THE MCA’s protracted internal conflict can be overcome if its feuding leaders are willing to make conciliatory efforts based on the premise that unity is above all considerations within the party, MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said.
In an interview with Nanyang Siang Pau, Ong said MCA’s consensus on leadership integration was vital in easing the tension and eventually resolving the four-year-old party leadership crisis.
The leadership squabble, he said, would precipitate the party into a deeper state of crisis, should the MCA leaders remain adamant over the distribution of government posts amongst the party’s candidates.
He said that currently the good news was that MCA leaders were taking a low profile, working very hard on all possible ways to reintegrate the party to restore it to its former strength.
“I believe that the Malaysian Chinese and the majority of the ordinary members of the MCA wish to see a united and strong MCA, whose leaders once again work hand in hand in safeguarding the community’s interest,” he was quoted as saying in the interview.
Ong said it was encouraging to note that leaders of the two rival camps were actively looking for every opportunity to restore peace and unity in the party.
In the Cabinet reshuffle after the 1999 general election, four MCA leaders were made ministers. They are party president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister, vice-president Datuk Chua Jui Meng (Health Minister), Ong (Housing and Local Government Minister) and Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn (Human Resources Minister).
The MCA party deputy president Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek, who was formerly Human Resources Minister, did not contest in the 1999 general election, while party secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh stepped down from the Cabinet after the elections.
The daily stated that sometime last year Dr Ling admitted that the current MCA crisis was rooted on “too many qualified candidates vying for a limited number of government posts.”
Ong declined to disclose what progress the peace talks had achieved so far.
Sin Chew Daily quoting the China Business Weekly reported that the 50-50 joint venture, of which approval has been granted by the relevant Chinese authorities, would be operational between three and five years.
According to the weekly, the Proton-Gold Star joint venture planned to produce 100,000 vehicles of the various models by 2008.
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