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Should Dr Chua Soi Lek Be Given A Cabinet Post?

18 Nov

KUALA LUMPUR: The current animosity between MCA’s top two leaders began when deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was not appointed party liaison chief for any state.

He was instead given the post of the party’s government policy monitoring bureau chief.

In frustration, Dr Chua told the media that he was being sidelined by the new leadership, going as far to accuse MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat of lying that his (Dr Chua’s) name had been submitted for a Cabinet post.

The former health minister then clarified on Monday that he never asked to be reinstated into the government, but was merely questioning Ong’s integrity.

However, Dr Chua said that should he be given a government post, it would greatly aid him in bring changes to the party and country.
(Dr Chua did not contest in the March 8 elections, because at that time, he had resigned from all party and government posts due to his involvement in a sex scandal)

So the question remains: Should Dr Chua be re-appointed into the Cabinet?
Vote and let us know!

New Straits Times

MCA General Assembly: Time Will Tell If 'Weng Chai' Works

20 Oct

JUDGING from the MCA election results on Saturday, delegates seemed to have acquired a taste for weng chai (kangkung) while thumbing their noses at the high-protein dan huang (egg yolk).

It was with this “healthier” option in mind that the MCA assembly voted for Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to lead and revive the party following its bruising performance in the March 8 general election.

The combination of Tee Keat and Dr Chua has been labelled as weng chai by the Chinese press, playing on the pronunciation of the two men’s Chinese surnames which when joined is pronounced like the name of the vegetable.

Dan huang refers to secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (Huang Jia Quan in Mandarin), Dr Chua’s closest rival in the deputy president’s race.

Ka Chuan lost to Dr Chua by 114 votes. He polled 1,001 votes against Dr Chua’s 1,115.
“Dan huang has too much cholesterol,” said Federal Territory central delegate Hang Chin Pheng tongue-in-cheek in explaining the reason for Ka Chuan’s loss.

Food aside, Ka Chuan’s defeat was attributed to several reasons, including the so-called Ong dynasty factor (Ka Chuan’s brother Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting was party president who did not seek re-election) and the recorded deputy presidential debate on television.

The debate between Dr Chua and another candidate for the deputy presidency, Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, was shown on Friday night.

Lim’s failure to hold his own against his opponent saw votes swinging to Dr Chua, inadvertently giving the kiss of life to the former health minister.

“Fence-sitters, numbering up to 20 per cent of the 2,401 delegates, also gave their support to Dr Chua after the debate,” said Seputeh division vice-chief Banie Y.F. Chin.

Tellingly, Dr Chua’s triumphant return from the political wilderness also signifies that delegates have forgiven him for his involvement in a sex scandal, which forced him to resign from all government and party posts earlier this year.

They have given him their stamp of approval, trusting in his experience and capabilities to rejuvenate the party.

Said Bandar Tun Razak division member Ng San Choi: “The sex scandal was a personal thing and his family has forgiven him. It would have been a different scenario if he had not owned up.

“We voted for him as he is known to be a hardworking leader who is in touch with the grassroots.”

Party members believed the Tee Keat-Dr Chua partnership was the best for the party to regain its glory.

“Yes, I voted for the Tee Keat-Dr Chua combination because both are outspoken, firm and aggressive leaders who can lead the party to the next level, especially in the aftermath of the general election,” said Ulu Selangor division chief Wong Koon Mun.

There is concern that the two men may not be able to work together due to their strong personalities, but this was pooh-poohed by Kedah Wanita chief Datuk Lim Bee Kau.

She believed both leaders will put aside self-interest and personal differences to work for the betterment of the party, community and country as well as to regain the support of the Chinese community.

Convictions aside, it is timely for MCA members to remember that there is an old wives’ tale that says taking too much weng chai will lead to rheumatism.

Will MCA’s weng chai team eventually cause the party to creak at its joints or will it prove the tale wrong?

Only time will tell.

New Straits Times

MCA General Assembly: Time Will Tell If ‘Weng Chai’ Works

20 Oct

JUDGING from the MCA election results on Saturday, delegates seemed to have acquired a taste for weng chai (kangkung) while thumbing their noses at the high-protein dan huang (egg yolk).

It was with this “healthier” option in mind that the MCA assembly voted for Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to lead and revive the party following its bruising performance in the March 8 general election.

The combination of Tee Keat and Dr Chua has been labelled as weng chai by the Chinese press, playing on the pronunciation of the two men’s Chinese surnames which when joined is pronounced like the name of the vegetable.

Dan huang refers to secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (Huang Jia Quan in Mandarin), Dr Chua’s closest rival in the deputy president’s race.

Ka Chuan lost to Dr Chua by 114 votes. He polled 1,001 votes against Dr Chua’s 1,115.
“Dan huang has too much cholesterol,” said Federal Territory central delegate Hang Chin Pheng tongue-in-cheek in explaining the reason for Ka Chuan’s loss.

Food aside, Ka Chuan’s defeat was attributed to several reasons, including the so-called Ong dynasty factor (Ka Chuan’s brother Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting was party president who did not seek re-election) and the recorded deputy presidential debate on television.

