KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 (Bernama) — MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the party, a week after the party had sacked deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Ong issued the directive to party secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Ming this morning, said Ong’s political secretary Simon Lim.
Wong, when contacted, confirmed that he had received the directive from Ong to convene an EGM within 30 days and that he was in the process of fixing the date.
“We are still fixing the date, time and venue of the EGM. I hope we can fix all these by later today and the notice can be issued tomorrow,” he told Bernama.
The agenda of the EGM has not been fixed yet, but Bernama learnt that high on the list is the seeking of the delegates endorsement of the presidential council’s decision sacking Dr Chua as well as a vote of confidence for Ong on his leadership.
Ong’s decision to call for an EGM comes in the wake of protests by Dr Chua’s supporters who have launched a signature campaign among the party’s delegates to call for an EGM.
Under the party constitution, an EGM can be called in three ways — requisition by one third of the delegates, directive from the party president, or requisition by one-third of the party’s central committee members.
Party insiders said the EGM was likely to be held after Hari Raya Aidilfitri and that the possible date could be Sept 27 as the party president has arranged a series of briefing to party leaders, delegates and members until the middle of next month.
The EGM would be the third since the party held the “infamous” EGM on June 24, 2001 to endorse the purchase of Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd by the party’s investment arm, Huaren Holdings Sdn Bhd.
The party had held an EGM on May 27, 2007 to amend the party constitution to provide for the postponement of party elections before last year’s general election and on Nov 19, 2004 to endorse an amendment to the party constitution that limits to 2,400 the number of central delegates to the general assembly.
Dr Chua, in an immediate reaction, told Bernama that he would wait for the party to set the agenda before deciding whether his supporters should participate in the EGM called by the party president.
“We don’t know what the agenda is. Wait until they have cleared the agenda. If it’s good for party, then we will let the delegates to decide,” he said.
However, he criticised Ong for sending a “wrong signal and confusing the party grassroots” by calling the EGM.
“When I was sacked, their supporters criticised me and my supporters for pushing for an EGM, saying that my supporters’ efforts will divide the party. Now, less than five days later, he himself calls for an EGM. No consistency,” he said.
Dr Chua claimed that Ong has been using the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue to create what he terms as “individual heroism” when actually the decision to make public the PKFZ audit report was a Cabinet decision.
Party observers said there were two possibilities after this: Dr Chua’s supporters might participate in the EGM called by the president or call for another EGM on their own if they were unsatisfied with the agenda set by the party secretary-general.
“If they participate, then we would only see one EGM. If they have two EGMs, then we would see the repeat of what happened in the PPP recently,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the proposed EGM was a good approach to give the delegates the opportunity to give their views on the expulsion of Dr Chua.
The outcome of the EGM would be referred to lawyers to determine whether it had adhered to the provisions of the party constitution, she said when met after she had attended the “88 Taiwan Typhoon Memorial” at the Chempaka Buddhist Lodge in Petaling Jaya.
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