He wishes to be an ‘or­di­nary cit­i­zen’

New Straits Times - - News - HANA NAZ HARUN KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

FOR­MER MCA pres­i­dent, Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat has quit MCA, af­ter serv­ing the party for over three decades.

His de­ci­sion to leave the Barisan Na­sional (BN) com­po­nent party, which he helmed as the eighth party pres­i­dent, took ef­fect from Jan 2. Chi­nese-lan­guage daily, China

Press re­ported that he wanted to be an “or­di­nary cit­i­zen” and was “no longer suit­able” for po­lit­i­cal games.

Ong said he would con­cen­trate on his busi­ness and cul­tural work and planned to write a book.

He also said there were cer­tain­quar­ters who did not want to see him con­test in the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion, which fur­ther moved him to quit the party.

He told an on­line news por­tal that he did not bother mak­ing an an­nounce­ment on his de­ci­sion as he was “merely a small fry”.

Ong said he had no plans to join any other party.

The 60-year-old joined MCA in 1981, and was an ac­tive MCA Youth mem­ber, hold­ing sev­eral posts, in­clud­ing the MCA Youth chief post for the 1999/2002 term.

He be­came MCA’s eighth pres­i­dent in 2008. He con­tested in the party polls in 2010 to de­fend his pres­i­dency but was beaten by Tan Sri Dr Chua Soi Lek. He con­tested in 2013 but lost to cur­rent MCA pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Un­der the Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi cab­i­net, Ong was ap­pointed as Trans­port Min­is­ter, and re­tained this portfolio when Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak came into power.

In 2010, Ong was dropped from the cab­i­net fol­low­ing a reshuf­fle.

He had been pre­vi­ously the deputy youth and sports min­is­ter and deputy higher ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter.

Ong was a five-term Am­pang Jaya mem­ber of par­lia­ment. He was de­feated by PKR vice-pres­i­dent Rafizi Ramli in his sixth bid for the par­lia­men­tary seat which had been re­named as Pan­dan in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon said he was sad­dened that Ong had de­cided to leave.

“I wish him all the best.”

Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat

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