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EGM can be cancelled if a fresh elections is held, says Liow

  • (Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily)

PUTRAJAYA: If all the parties are able to reach a consensus after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has stepped in, the 28 Nov Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) can be cancelled, said MCA Vice-President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

However, he stressed that a fresh polls must be held as soon as possible before the Chinese New Year but not later than six months, as suggested by MCA Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Delaying the fresh elections longer than six months will only prolong the problem. It is not fair to the party, Chinese community, as well as the country.

Liow told Sin Chew Daily) during an exclusive interview held at the Health Ministry Office in Putrajaya here Thursday (19 Nov) that the purpose of convening another EGM is to push for a fresh elections. If leaders of all the parties are able to agree to hold a fresh elections soonest possible, then the EGM will not be necessary.

“The EGM must be held if there is no other solution,” he said.

A great responsibility for central delegates

Liow said that party members knew how serious the problems was only after he had explained to them the real situation of MCA. Only then, they knew that the party has come to a critical juncture and every member has the responsibility to safeguard the life of the party.

He said that as they have no other option, the 16 central committee members called for the 28 Nov EGM which has far-reaching implications for the party, as well as its members. It is because of this the members are going to vote whether fresh elections are necessary, rather than to overthrow, support or oppose anyone.

“The significance of the EGM is to restore the credibility and dignity of MCA through democracy. As the results of the 10 Oct EGM were not respected by the President and the entire party has fallen into a credibility crisis, the only way would be to let the central delegates, the party's highest decision-making body, make the decision.

Unwise to stop 28 Nov EGM

Liow claimed that the 16 central committee members had called for the EGM according to the party's constitution.

“We are safeguarding the party constitution and democracy and thus, it is impossible for us to do something that violates the party’s constitution. Those in power are trying all possible means to suppress and stop the EGM. I can't understand why they are so worried about it,” said Liow.

“As central leaders, we should be accountable to the grassroots and delegates. We can't discuss a unity plan just among two or three individuals and implement it. Moreover, until today, we still can't see any implementation and it has turned to a split plan instead.

“It doesn't matter any more whether those in power will recognise the EGM or not. The most important thing is, let the central delegates to express their views and resolve the party crisis through the spirit of democracy. I believe that party members will not just helplessly watch the situation turn worse.

“Thus, I believe that they will attend the 28 Nov EGM. They believe that this is the time for them to express themselves,” added Liow.

“I believe that the central delegates will not fear to attend the EGM for the sake of the party's credibility. Regardless whether it is the Chinese community leaders or the Greater Unity Plan, the delegates will know that the President has been trying to stop the EGM. I have great confidence in the EGM. The greater oppression will cause greater resistance, the delegates will not accept it just like that.”

He said that Najib understands the will of the central delegates to hold a fresh elections. But President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat does not accept it and thus, he tries to use various means to stop it. However, he believes that Ong will not succeed, “because when the central delegates speak, you have to respect their decision.”

Focus on correcting problems

If the 28 Nov EGM allows a fresh elections, Liow said that he has never thought of contesting any party position as he is now focusing on correcting party problems.

“Personal gains and losses are not among my considerations. My concern is on how to restore the party's democracy. It is still too early to think about who will be in my team. It is imperative to safeguard the party's democracy, constitution and build credibility now.”

Liow said that if the party crisis is not resolved immediately, once the people are in despair, there will be no room for MCA to revive itself.

“The central delegates are tired of the quarrels between Ong and Dr Chua over the past year, followed by the 10 Oct EGM. They are all in despair but party members must love the party. This is the time to come forward and safeguard the party's dignity. Don't be disheartened!”

“MCA will die if they are disheartened! The central delegates who love the party must persevere to make changes.”

Liow also said that MCA always have dinners with Chinese community leaders to solve Chinese community problems through interactive communications and he always advocates keeping close ties. The dinner hosted by Chinese community and business leaders on 16 Nov did not mean that they supported Ong.

He said that if MCA is united, they can concentrate on dealing with Chinese community issues. The Chinese community's definition for unity is different from the definition of the party itself. They are talking about the major premise while we are the one to implement it. It must be done with unity having a foundation which can restore the party's credibility and democracy, instead of a superficial, unhelpful unity.

