I have just attended the New Straits Times Live chat with online readers. Below are some excerpts of the session of which I have summarized.
Q: A very good morning to you. Never expected you to go on NSTLive so early. I have been following the internal leadership tussle. Very sad that Ong and you cannot compromise for the party sake. Is there no way all the differences can be put aside?
A: The differences can be put aside if the president had shown more self confidence and not easily influenced by his small group of advisors. But, today this is all history. The EGM called by the Central delegates will be on.
Q: Hi. I really hope your president gets booted out. He is not fit to be a president especially with his agenda from the very onset of him being appointed is to get you out. He is not concentrating on the party and its upliftment. What is your opinion?
A: I fully agree with you that he has not done much in the one year in leading the party and there is no direction and no road map to prepare MCA to face the next general election. The morale of members are low.
Q: Good morning Datuk Seri Dr Chua. The way things are going, I seriously wonder if people will support MCA if it fields candidates for the general election. I feel it might see the same fate as MIC in the last general election.
A: No faith. I fully agree with you that this internal conflict within the party is causing a lot of harm to the party. We hope the EGM would settle the internal conflict so that we can move on to strengthen the party and to restore our credibility and image.
Q: Its not only MCA but all Barisan Nasional political parties must put their house in order as we Malaysians see a lot of unstability within. Your comment.
A: There are problems within component parties of BN. Anyway, Pakatan Rakyat has also its fair share of problems. Important thing is how do we resolve this internal conflict as soon as possible so that we can then move on.
Q: How are you taking all this issues. Having sleepless nights or taking them at your usual confident stride?
A: A fan. I don't have sleepless nights. I tried to sleep by 12.30am, wake up at 6,30am and exercise until 8am before I leave to do work by 8.30am.
Q: Hi. Just got up from my beauty sleep to chat with you. Do you think its too late for a mediator to resolve the problem between Ong and you?
A: I think it has come to a stage where a mediator is too late. The EGM resolution has been agreed upon by both the party and let the central delegates decide. Leaders have to abide by the delegates in the EGM.
Q: Good morning Dr Chua. We pray you win. I think you deserve it especially with the delegates having elected you as the deputy president. Ong should respect that and work with you instead of trying to oust you from the party. So unfair. We feel he should buck up and face reality. your view
A: Patrick S. While I am inclined to agree with you, However, much water has flowed under the bridge. And today we are confronted with an EGM to resolve the conflict.
Q: Datuk Seri, MCA and MIC have always been talking about transparency and one party. But as soon as a Malay speaks up, he is shot down, with presidents of both parties claiming it is none of their business as it only involves the parties. Now, I am a Malay and I know that in every war, there are casualties. This is not good for my country and I am affected. Do not sideline positive comments and even negative ones can be good
A: Some leaders are more sensitive than others. I always believe that people are entitled to their opinion and we should not be too sensitive about comment made by any leaders.
Q: Why can't leaders just walk away when they are not needed. If your boss tells you, hey, you are not wanted, why can't they just accept it. But no, no one wants to leave, thinking they are indispensible. No one is, my good Doctor and that include you. And before you think I am OTK's man, you are wrong. I am a partyless Malay chap with only basic neccessities on my mind. Food for the kids and decent clothings. For the good of the country, walk away and later make a comeback.
A: My dear friend, I was sacked by the party. I have spend 30 years in the party and 24 years as the head of the division and suddenly I am partyless. Its not about me. It is also about the party and my supporters.
Q: good mrng datuk seri dr chua. good to see you on nstlive so early. i always wanted to know what would you do for the Chinese community if you become mca president?
A: MCA must walk the talk. While we are a Chinese base party, we should champion all issues affecting the Rakyat from helping the poor, irrespective of race, improving the security situation in the country, seeing the leadership of Najib, being fair to all races, and improving the investment climate of malaysia. We have to move up the value chain if we want to achieve a high income country.
Q: wow!!! its good to catch you so early. how are things going on your side?do you think ong can be ousted out once and for all, we are just fed-up with what's going on in the party. it looks more like personal agenda rather than party agenda.
A: you are smart that you can smell the rat. We hope that you can join politics and contribute to nation building.
Q: Dr. Chua, I support your fight in MCA though I am not an MCA member...if the MCA leadership really think your controversy DVD has tarnished the party, they should not allow you to contest at the first place. Sacking you after you have won the Deputy President is surely against the members wish ! Good Luck to you sir !
A: Thank you for your support. I hope all the central delegates think like you.
Q: good mrg datuk seri. its good to know that u r not giving up the battle. its very unfair of ong to sack you on grounds of an old issue. what is the sentiment on the ground when you went to the grassroots?
