One EGM, two dinners, spread over four venues

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 – As crisis-hit MCA moved closer to its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for tomorrow, two pre-EGM dinners were held tonight, suggesting little reconciliation, if any, between party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and suspended deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

One of the dinners was hosted by the party at the MCA headquarters and the other by Dr Chua at three hotels, and both sides claimed to have had an attendance of 1,200 delegates.

The dinners were a last-ditch attempt by both leaders to win the support of the 2,377 central delegates who will vote tomorrow on five resolutions, including one on a no-confidence vote against Ong and another to annul the suspension of Dr Chua.

At the dinner at Wisma MCA, Ong asked the delegates to bear with the situation for the sake of the party’s future.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng had earlier described the dinner as a tradition and a reunion for party members, whom they should all regard as siblings, to “catch up on one another”.

The dinners hosted by Dr Chua’s side were held closed-door at the Dynasty Hotel, Federal Hotel and Corus Hotel where Dr Chua turned up briefly.

At his first stop, at the Dynasty Hotel, Dr Chua made a short speech, recounting to those present the crisis faced by the party externally and internally for the past one year.

“He (Dr Chua) called on the delegates to make the right choice tomorrow and stressed the need for them to unite for the party’s future. He also promised that there would be no witch-hunt after the EGM,” Puchong MCA division vice-chief Datuk Theng Book told reporters when met after the dinner at the Dynasty Hotel.

Dr Chua’s speech was telecast live by video conferencing for the benefit of delegates attending the dinners at the Federal Hotel and Corus Hotel.

Many of Dr Chua’s volunteer workers were also at these premises, wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan, in Chinese: “Stop Power Abuse and Restore Democracy”.

Dr Chua, flanked by his ardent supporters, among them Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho, Loh Kok Seng and son Chua Tee Yong, later visited the other two venues to meet the delegates.

The registration of the central delegates attending the EGM closed at 9pm and will resume tomorrow from 7.30am until 10.30am.

The secretariat of the EGM was tight-lipped over the number of delegates who had registered so far. – Bernama

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