“The existence of MCA is closely related to the Chinese community. As a political party, MCA must be accountable to the Chinese community and solve Chinese community issues. I always bring Chinese community issues to the Cabinet and help to resolve them as soon as possible after having dialogues with Chinese community leaders. Therefore, such a Chinese political force should not be ignored.”

“Since MCA is a political party, it must have a political leadership direction, as well as a forward-looking leadership. I'm confident in solving the current problems and use the party's wisdom and channels to effectively solve them.”

It is not to forcing an abdication

Liow said that he had clarified the allegation of forcing an abdication on many occasions.

“We insisted not to compromise with Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek because of our love to the party. If we care only about our own gains and losses, we would have sit down and keep quite. If we don't care about the party's face and democracy, we can probably enjoy for another one or two years and face a tragedy in the next general elections.”

He refused to see MCA being abandoned by the people and thus, he insisted on convening another EGM for a fresh elections.

He had voluntarily held many press conferences in the past as he believed that the leadership of Ong gave a clear stand and therefore, he should support it for justice and morality. But unexpectedly, Ong had changed and betrayed his past promises. What he did had broken our hearts and he is still having all kinds of excuses to rationalise his decisions and actions.

Liow said: “For his personal survival, today's Ong will not hesitate to destroy MCA. It really saddened us.”

“MCA's credibility has been seriously skewed and it has really lost its face. The MCA building makes people feel like it is crumbling. Therefore, party members who really love the party must come forward to change the situation. MCA will not collapse only if they can indirectly rebuild the party's credibility and protect it in time. God bless MCA!”

Ong should explain to the delegates

Liow said that Ong had explain why he decided to stay in the party and continue serving the Chinese community even after the first resolution of the 10 Oct EGM, namely a vote of no confidence in the President, had been passed. However, he did not explain why he re-accepted Dr Chua as the party's deputy president.

He said that Ong had personally written a letter to the Registrar of Societies (RoS), asking Ros to clarify the status of Dr Chua. Such an approach using the external forces did not conform to the procedures. Ong should make an explanation.

Liow said that, apparently, Ong has been deserted. And now, many of his cronies had expressed regret over his practices while Chinese community leaders and the people have been saddened. They hope that he can return to the proper path.

He said that Ong had totally rejected the role played by the party's two wings. It was the first time in MCA history and it is going to bring the party a great disaster.

He believed that he can't turn MCA into a one-man show and deny the party's democracy character. Such practices must be stopped and corrected.

“I didn't betray him. It was him who betrayed us.”

He never expected that Ong would eliminate dissidents in such a way. Leaders should have a generous heart and the ability to unite a party. They must not split and tear up the party.

Liow said that he does not blindly or optimistically expect that the 28 Nov EGM will bring a shocking result but at the same time, he does not believe that “a few people” can actually control the whole world.

Liow said that Dr Chua cannot reinstate as the party's deputy president according to law unless he can restore his position through an EGM.

“It's okay if he wishes to continue being the deputy president. All he has to do is to contest in the fresh elections! Just do it again, we never deny his right to contest.”

“He should support the 28 Nov EGM as the fresh elections would be the best way to restore MCA's dignity and resolve the problems of all leaders.”

Liow said that the image of MCA has suffered a disastrous decline after the 10 Oct EGM. When he walked around, negative comments on MCA could be heard everywhere. It made him understand that even though Ong can control the party, he is not able to win the people's support.

“Perhaps, just as Najib said, he has won the party elections but lost the general elections. MCA members should speed up the pace to save the party, restore the people's confidence in MCA, as well as restore the party's vitality to face the next general elections.”

He said that young people are tired of the current situation of MCA. He was worried that MCA may be cast aside because of the continuous party crises. He hoped to rectify the party and bring the party back on track through the power of the Central Committee, so that the party can restore its dignity and credibility and continue being respected by the people.

“This is very important. At least some people will still support MCA in the next general elections. If the unhealthy practices are not corrected by a mechanism and leadership, the problems will be expanded. Under the leadership of the two, MCA will go into a dead corner in the next general elections and they will be the one to be blamed,” he added. (By LEE CHING YUN and KHOR CHUN KIAT/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

MySinchew 2009.11.21


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