The debate between Dr Chua and another candidate for the deputy presidency, Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, was shown on Friday night.

Lim’s failure to hold his own against his opponent saw votes swinging to Dr Chua, inadvertently giving the kiss of life to the former health minister.

“Fence-sitters, numbering up to 20 per cent of the 2,401 delegates, also gave their support to Dr Chua after the debate,” said Seputeh division vice-chief Banie Y.F. Chin.

Tellingly, Dr Chua’s triumphant return from the political wilderness also signifies that delegates have forgiven him for his involvement in a sex scandal, which forced him to resign from all government and party posts earlier this year.

They have given him their stamp of approval, trusting in his experience and capabilities to rejuvenate the party.

Said Bandar Tun Razak division member Ng San Choi: “The sex scandal was a personal thing and his family has forgiven him. It would have been a different scenario if he had not owned up.

“We voted for him as he is known to be a hardworking leader who is in touch with the grassroots.”

Party members believed the Tee Keat-Dr Chua partnership was the best for the party to regain its glory.

“Yes, I voted for the Tee Keat-Dr Chua combination because both are outspoken, firm and aggressive leaders who can lead the party to the next level, especially in the aftermath of the general election,” said Ulu Selangor division chief Wong Koon Mun.

There is concern that the two men may not be able to work together due to their strong personalities, but this was pooh-poohed by Kedah Wanita chief Datuk Lim Bee Kau.

She believed both leaders will put aside self-interest and personal differences to work for the betterment of the party, community and country as well as to regain the support of the Chinese community.

Convictions aside, it is timely for MCA members to remember that there is an old wives’ tale that says taking too much weng chai will lead to rheumatism.

Will MCA’s weng chai team eventually cause the party to creak at its joints or will it prove the tale wrong?

Only time will tell.

New Straits Times

MCA GENERAL ASSEMBLY: New Deputy To 'Reinvent Party Image'

19 Oct

Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek celebrating his winning the deputy president’s post with his son, Tee Yong.

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly elected deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has promised to work closely with party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

“I will work together with the president, Ong Tee Keat, and the new central committee.

“Together, we will reinvent a new image for MCA that will fulfil the expectation and aspiration of the Chinese community,” said the jubilant Dr Chua after the results were announced.

Dr Chua also said he always had confidence in the wisdom and maturity of the delegates who voted for him, saying they knew how to separate his public and private life.

The former health minister and party vice-president resigned from his posts in January after he was embroiled in a sex scandal.
Former party secretary-general and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said he accepted the results made by the delegates and stated that a cabinet post did not promise anything within MCA.

“I do not think this is a political tsunami as there is an age balance between the young and old in the delegates and those elected.

“As for my role within the party, I will let the newly elected party leaders decide,” Ong said.

Chua received 1,115 votes against Ong’s 1,001 votes.

MCA vice-president and former deputy tourism minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai and Tanjung deputy chairman Lee Hack Teik obtained 209 and 10 votes, respectively. — Bernama

New Straits Times

MCA GENERAL ASSEMBLY: New Deputy To ‘Reinvent Party Image’

19 Oct

Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek celebrating his winning the deputy president’s post with his son, Tee Yong.

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly elected deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has promised to work closely with party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

“I will work together with the president, Ong Tee Keat, and the new central committee.

“Together, we will reinvent a new image for MCA that will fulfil the expectation and aspiration of the Chinese community,” said the jubilant Dr Chua after the results were announced.

Dr Chua also said he always had confidence in the wisdom and maturity of the delegates who voted for him, saying they knew how to separate his public and private life.

The former health minister and party vice-president resigned from his posts in January after he was embroiled in a sex scandal.
Former party secretary-general and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said he accepted the results made by the delegates and stated that a cabinet post did not promise anything within MCA.

“I do not think this is a political tsunami as there is an age balance between the young and old in the delegates and those elected.

“As for my role within the party, I will let the newly elected party leaders decide,” Ong said.

Chua received 1,115 votes against Ong’s 1,001 votes.

MCA vice-president and former deputy tourism minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai and Tanjung deputy chairman Lee Hack Teik obtained 209 and 10 votes, respectively. — Bernama

New Straits Times

IMF Launches Probe Into Director's Affair With Employee

18 Oct

NEW YORK : The International Monetary Fund has opened an investigation of its director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his intimate ties to a subordinate employee — an affair that echoes the scandal that ousted Paul Wolfowitz from the World Bank last year.

The IMF, one of the main players in coordinating global attempts to tamp down the explosive financial crisis, acknowledged Saturday it had hired the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to conduct the investigation, expected to be completed by the end of the month.

The inquiry was set in motion at the initiative of a long-serving member of the institution’s governing board, Shakour Shaalan of Egypt.

Shaalan “has asked external counsel to conduct an independent investigation and determine the validity of the allegations,” IMF spokesman William Murray told AFP.

“All allegations — particularly those involving senior management — are taken extremely seriously,” he added.

Strauss-Kahn, 59, considered one of the preeminent European political figures on economic matters, was appointed in September 2007 to head the IMF and help reform the institution.

