KUALA LUMPUR: MCA leaders continued to convey their gratitude to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad for rejecting Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik’s offer to quit his ministerial post.
Vice-president Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn said Dr Ling’s services were very much needed and being a strong, experienced and articulate leader, he could effectively highlight issues, particularly those affecting the community.
Dr Mahathir had on Wednesday said he would not accept Dr Ling’s offer. Dr Ling had submitted two undated resignation letters to the Prime Minister, one in May 2000 and the other on Aug 15 last year.
In Malacca, MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said Dr Mahathir was sensitive and concerned about the internal development of MCA.
MCA Youth leaders had urged Dr Ling to reconsider his willingness to resign, saying that his services were still needed.
Youth secretary-general Loh Seng Kok said: “We must respect the Prime Minister’s wish for him (Dr Ling) to stay on.
We want him to continue to serve the party, nation and community. He is still our president until 2005 and we pledge our support to Dr Ling,” he said.
Youth vice-chairman Hang Chin Peng said: “We should focus our efforts on Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) and party unity, instead of fighting for positions. Most of the Youth members will back Dr Ling’s decision to stay.”
Selangor MCA organising secretary Datuk Ei Kim Hock said feedback from a large section of Kuala Langat MCA division, where he is the deputy chairman, showed members did not want Dr Ling to quit his Cabinet post.
MCA leaders also urged deputy president Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek to respect the Prime Minister’s peace plan to reunite the party and not talk about contesting Dr Ling for the presidency in the 2005.
“The situation in the party will be chaotic if leaders start to talk about fighting for party positions when the elections are more than two years away,” Selangor MCA secretary Datuk Ch’ng Toh Eng said.
MCA central committee member Senator Yew Teong Look described Lim’s statement as “most premature and inappropriate”.
In Ipoh, Perak MCA chairman Datuk Ong Ka Chuan has called on Lim to focus on more positive and constructive things like Utar instead of thinking about contesting for the president’s post.
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