by Adrian Lai
New Straits Times
PRESERVING UNITY: Registrar urges MCA to refer him to disciplinary committee instead
KUALA LUMPUR: CONCERNED over the worsening leadership crisis plaguing MCA, the Registrar of Societies (RoS) has issued a letter to party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, urging him to consider dropping a move to censure his estranged deputy, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) tomorrow.
RoS principal senior assistant director Desmond Das told the New Straits Times yesterday that Dr Chua’s office had received the letter on Thursday morning.
“The letter was written by RoS director-general Mohammad Razin Abdullah, in which he expressed concern about the ongoing tiff between Dr Chua and Liow.
“The letter stated that the resolution to censure Liow during MCA’s EGM should be dropped and the party should go through the proper channels (in dealing with Liow). That is our official view on the matter.”
Das said Razin had advised Dr Chua to consider referring Liow to the party’s disciplinary committee instead of holding an EGM to reprimand him.
“The MCA constitution contains provisions that enable the party to take disciplinary action against any member who fails in carrying out his duties.
“The plan to censure Liow should be shelved for the sake of preserving MCA’s unity.”
Das, however, stressed that the letter was merely an advisory, and not a direct order.
“This means Dr Chua has every right to ignore the director-general’s advice. We are not able to step in and issue an order because no one from MCA has lodged a complaint against the resolution to censure Liow.”
When asked if Dr Chua had responded to the letter, Das said: “I am not sure, but sources told me that he has chosen not to heed our advice.”
Dr Chua, who had been embroiled in a public spat with Liow over the party leadership in recent months, could end his deputy’s challenge for the top post two months before the party’s election in December.
Dr Chua’s faction, comprising at least half of the 2,400 central delegates, is expected to support a resolution to “censure” Liow for refusing to accept the party’s decisions.
This could directly dent Liow’s chances of taking on the party chief should Dr Chua renege on his decision not to defend the presidency.
The same resolution also noted that not only had Liow failed in his duties as general election preparation committee chief, but also his recent actions had caused infighting and tarnished the party’s image.
This was one of the four resolutions set out for the EGM.
The other three involved accepting government posts at various levels, overturning MCA’s earlier stand of not taking up any posts because it fared badly in the 13th General Election.
On July 20, Liow had declared that he would contest the MCA president’s post in the coming party election after Dr Chua had announced earlier that he would not seek re-election following the party’s dismal performance in the general election.
However, Dr Chua last week fired a salvo of vitriol against his deputy, calling him a “weak and indecisive” leader who was unfit to helm the party. He had also discouraged Liow from running for the party presidency during the MCA polls on Dec 21, urging him to step down and make way for younger leaders instead.
Former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has also expressed his intention in joining the fray after announcing that he would be contesting the MCA presidency provided there would not be a multi-cornered fight.
An aide close to Dr Chua said the party supremo had not come up with an official statement on whether to accept RoS’s advice.