A: The sentiment on the ground is good. But politic is politic. The incumbents has the advantage of making promises. I have nothing to promise the central delegates except to see democracy, justice and fair play prevail in the party.
Q: Datuk Seri, if you don't succeed in your reinstatement as MCA deputy president, will you leave the party and join the opposition? So far, have you been approached by the opposition to join their bandwagon?
A: I will not join the opposition. Since I have been sacked no opposition leader has approached me. They are probably aware that I don't give up the fight easily.
Q: You are a man with so many controversies surrounding you. Do you think you can be a good leader with all these?
A: Whether I am a good leader is upto people to judge me. I always try to do my best and people who work with me know that I am a workaholic. For calling a spade a spade, I do invite controversy.
Q: Datuk Seri, frankly speaking, how bad is your relationship with MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, both politically and personally?
A: If the relationship has been good, I would not have been sacked and there is no need for an EGM to resolve the party conflict.
Q: datuk seri how are you? honestly, i feel upset with mca's top leadership. so many things are going on in the country but everyone seem to be focused on a power struggle. why datuk seri? with the sort of support that you have, i think if you go out and start you own party and prove to the chinese community that you can do more things than mca. why aren't you leaving the party after everything it has done to you?
A: Thank you for your suggestion. The party conflict is because the president do not have the confidence in his leadership and always feel threatened by my presence. I have no intention of setting up a party. MCA has still have very good grassroots leaders who are very committed in their work. What we need is to provide them direction and hope.
Q: I am sorry Datuk. But OTK sounds and looks like a good man. He is clean or rather perceived to be clean and should make a good leader. But at the same time, you are brash and strong and that I believe also good qualities. difficultlah for Chinese to make a choice. Why put them in a spotlah?
A: Your perception can be very misleading. Its not true to say I am brash. I am committed to what I believe in.
Q: Do you think that Ong will gain more sympathy votes from saying that he's being pressured by your team to accept your resolution rather than his?
A: I don't think so. How can my people pressure the presidency. it was achieved through a lengthy negotiation.
Q: I can't believe people keep bringing up your old story just to make a point. i will let you know that you have my respect for owning up and making an apology. not many would do that! but i would like to datuk, are you emotionally or mentally affected by people who keep bringing up old issues? if there is one thing you can do to tell them off, what would it be?
A: It is world of an encouragement from people like you that makes my life keep going on. People do make mistakes. it is important to own the mistake, don't repeat it and continue. to live a full life. There will always be people who will pick on old issues.
Q: Dato Sri, why dont you consider to join Party Cinta Malaysia, rather than to stay in a party that nobody appreciate you?
A: I am committed to MCA and I want to die as an MCA member.
Q: Sorry I need to ask you this.... How do you deal with the sniggers when you go for international conferences if you make a Ministerial comeback?
A: I have already said it openly that I am not interested in any ministerial post and I am not ashamed to own up my mistake.
Q: The MCA president, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, has accused you of putting Plan B in position, i.e. forming a new party called the "Parti Cintai Malaysia", in case you fail in your reinstatement as deputy president in the coming MCA EGM. Is there any truth to it?
A: As I have said it, it is the grandfather of all nonsense. There is no reason to have plan B and to join another party.
Q: Dear Dr. Chua, I love to see this Headline in all the newspapers after the D Day of the EGM.......ONG TEE KEAT, YOU ARE FIRED!
A: How I wish your love to see this headline be fulfilled.
Q: Datuk Seri, can you highlight 3 ways in you very point of view to bring the Chinese community in Malaysia back together in 1 piece.
A: First, the party need to be united. Secondly, the chinese must accept that this is a multiracial country where no race should take all and no race should be marginalised from the main stream of the nation's development. There must be spirit of compromises for the larger picture of nation building.
Q: Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, the MCA president, has raised three issues in accusing you of toppling him from the party and his post. They are: 1. Raising RM100 million 2. Having gangster links 3. Forming a new party called 'Parti Cintai Malaysia' as a Plan B in case you lose in your reinstatement endeavour. Is it true? What have you got to say?
A: As I have said, this is mother of all lies. I don't have RM100 million and I don't need that amount of money to topple the presidency. All I need is 2,400 central delegates who wants to see a united party. A party with clear direction, with team spirit, making decision by consensus, and not a one man show. I don't have any link with gangsters nor any intention to form a new party. This is my president's spinning to tarnish my image.
Q: Datuk Seri, you have been accused of ganging up with Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to topple him as MCA president. Is it true? Or is this a way out for the MCA president to divert his problems with the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco?
