Those who still have doubt about what I wrote yesterday, Is another party fight looming?, should read what Malaysiakini posted today. Malaysiakini reportedthat Ling Hee Leong, the deputy Ketua Pemuda MCA, has come out in support of Chua Soi Lek. By the way, Ling Hee Leong, for the very few that still do not know him, is the son of the former MCA president, Ling Liong Sik, who I am sure needs no introduction.
With him firing the this salvo, a split and a possible battle/witch-hunt in MCA may be inevitable.
What a timing! To create this sort of scandal so near the election is akin to smashing a stone onto one’s own foot. Why then did this happen?A miscalculation most probably on the part of whoever is behind the recording, I would like to think so.
The senior Ling is one of the shrewdest political strategists not only in MCa but in the whole of Malaysian political arena.
Did Hee Leong get the tacit permission from the senior Ling for coming forward to fire this salvo? If there is a tacit agreement, what is the meaning behind all these?
What I know for certain is that if there is a split in the MCA camp, it would definitely affect the BN’s performance in the urban areas, and maybe even in Johore, which is deemed the BN’s as well as MCA’s fortress.
One cannot help but to wonder whether the about-turn of Chua, from first insisting that he won’t resign despite admitting adultery, to sudden resignation of all his positions in a short span of 24 hours, has anything to do with the former MCA president. Did Chua consult his mentor and master ? I will leave it to you to think hard about this.
I will post the Malaysiakini’s report here for the convenience of those non subscribers of Malaysiakini:
Sex tape: Ling Jr defends Chua
Beh Lih Yi | Jan 7, 08 5:51pm
MCA Youth deputy chief Ling Hee Leong has fired a salvo against the party leadership over their handling of the sex scandal involving the former vice-president, Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Hee Leong (photo), son of former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik – who had handpicked current chief Ong Ka Ting – said the party’s stance was akin to demanding the use of ‘transparent toilets’ by all politicians.
“People don’t invade other people’s private lives for nothing. It’s not fun and there is nothing to gain. (Politicians) have a basic right to privacy like everyone else,” he told Malaysiakini in Kuala Lumpur today.
“Otherwise, we should build special glass toilets with no doors for politicians (so that everyone can see them inside).
The rising young politician’s hard-hitting comments came amid speculation of political rivalry within MCA.
This is believed to have prompted Chua’s resignation from all party and government posts last week, after a video recording was released of him having sex with a female “personal friend”.
The footage, apparently recorded with four hidden cameras in a hotel room in Batu Pahat, was widely circulated by unknown individuals in Chua’s political base – his home state of Johor.
This has triggered speculation that it could have been the work of party insiders seeking to kill Chua’s political career. He had risen to the No 3 post in the 2005 party election after obtaining the second-highest number of votes among the four vice-presidents.
Chua, 61, was said to be eyeing the top two posts in the forthcoming party election this year and was set to pose a strong challenge to Ka Ting or his deputy Chan Kong Choy, if he chose to challenge them.
Top MCA office-bearers in an emergency meeting held shortly after Chua’s resignation said they had “regretfully accepted” Chua’s decision to step down.
‘Get out of party!’
Asked to comment on this today, Hee Leong – the Kuala Kangsar division chief in Perak – said he did not want to be drawn into a debate although he had earlier issued a statement describing the episode as a “political plot”.
Without naming names, he nonetheless took a strong stance against those who have felt threatened by Chua’s popularity.
“(Any contest means) giving the delegates a choice, that should be the way. If (people) can’t accept a challenge, they should just get out of the party – get out of the party!” he stressed.
He also said the party should try and identify the culprit behind the controversy, although a police investigation is already underway.
“We are a transparent party with healthy political culture. We must get to the bottom of this because this is not the president’s or secretary-general’s (Ka Ting’s elder brother, Ka Chuan) party. I was born and brought up in this party too,” he argued.
“We have to get the main culprit – not the machai (underlings). There can be many (sacrificial) lambs, but we want the shepherd.”
The term ‘healthy political culture’ was introduced by Ka Ting in the aftermath of the Team A-Team B bitter factional fight led respectively by Liong Sik (photo) and his then deputy Lim Ah Lek.
They stepped down together in May 2003 under a peace plan brokered by premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and named their respective proteges, Ka Ting and Chan, as successors.
‘Pride of Johoreans’
While Ka Ting and Chua were both from Team A, they were said to have fallen out last year – a claim which the duo have rejected.
Ka Ting was appointed acting health minister last week – an announcement that observers see as paving the way for his elder brother to assume the post after the next general election, which is widely expected to be called in March.
Chua, who was a staunch supporter of Liong Sik throughout his 17-year presidency, has remained close with him and wields much influence among the latter’s hardcore supporters.
Liong Sik, whose parliamentary seat was passed over to Chua after he retired five years ago, has so far not spoken on Chua’s controversy.
But Hee Leong’s remarks today are expected to raise eyebrows ahead of a crucial MCA central committee meeting tomorrow. The party’s highest decision-making body is meeting for the first time after Chua’s resignation to fill the posts he left vacant.
While it is believed Chua’s vice-presidency will not be filled pending the party election – which will begin in April – Ka Ting (photo) is widely expected to be made the acting Johor state chief, on the basis that it would help stabilise the situation.
On this, Hee Leong said with apparent sarcasm: “It would be an honour and (matter of) pride for the Johoreans (MCA members) to have the president as the state chief.”
He was, however, quick to add that Ka Ting, being a parliamentarian from the state, will be in a good position to understand the need of the grassroots.
Hee Leong had been tipped to run for the Labis parliamentary seat – held by Chua after Liong Sik – in the coming general election.
However, he brushed aside a question on whether Ka Ting’s appointment would jeopardise his chances, although the latest talk is that negotiations for Hee Leong to stand as candidate have already failed.
“I don’t care about myself… after all, who is Ling Hee Leong?” he asked rhetorically.