Ling leaves succession to party

  • Letters
  • Thursday, 02 Jan 2003

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik said he would not indicate his preference for his successor when he stepped down from the party post.  

In an Interview with Nanyang Siang Pau In Kuala Lumpur on New Year's eve, he said the party leadership would collectively decide on his successor. 

Dr Ling said he was also aware there was much speculation and many rumours about his tenure as party president. 

“Recently, an old friend of mine told me that I should turn a deaf ear to all these rumours. He asked why I should waste my time reacting to faceless and nameless rumour mongers. 

“I am actually sick of these rumour mongers,” he said. 

China Press reported Dr Ling as saying there was a feeling of unhappiness in the MCA because there were too few government posts available while there were many deserving candidates. 

Dr Ling added that since the 1999 general election, the feeling of unhappiness became more audible within the party because there were three party vice-presidents going after two ministerial posts. 

“In a situation like this, no matter what arrangements you try to make, someone is bound to feel unhappy,” he added. 

He and vice-president Datuk Chua Jui Meng continue to hold the post of Transport Minister and Health Minister respectively. 

Vice-presidents Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn and Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting were appointed Human Resources Minister and Housing and Local Government Minister respectively. The posts had been held by party deputy president Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek and secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh respectively before the general elections. 

“The appointment of Dr Fong and Ong could have upset Lim, who wanted a minister’s post to be given to vice-president Datuk Chan Kong Choy,'' said Dr Ling. 

He added that the dissatisfaction developed into an internal dispute, which eventually led to a split in the party. 

“Factions are unavoidable in any organisation, including the MCA,” Dr Ling said. 

Nanyang also reported that the Government has allowed three days compassionate leave for all government servants and increased from three to seven days unrecorded leave for male government servants to accompany their wives who are on maternity leave. 

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