Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan has handed in his letter of resignation as housing and local government minister to MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, an aide to Ka Chuan said Wednesday.

The source said Ka Chuan had submitted an “undated resignation letter” after his defeat in the party elections on Oct 18. Ka Chuan lost to former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek in the contest for deputy president.

“Yes, he (Ka Chuan) did submit the resignation letter to Datuk Seri Ong (Tee Keat). That’s all I got to say,” the aide told Bernama before cutting off the conversation.

It is not immediately known whether Ka Chuan had submitted a resignation letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because, by procedure, a minister should address his resignation letter to the prime minister. Abdullah is currently on an official visit to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Party sources told Bernama that Ka Chuan decided to submit his resignation letter to Tee Keat first for the party president to recommend a replacement for the cabinet position as well as other posts.

In the MCA elections, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung lost in the contest for a post of vice-president while Deputy Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Teng Boon Soon failed to make it to the central committee.

Ka Chuan left for Tehran last Monday on a weeklong official visit and is expected back in Malaysia this weekend. Calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.

It is learnt that Tee Keat has yet to act on Ka Chuan’s resignation letter, including informing the prime minister of the matter.

When asked to comment on the matter today, Tee Keat neither confirmed nor denied that Ka Chuan has submitted the letter. He only said: “I have not submitted any list to the prime minister.”

Ka Chuan was replaced as Perak MCA chairman by MCA vice-president and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha who is tipped to be recommended for a ministerial position.

Ka Chuan had served as minister for about seven months prior to his defeat to Soi Lek last month.