|Wong Choon Mei|
|KUALA LUMPUR, Mac 4: Even as the Umno-BN continues to try destabilizing the Pakatan Rakyat, a fresh crisis has erupted in its own backyard.|
Chua Soi Lek – the deputy president of MCA the second largest component in the BN - shocked pundits by resigning from the party's powerful central committee along with seven other top decision makers.
The move is aimed at paving the way for fresh internal polls and is a major blow to embattled MCA president Ong Tee Keat.
“This will bring the infighting at the MCA to the forefront. Whether or not fresh elections will help MCA and BN to heal remains to be seen,” PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad told Harakahdaily.
“But one thing is for sure. It shows that BN is not as strong as it has been boasting to be. In fact, its problems are more serious than the Pakatan Rakyat’s. What ails the BN is there is crisis at the top leadership of big components like MCA and MIC. Even at Umno, there is infighting.
“In Pakatan, the leadership at PAS, PKR and DAP is very strong. Our problem is at the lower levels where recalcitrant and non-performing elected representatives are being induced by scoundrels to leave.”
Chua, Liow and Najib
Meanwhile, a dazed Ong has yet to comment on the latest development. He has been trying to cling on by avoiding fresh party polls after an embarrassing extraordinary general meeting in October 2009, where top delegates unflinchingly asked both him and the scandal-hit Chua to give way to new blood.
However, the stubborn Ong refused and instead knocked together a deal with Chua, although he had earlier tried to push the latter out from the party.
The Ong-Chua ‘Greater Unity Plan’ helped to stave off a challenge from vice president Liow Tiong Lai, who together with Chua are considered to be the obedient, blue-eyed boys of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Liow also has the backing of Youth chief Wee Ka Siong and Wanita chief Chew Mee Fun.
Now with Chua switching camps, speculation is rife that Najib has given his blessings for Chua and Liow to take over as the new MCA No.1 and No. 2 respectively.
“We hope that the party leadership will call for elections as soon as possible so that the crisis which has plagued the party can be solved immediately,” Chua told reporters on Thursday.
Ong axed for BN's political expediency
It is clear that the temperamental Ong has been dumped for the BN's political expediency, although MCA delegates could spring another surprise when they cast their ballots next month.
Ong has stepped on many toes not just within the MCA, but also at the top echelon in Umno with his insistence on exposing the RM12 billion Port Klang Free Zone financial debacle.
Notwithstanding the long drawn-out drama, the MCA has failed to elicit interest from a thoroughly fed-up Chinese community.
Most Chinese now shun the party because its leaders have in the past seldom stood up for the community on crucial issues of human, educational and racial rights.
So far, each MCA president has always subjugated the community’s welfare and interests at the command of whichever Umno leader was in power, creating widespread scorn and disrespect for the party.
New internal elections will now have to be held within the next 30 days. The MCA was due to hold its next tri-annual elections in 2011.