Extracted from NST Online
By David Yeow
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said he has not reached a point in his political career in MCA for him to cross over to an opposition party.
Revealing that there were ongoing attempts by the opposition to woo him, the MCA deputy president said he would not accept their offer as he still had faith in Barisan Nasional.
"There have been many attempts by Parti Keadilan Rakyat leaders to make me jump ship. But I have not reached the crossroads yet.
"When I am about to jump, I will let you know," he said in a "live" chat with New Straits Times readers yesterday.
"I would leave only when I do not have a proper political platform to function. I still believe that BN, with a track record of 52 years, can lead the nation."
Dr Chua said if he did cross over, it would be done in a democratic spirit. Citing an example, he said if he crossed over and his son, Tee Young, who is BN member of parliament for Labis, were to follow him, Tee Young would have to resign from his position.
The same rule will also apply to any assemblyman who follows him.
Dr Chua hinted that it was not impossible for him to work with the opposition if the end result benefited the people.
The former health minister said the opposition began courting him when it became known that the political platform offered to him in MCA was shrinking and limited by party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.
"I really wish I have a bigger and better platform than what I have at present."
When asked if his apparent sidelining by Ong was due to his involvement in a sex scandal last year, Dr Chua replied: "As to whether I am fit to hold any position due to the scandal, I leave it to the public to judge. I have said before, no man is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes and that includes me."
Dr Chua also lashed back at Ong for accusing him of creating news for a personal agenda, especially when he came clean about the opposition's attempts to buy him over.
"I am surprised that he (Ong) called me a newsmaker. I was just telling the truth with no personal agenda. If I do not tell the truth, I may be accused of lying.
"All politicians need the newspapers as much as the newspapers need us. So to be called a newsmaker is not as bad as a party breaker. It's up to the rakyat to decide who is the party breaker."
He said he was more than willing to work with Ong if there was sincerity and commitment from the latter.
"I am surprised that he has not taken steps to close ranks within the party."
Dr Chua also answered queries on how BN should be reformed.
"Umno and BN must be more people-friendly in order to regain the support of non-Malays and Malays. We must also reach out to the younger generation and convince them that BN still has hope.
"All this can be accomplished if BN succeeds in overcoming the economic challenges confronting the nation and ending racial politicking. But most importantly, the government must deliver what it promised. Tak boleh cakap tak serupa bikin (not walking the talk).
Dr Chua also defended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak against those who felt that the three by-elections amounted to a referendum on the new administration.
"It's not fair that the by-elections are considered a referendum on Najib's administration. He became prime minister on April 3 and the by-elections were held on the 7th. Whether he likes it or not, he has to carry the baggage of the previous administration."