‘EXITING WITH WISDOM’: MCA chief says he won’t backtrack on promise he made after party’s poor showing in May general election
KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek yesterday confirmed once and for all that he will not defend his post in the party election on Dec 21, despite calls from supporters to do so.
Chua, 66, who plans to retire from politics, said he would exercise political wisdom and not backtrack on the announcement he had made in May following the general election.
“There is a Chinese saying that in politics we rise with opportunity but exit with wisdom. I feel I should exercise this wisdom and not backtrack on my word.
“I am under tremendous pressure. My supporters say that with three candidates joining the presidency race, it would be advantageous for me to enter as well, as I could split the vote in my favour.
“However, I do not wish to go down in MCA history as a leader without integrity and credibility.
” If I stand and win, it would be an empty victory,” he said at MCA headquarters here.
He posted a Facebook message thanking supporters for the faith they had shown in him throughout his 28 years in politics.
“I (would) like to thank all my comrades and my friends, whose support has enabled me to survive the last 28 years in MCA politics.
I hope my comrades and friends will not begrudge me taking my retirement.”
He said it was time to give way to the younger generation to lead the party and called on MCA leaders to embrace one another, adding that it was up to the party leadership to practise the politics of transforming MCA and not destroy it.
“In MCA’s election history, the losers always seem to go away and never come back, although they try to pull the strings from behind the scenes. This creates only more problems for the party.
“After the party election, all factions have to close ranks. The new leadership must not adopt a ‘winner takes all, loser loses all’ attitude.”
He urged businessmen to refrain from getting involved in party affairs as this could lead to money politics.
“We appreciate the support of businessmen, but they should not try to control the party with hidden agendas. MCA members must reject this.”
On whether MCA could bounce back, he said “anything is possible in politics”, as voters’ perception could change once they realised the opposition party’s mistakes.
Chua remained coy on his plans after politics, but had words of advice for his son, Labis member of parliament Datuk Chua Tee Yong, who is said to be vying the vice- presidency.
“I leave it up to him and what the grassroots think. If they say, ‘do not contest’, he should not. I have no say as my vote counts only as one.”
Come nomination day on Dec 16, the three aspirants vying for the top post are deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, vice-president Gan Ping Sieu and former party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. Chua and Liow have been at loggerheads since the general election, with the two blaming each for the party’s poor showing.
The feud culminated in a motion by the central committee to censure Liow at the party’s extraordinary general meeting in October, although he survived the motion after a majority of the delegates voted against the resolution.
For the post of deputy president, vice-president Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, who is aligned with Chua, is up aginst Youth Chief and former deputy education minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, who will be Liow’s running mate.
The posts of president, deputy-president, four vice-presidents and 25 central committee members will be contested on election day.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has announced that he will not defend his post at the party election on Dec 21. Pic by Nurul Syazana Rose Razman