By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has said that sensitive matters not beneficial to the MCA should not be raised in the critical period before Election 2013 as the political fallout from party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s reported comments on a pro-Umno blog continues.
Dr Chua had reportedly told a group of pro-Umno bloggers that party deputy president Liow should not challenge him for the party presidency while suggesting that his rival Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat would jump ship if there was a hung Parliament after the elections.
Last Thursday, Dr Chua had told the bloggers at his office that Liow (picture) should not contest for the MCA president’s post as it will be the end of the health minister’s political career if he loses.
“His advice to Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, the deputy president of the MCA, is to be patient and not challenge for the presidency yet. He says if Liow challenges and loses, it will be the end of his career. He says all deputy presidents of the MCA have never become president except one — himself. Again, he said it matter of factly with no attitude,” Syed Akbar Ali (syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.com), a pro-Umno blogger who attended the meeting, wrote in his blog post on Thursday.
Liow said he had responded to Dr Chua’s remarks on Facebook and did not want to comment further on the MCA’s internal matters, saying that it was more important to ensure the party’s unity, the Sin Chew Daily reported today.
On Friday, Liow wrote on the social network site that matters that are not beneficial to MCA should not be raised at this “critical time” when the party is facing the 13th general election.
“I feel that (we) shouldn’t be raising any statements that are not beneficial to the party at this critical time,” he wrote in Mandarin, likely alluding to Dr Chua’s remarks on Thursday.
Liow said that MCA members should direct their attacks to those outside the party, and not shoot at their own members.
“I believe most of the MCA members can fight for the same things and live together despite differences, firmly ensure that the spearhead is pointed outwards, gun not pointed at people from own side.”
Liow wrote that all MCA members have a heavy responsibility to ensure that the party carries the aspirations of the Chinese, saying that this will outweigh the “personal pride and shame of winning and losing.”
In his post on Facebook, Liow did not mention Dr Chua’s name.
Ong, a former MCA president ousted by Dr Chua, had last week attacked Dr Chua for alleging that he was leading a faction in the MCA and would quit the party if there was no clear winner in the next general election.
“Revisiting the issue of factionalism and lack of support, he spoke bluntly about the Ong Tee Keat faction trying to sabotage him in Malacca. Dr Chua feels that if there is a hung Parliament after the general election, Ong Tee Keat may just pack his bags and leave. Like Chua Jui Ming,” Syed Akbar wrote on his blog.
In response, Ong took a swipe at Dr Chua via Facebook on Friday, saying he pitied the MCA president and suggested that he seek psychiatric treatment.
“I really pity him. This is just a fresh round of OTK-bashing, a cyclical recurrence of d same symptom during festive season, more so b4 GE13. He needs help from a psychiatrist perhaps,” Ong wrote on his Facebook page.
In the aftermath, Dr Chua on Saturday condemned the behaviour of pro-Umno bloggers who he claimed were only interested in “scoops and spinning” rather than helping out his party.
He had blamed the pro-Umno blogger who published his remarks against Ong for starting the public tiff between the two, claiming that the chat had been behind closed doors.
“They obviously do not honour what was discussed ... It was a closed-door interaction to talk about MCA’s preparation for general election,” Dr Chua explained in a press conference.
“It was just a chit-chat, some of (my remarks) were in a joking form ... So obviously they have no reporting ethics.”
“I would like to condemn their behaviour, and the fact that they broke that promise,” Dr Chua added, referring to the bloggers’ pledge to not publish any of his remarks that were made in a friendly manner.