Malaysiakini: Ling Jr takes on MCA boss in war of words
Posted January 9, 2008on:
Kuantan parliamentary seat is held by MCA.
|Ling Jr takes on MCA boss in war of words|
|Beh Lih Yi | Jan 9, 08 4:55pm|
|MCA Youth No 2 Ling Hee Leong has questioned party president Ong Ka Ting’s view that the downfall of vice-president Dr Chua Soi Lek was not due to a political plot, as alleged.
“If lightning strikes, certainly it is from the sky. If this is not a political plot, then tell me what it is?” was the outspoken Hee Leong’s response when contacted to comment on Ka Ting’s statement.
Hee Leong is the son of long-serving former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, who had handpicked Ka Ting as successor in 2003.
Ka Ting, in rejecting Hee Leong’s call for an internal investigation into those behind recording and revealing sex scandal, had yesterday asked for any concrete proof to be submitted to the police.
He said that he too was “curious” to know whether any top MCA leader was behind the controversy, but that the probe should be left to the police.
The younger Ling had earlier attributed Chua’s downfall in the wake of a sex scandal to a “political plot”.
His open war of words with Ka Ting (photo) signals an escalation of tension by a faction – the majority of whom are Liong Sik loyalists – who were already unhappy with the president’s handling of issues. A factional fight appears to be looming within the party.
Chua, who was health minister and is married with three children, resigned abruptly last week after a DVD of him having sex with a female “personal friend” was widely distributed in his political base of Johor.
The footage was apparently recorded with four hidden cameras in a hotel room in Batu Pahat.
The 61-year-old politician – known to be a staunch supporter of Liong Sik during the latter’s 17-year presidency – also quit as party vice-president, as Johor chief and Labis MP. The seat had been passed on to him by Liong Sik.
Jostling for posts
The controversy has triggered speculation that this could have been the work of party insiders seeking to kill Chua’s political career.
He was said to be eyeing the top two posts in the next party election and was set to pose a strong challenge to Ka Ting or his deputy Chan Kong Choy, if he chose to challenge them.
Members who wanted to see Chua to take on Ka Ting in the presidential race apparently were also unhappy with how the president is seen to be laying the ground for his elder brother and MCA secretary-general Ka Chuan to take over the party.
For instance, observers see Ka Ting’s appointment as acting health minister to replace Chua (photo) as paving the way for Ka Chuan to assume the post after the next general election.
Hee Leong, in making the call on Monday for internal investigation into the sex scandal, had said in sarcasm: “We must get to the bottom of this because this is not the president’s or secretary-general’s party. I was born and brought up in this party too”.
But the tension may have been slightly defused with an announcement yesterday to appoint Chua’s ally as the MCA Johor chief – a post which Ka Ting was said to have been eyeing for a long time.
The post is deemed an influential one in party politics as the biggest number of elected representatives are from the state. It is also one of the states with the largest number of central delegates to the party.
MCA controls 23 parliamentary and state seats in Johor. A popular saying in the party is that ‘the man who rules Johor (MCA) is the man who rules MCA’.