KUALA LUMPUR: Rival factions in the MCA held separate meetings and press conferences almost at the same time at Wisma MCA yesterday on two contentious issues currently affecting the party.
Wanita MCA leaders, aligned to Team A, met the press at the ninth floor to defend their chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen on her previous Australian permanent resident status issue.
Youth leaders from Team B, on the other hand, demonstrated in front of party headquarters and subsequently met reporters at the seventh floor to criticise Tuesday’s presidential council decision to bring its chief Datuk Ong Tee Keat before the party’s disciplinary committee for repeatedly tarnishing the image of the party.
The youth leaders, led by its secretary-general Liow Tiong Lai said they wanted to petition the Sultan of Pahang to revoke the Datukship conferred on Dr Ng, who is the MP for Raub.
The Wanita MCA, during their emergency central committee meeting yesterday, resolved to end all further discussions on Dr Ng’s previous permanent resident status by threatening to bring any leader who continued to harp on the issue before the disciplinary committee.
The resolution, which was read out by deputy secretary-general Rita Sim after the meeting, said:
“The Wanita MCA central committee resolved that this issue (Ng’s former Australian permanent resident status) shall be closed and no further discussion or debate will be permitted. Any Wanita MCA leader who goes against this resolution shall be referred to the disciplinary committee.”
The statement also contained three other resolutions which touched on Dr Ng’s status. The first said Dr Ng’s previous permanent resident status was now closed and the question of her allegiance to the country did not arise.
The second resolution stated that Dr Ng held only Malaysian citizenship and that she was a loyal Malaysian citizen who was now “serving the country with her deepest conviction and dedication.”
As Deputy Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister, the resolution said she had “tirelessly promoted Malaysia abroad, resulting in the flourishing of tourist arrivals and making tourist dollars the second highest income earner for Malaysia.”
The third expressed the Wanita MCA central committee’s full support for Dr Ng as the undisputed leader of the Wanita wing, adding that her leadership and commitment to the party and wing had propelled Wanita MCA to new heights.
The committee then left and proceeded to the seventh floor where supporters, who had gathered earlier, sang songs in support of Dr Ng.
Deputy Wanita chief Datuk Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew, who left the meeting immediately after it concluded, expressed her objection to the resolutions when approached by reporters.
She said the resolutions had serious implications as the matter concerned whether it was morally right for a person who held public office to also be a permanent resident of a foreign country.
As the Wanita MCA meeting was proceeding, about 100 Youth members loyal to Ong demonstrated outside the party headquarters to protest against the presidential council’s decision to refer him to the disciplinary committee.
Holding banners and placards with the words “We need Tee Keat!” and “Yen Yen resign! No loyalty! Get out of MCA!” the demonstrators repeatedly called for the resignation of party president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik, secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh as well as Dr Ng.
The wing’s secretary-general Liow Tiong Lai said the presidential council had committed a serious mistake that was unreasonable, unconstitutional and unforgivable to the Youth members.
The presidential council on Tuesday decided to refer Ong to the disciplinary committee for repeatedly tarnishing the party’s image when he made several outbursts in the press regarding the mismanagement of the Chang Ming Thien Fund, politicians involving in loan sharking and recent flummery over the infiltration of triads in the party.
Liow said if Ong was made to face the disciplinary committee for alleging that triads crept into the party then Dr Ling and Dr Ting should face similar action for bringing up the issue of money politics, and Dr Ng for holding an Australian permanent residence permit when she was sworn in as senator in 1993.
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