Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the MCA to resolve the leadership crisis before the position of MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat in the cabinet can be decided.
Najib, who is also the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, said what was important now was for the MCA to arrive at a comprehensive solution so that the problem would not recur.
“I am counting on the MCA leadership to make an immediate decision, to rehabilitate the MCA and regain the confidence of its members and that of the general public in the party,” he told reporters after launching the bilingual book ‘Helming the Times’, written by him, here on Sunday.
“I believe they (MCA leaders) have taken into consideration the decision made at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday,” he said.
Najib said the BN respected the decision made by the MCA delegates and believed that if the interests of the BN and the MCA were given priority, the party could become strong and stable again and be an important component in the BN.
“Thus, whatever decision that the MCA central working committee will make later must be based on the decision arrived at the MCA EGM yesterday,” he said.
The MCA central working committee will meet on Thursday to decide on subsequent action following the vote of no-confidence passed on Ong’s leadership as well as the decision not to accept Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek as the MCA deputy president yesterday.
Asked on the implication to the BN if Ong were to decide not to relinquish the MCA leadership, Najib said: “Why do you want to assume that he will not step down? Let’s settle one thing at a time.”
Najib said the MCA leadership must have the characteristics that the people could trust and capable of drawing the support of the Chinese community for the BN.
Meanwhile, Ong said he would act in the best interest of the party, adding he took full responsibility for the outcome of the EGM.
“I take full responsibility for the outcome of the EGM and will act in the best interests of the party after consultation with my colleagues and supporters and the deliberations of the next Central Committee meeting,” he wrote in his blog.
He said the central committee would discuss the immediate future of the party and discuss the EGM results.
“The results have sent certain messages which I could see are now being interpreted in the press by different parties in many ways,” he said.
His press secretary said in a statement today that Ong was taking four days leave until Wednesday.