Oct 13, 2009

Tun Mahathir suggests Najib help MCA resolve leadership crisis

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad feels that both MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and his former deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek must take the cue from the outcome of the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Saturday and resign. He also suggested that PM Datuk Seri Najib to help MCA to resolve the current crisis.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested that Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak help the MCA resolve its leadership crisis.

However, the former BN chairman said this should be done behind the scene so as not to touch the sensitivities of any quarter.

“I must confess that when I was BN chairman I did interfere but quietly behind the scene, not openly, as some people may be sensitive. As BN chairmen we can intervene in component parties,” he told reporters here.

Dr Mahathir, who was met at a ceremony to launch a book on ‘The Speeches of Umno Presidents’, was asked to comment on whether BN should intervene in the MCA leadership crisis.

Asked if MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat should step down following the adoption of the no-confidence resolution against him at the party’s extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10, Dr Mahathir said the step would be apt.

“I cite (former Umno president, the late) Datuk Onn Jaafar (who resigned after his views were no longer accepted by Umno), if we want to have a lesson from that, we can.

“But it is not just Datuk Ong Tee Keat alone, another person also did not get this (support),” he said.

Earlier when speaking at the event, Dr Mahathir characterised the action taken by Onn as that of a wise man and was among Onn’s biggest contribution to Umno.

“He should have been the first prime minister but his suggestion could not be accepted by Umno so he willingly quit. This was Datuk Onn’s biggest contribution.

“When we are no longer popular or our opinions are no longer accepted we should not create problems, but step down honourably,” he said in his speech.

The event was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and also attended by relatives of past Umno presidents. – Bernama