Ong: Concentrate on effective representation


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 31 May 2003

BY FOONG PEK YEE

PETALING JAYA: There is no need for a debate on whether MCA and the Chinese community can survive without each other, party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said. 

“MCA and the community are together,” he said in an interview on ntv7’s Mandarin news.  

He said the important thing was how the party could improve so that the community leaders would be confident that MCA leaders could represent them effectively. 

Ong pointed out that there was an MCA member for every five Chinese given the fact that there were now over one million party members and 5.5 million Chinese.  

He was asked to comment on the topic “MCA cannot survive without the Chinese community but the Chinese community can survive without MCA”. 

Ong said MCA would find ways to attract talented people to join the party so that they could pool their efforts to bring development to the community and nation. 

These talented people could be anybody – a farmer, an unskilled worker or a professional – but they must be confident that MCA was the platform for them to serve, he stressed. 

Ong pointed out that although there were many people, who have good ideas on how MCA could do better and did not voice their views, but this did not mean that they did not like the party. 

He said the party would also continue to co-operate with other Chinese based Barisan Nasional component parties as they too have the support from the community. 

“We will strive to do things which are good for the community, Barisan and the country’s stability,” he said. 

Ong, who was elected MCA president last Friday, also declined to reveal how the new leadership could resolve problems arising from the party’s power struggle.  

He, however, advised members and leaders at all levels to forget about the past and forgive one another for the bigger objectives of the party. 

“I am confident that problems can be resolved when everyone understands the bigger objectives,” he stressed. 

Ong, who was asked to explain what happened during the power transition at last Friday’s MCA central committee meeting where he was elected party president and Datuk Chan Kong Choy his deputy, said: “I feel very sad, very grateful and very touched.” 

He said he was sad because Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik had resigned from his party president’s post together with his deputy Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek. 

He said he was very touched because Dr Ling had arranged such a good transition and endorsed him and Chan to take over. 

“As Dr Ling went round shaking hands and my turn came, I hugged him and fought hard to hold back my tears,” Ong said.  

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