A: This is another of the baseless allegation haul by my president. He just love to spin and smear other people's name and the end result is that we don't know when it is half truth, the truth or complete lie.
Q: My friends in MOH said that you were the best Minister Of Health that they ever had. All along I think that you are an intelligent and forceful leader. If you win the EGM and later become the MCA President, will you be able to avoid being called a catspaw to UMNO by the DAP? With multiple police reports made against you, will you be held at ransom for they could invoke those reports against you anytime they want to subdue you. What is your comment on this?
A: report has been lodged against me before and no action has been taken since its difficult to obtain a conviction based on a very outdated law. I will not be pawn to anybody. You should know by now that I am committed to my cause and a fighter with a reason.
Q: Datuk Seri, just today Malaysia Today has an article posted about your political secretary involved in a land scam in Johor during the tenure when you were the Health Minister. Also the sequence of events leading to the land scam was posted in http://mohlandscam.blogspot.com. How will these recent postings affect your position in the coming MCA's EGM. We are concern for you.
A: This case was reported to the MACC many months ago. It is a baseless allegation concorted by some people with a political agenda.
Q: I have 2 questions for Datuk Seri: The MCA's support to revert teaching Maths and Science to Chinese primary school is most disappointing to middle class Chinese families. If you are reinstated and become the new MCA President, what will you do to gain the support most of the English educated Chinese who are currently PR supporters?
A: There is always two sides to a coin. There is also a lot of chinese who wants to use their mother tongues to teach maths and science. We cannot deny that our children need to learn english. We just have to be multilingual.
On the EGM
Q: You have proposed five resolutions in the impending party EGM. If it is endorsed by the delegates, what next?
A: We have a tremendous of work to do- one to close rank, no witch hunting, we have to listen more to the grass root and also the needs and expectations of the Chinese community and the rakyat.
Q: Good morning, Datuk Seri Dr Chua. How have you been keeping (politically speaking) since you were sacked on August 26, 2009 by the MCA party leadership based on the disciplinary board's recommendation. Your supporters have succedded in calling for an extraordinary general meeting of the party (EGM) to reinstate you as deputy president among 5 resolutions agreed upon. What would the outcome of the EGM be and its impending consequences? Do you think you would be reinstated as deputy president by the coming EGM? How confident are you? Care to comment, Datuk Seri?
A: I have faith in the political maturity and the wisdom of the central delegates. While they are interested is to see an MCA where there is closing of ranks and there is team spirit and not a one man show and that there should be a road map of internal reformation of the party so that we can face the next coming general election.
Q: good morning datuk seri, how is the egm which you are spearheading coming in, have you enough quota to give a no-confidence motion against your president?
A: Well. thank you for keeping up with the current affairs of MCA. I have confident that the delegates want to see a party with direction and a leadership that can inspire hope and confidence. We cannot be in the same state as we are now. Sailing with a captain that has no clear vision of how to sail the ship properly.
Q: A very good morning, Dr Chua. You are back again on NSTLive for another live chat with readers. Thank you for it. The extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the MCA is on, to be held by 11 October, 2009. Five resoultions will be tabled, one among them is calling for your reinstatement as deputy president. How confident will you be as far as the reinstatement is concerned? What are your chances with the backing of your ardent supporters?
A: We do not know the date of EGM yet. What was agreed yesterday was to adopt all the resolutions submitted by the central delegates so that we will have one EGM because of the coming Hari Raya, I feel that the date will be after Hari Raya. It should not be delayed since the earlier we resolve the conflict the better it will be for the MCA.
Q: Good morning Datuk. How are you and how the EGM coming up. Feel confident of garnering enough support?
A: I am doing OK. Life has to go on. I am confident of gettingthe support of the central delegates.
Q: Hi. I am disappointed that the Prime Minister has washed his hands of in resolving the MCA issue. Do you seriously think that there should be a credible and reputable observers during the proposed EGM to ensure there is no "dirty tactics" used by Ong's people.
A: Well. I think what the PM did was what MCA members wanted, that is let us resolve our internal conflict without interference from outsiders. I hope the leadership would manage this EGM fairly and transparently other wise there will be a lot of wild accusations. Lets hope the president is aware of the consequences of a tainted EGM.
Dtk Dr Chua. All the very best to you in the coming EGM. If an elected leader cannot hold the party together, then he is NOT FIT to be a leader. He shouldn't even have to wait for an EGM. He should resign. Likewise with you too, if one day you be elected as one. GOD bless MCA with good leaders for beloved Malaysia.