(Kuala Lumpur, Friday):
Malaysiakini reported today that the leaders of
the A and B factions of MCA, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Lim Ah Lek,
have agreed to step down from their posts before the general
election under the “second phase” of the
peace plan proposed by the Prime
Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Dr
Malaysiakini quoted MCA “party insiders”
that Liong Sik and Ah Lek had been
given a memorandum by Mahathir on
their “retirement” under the
“peace plan” where both would “bury the hatchet”
and agree on a successor to the party presidency to “arrest the decline of the party’s image in recent months
so that MCA could deliver the Chinese vote to the Umno-led ruling coalition,
Barisan Nasional, in the general election” expected in less than 12 months.
Malaysiakini said it learnt that Ah Lek had signed the memorandum when it was first put forward to
him about two weeks ago. However, Ling had only signed the document as recent as
early this week, just before Mahathir left for his visit to Japan.
Under the “peace plan”, the announcement of
the duo’s retirement will not be made before the party’s June 29 annual
general meeting. It will only be
made known at least three months before the general election to allow the new
team time to establish its authority.
Malaysiakini reported that it is believed that
two vice-presidents, Ong Ka Ting and Chan Kong Choy, who are the protegés of
Liong Sik and Ah Lek respectively,
will be promoted to the top posts at the expense of
the other two more senior
vice-presidents, Dr Fong Chan and Chua Jui Meng.
Malaysiakini gave an intriguing twist to the MCA
power tussle alleging that Liong Sik’s “willingness” to ink the
“retirement agreement” at the Prime Minister’s office in Putrajaya this
week was related to the return to Malaysia last week of businessman Soh Chee
Wen, who had been on the run since 1999 after he was charged with
defrauding a now defunct stockbroking firm Omega Securites Sdn Bhd of more than
RM500 million and who claimed intimate and intricate business dealings with
Whatever the final permutation and combination
of the MCA factional fights, the winner is neither the MCA A team nor the MCA B
team, but the MCA U team, where U stands for “UMNO”.
Never before in MCA history have both the
outgoing and incoming MCA President become “lame duck” leaders who are
beholden to the UMNO leadership for its “beneficence”, transforming the
early Merdeka relationship of UMNO and the other coalition parties as primus inter
pares (first among equals) to that of the feudal lord and serf relationship.
Is such fundamental
structural change in the Barisan Nasional power equation between UMNO and the
other component parties the reason why, for instance, the MCA Ministers have
been so silent, compliant and subservient in a whole range of issues deeply
touching the most basic concerns of Malaysians, whether it be the latest
multiple injustices of the unprofessional university selection process,
or the “929 declaration” of Mahathir that Malaysia is an Islamic State in
utter disregard of the 44-year 1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social
contract” that Malaysia is a democratic, secular, multi-religious, tolerant
and progressive nation with Islam as official religion but not an Islamic state
or controversies over the Damansara Chinese primary school re-opening,
Vision School and Suqiu?