Murray declined to confirm details reported overnight in The Wall Street Journal, which said the investigation focuses on Strauss-Kahn’s relationship with Hungarian-born Piroska Nagy, a married former senior official in the IMF’s Africa department.

The daily, citing individuals familiar with the matter, reported that Strauss-Kahn began approaching Nagy in December 2007 to have an intimate relationship.

The two are said to have exchanged emails about a possible affair, which apparently began early this year during a conference in Europe, according to The Journal.

It said the emails were discovered by Nagy’s husband, prominent Argentine-born economist Mario Blejer, who has worked at the IMF.

Strauss-Kahn has acknowledged the probe but said he did nothing that compromised his work at the IMF.

“The IMF is examining an incident which occurred in my private life in January 2008.

“I have cooperated and am continuing to cooperate with outside counsel to the Fund concerning this matter,” he said.

“At no time did I abuse my position as the Fund’s managing director.”

The sex scandal is horrible timing for the IMF, which has been in the global spotlight in the past weeks as governments grapple with the extent of the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The probe is looking into whether or not Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, abused his power as IMF boss and showed any favoritism to Nagy, and whether or not he sought retribution once their relationship ended.

The investigation also seeks to know if Nagy’s severance package was excessive for a person of her position and tenure.

Nagy resigned in August, when the fund slashed about 600 positions.

Her attorney Robert Litt said she had not been pressured to leave the IMF and took a buyout package that was available to others of her pay grade and seniority, The Journal reported.

The probe comes 15 months after former World Bank president Wolfowitz was forced to quit because of alleged favoritism to a staffer with whom he had a long-standing relationship.

The American resigned after an internal World Bank report found that he had violated bank rules in arranging a generous promotion and pay package for his girlfriend shortly after he assumed the bank presidency in 2005.

On Friday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown renewed his call for revamped global institutions including the IMF and World Bank to hold a more prominent role in dealing with the current fiscal meltdown, writing in The Washington Post that “the old post-war international financial institutions are out of date” and must be “rebuilt for a wholly new era.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

IMF Launches Probe Into Director’s Affair With Employee

18 Oct

NEW YORK : The International Monetary Fund has opened an investigation of its director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his intimate ties to a subordinate employee — an affair that echoes the scandal that ousted Paul Wolfowitz from the World Bank last year.

The IMF, one of the main players in coordinating global attempts to tamp down the explosive financial crisis, acknowledged Saturday it had hired the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to conduct the investigation, expected to be completed by the end of the month.

The inquiry was set in motion at the initiative of a long-serving member of the institution’s governing board, Shakour Shaalan of Egypt.

Shaalan “has asked external counsel to conduct an independent investigation and determine the validity of the allegations,” IMF spokesman William Murray told AFP.

“All allegations — particularly those involving senior management — are taken extremely seriously,” he added.

Strauss-Kahn, 59, considered one of the preeminent European political figures on economic matters, was appointed in September 2007 to head the IMF and help reform the institution.

Murray declined to confirm details reported overnight in The Wall Street Journal, which said the investigation focuses on Strauss-Kahn’s relationship with Hungarian-born Piroska Nagy, a married former senior official in the IMF’s Africa department.

The daily, citing individuals familiar with the matter, reported that Strauss-Kahn began approaching Nagy in December 2007 to have an intimate relationship.

The two are said to have exchanged emails about a possible affair, which apparently began early this year during a conference in Europe, according to The Journal.

It said the emails were discovered by Nagy’s husband, prominent Argentine-born economist Mario Blejer, who has worked at the IMF.

Strauss-Kahn has acknowledged the probe but said he did nothing that compromised his work at the IMF.

“The IMF is examining an incident which occurred in my private life in January 2008.

“I have cooperated and am continuing to cooperate with outside counsel to the Fund concerning this matter,” he said.

“At no time did I abuse my position as the Fund’s managing director.”

The sex scandal is horrible timing for the IMF, which has been in the global spotlight in the past weeks as governments grapple with the extent of the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The probe is looking into whether or not Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, abused his power as IMF boss and showed any favoritism to Nagy, and whether or not he sought retribution once their relationship ended.

The investigation also seeks to know if Nagy’s severance package was excessive for a person of her position and tenure.

Nagy resigned in August, when the fund slashed about 600 positions.

Her attorney Robert Litt said she had not been pressured to leave the IMF and took a buyout package that was available to others of her pay grade and seniority, The Journal reported.

The probe comes 15 months after former World Bank president Wolfowitz was forced to quit because of alleged favoritism to a staffer with whom he had a long-standing relationship.

The American resigned after an internal World Bank report found that he had violated bank rules in arranging a generous promotion and pay package for his girlfriend shortly after he assumed the bank presidency in 2005.

On Friday British Prime Minister Gordon Brown renewed his call for revamped global institutions including the IMF and World Bank to hold a more prominent role in dealing with the current fiscal meltdown, writing in The Washington Post that “the old post-war international financial institutions are out of date” and must be “rebuilt for a wholly new era.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia