief post to Wong Foon Meng, while taking over the plum job of heading MCA Johor.
As a result of the political tsunami in the March 8 general election, almost half of the party’s 15 parliamentarian seats are in Johor, making it the party’s bastion.
Johor’s parliamentary significance aside, Tee Keat’s move can also be seen as a way to check the influence of deputy president Chua Soi Lek, who is from Johor.
Chua and Ka Chuan biggest losers
Both candidates for the deputy presidency – Chua and former secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan – were the biggest losers in the announced line-up today.
Chua (right), who created an upset of sorts by winning the deputy presidency, was conspicuously left without a state liaison chairperson’s post.
The former Johor state chief and Labis MP is unlikely to get a government post without a key party position other than deputy president.
He was instead given a minor post where he is to lead the party’s government policy monitoring bureau.
When asked by journalists for his reaction, Chua refused to comment aside from saying that the appointments were the “president’s perogative”.
Ka Chuan, as expected, failed to keep his secretary-general’s post. He was also given a minor post – heading the party’s history and documentation bureau.
He also lost his Perak state liaison chief post to Deputy Finance Minister Kong Cho Ha, who is the highest vote-getter in the vice-presidency race.
Other leaders were entrusted with further responsibilities.
Wanita chief Chew Mei Fun and MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong get to oversee Perlis and Malacca respectively as new state chiefs.
Tee Keat, at a press conference after the committee meeting, was pressed by journalists on his decison to pick Wong as the party secretary-general.
“I don’t need to tell the whole world my prime consideration, just of course, when we make the decision, we have our consideration,” he said.
However, he stressed that the appointments were for the good of the party.