View Full Version : Ling, Team A, Team B, Soh Chee Wen...
08-01-2003, 02:18 PM
<FONT SIZE="+1">Related threads in the Web Forum:
<a href="http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2733">John Soh, will you 'sing-a-Ling'?</a>
<a href="http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2732">Will John Soh shut-up if Dr M says so?</a>
<a href="http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2731">Soh Chee Wen & something interesting in Subang Jaya</a></font>
<img src="http://www.mggpillai.com/themes/W4/images/mggv.gif" align="left"> <font size="+2"><a href="http://www.mggpillai.com"target="new">www.mggpillai.com</a></font>
11-11-2002 12:58 pm
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.mggpillai.com/article.php3?sid=1535"target="new">Is Dato' Seri Ling Liong Sik On His Way Out?</a></font>
... He won this battle to stay on and defeat his deputy, Dato' Seri
Lim Ah Lek. But he fell foul of Dr Mahathir over the teaching of
science and mathematics in English in Chinese schools. He
became expendable once more...
16-11-2002 11:58 am
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.mggpillai.com/article.php3?sid=1539"target="new">Could the MCA President Survive The Soh Chee Wen Trial?</a></font>
... it is a safe bet that Dr Ling cannot lead his party into to the
next general election; and a safe bet to say he would not be in
the cabinet this time next year...
Visit the <a href="http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2953">Warung Politik</a> channel in this Forum
08-01-2003, 02:26 PM
THE MALAY MAIL
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
<font size="+1">Dr Ling's resignation: What if...?</font>
THE drumbeats of the ‘war councils’ of MCA’s Team A and Team B were in full swing last night.
The two rival factions met separately to discuss the same agenda – what if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad accepted MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik’s resignation immediately and if Dr Ling steps down as party leader suddenly.
The Malay Mail understands that each team worked out strategies to put into gear so that the respective faction “does not lose out”.
A MCA party insider said Team A met at Dr Ling’s house in Damansara Heights to discuss the possibility that he may vacate his Cabinet and party posts abruptly.
“Team A is weighing its options, including resigning en block at the central committee level to force a fresh party election or face the risk of losing control of the party to Team B if the president were to leave suddenly,” said a source.
The MCA constitution allows a fresh election if two-thirds of the 40-member central committee leaders vacated their posts.
“Team A has the potential of having the two-thirds support to seek a fresh election,” said the source.
“But the fight will be tough and loyalty, especially in electing new blood to the leadership, will come into play.”
The source said the question of loyalty if there is a new line-up will pose a big uncertainty for Team A.
Under the MCA constitution, if the president resigns, the appointed posts such as secretary general, treasurer, organising secretary and seven of the elected central committee members will have to vacate their posts.
“The new president, in this case, the deputy president (Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek), will take over and appoint his own supporters for these posts,” said the source, adding that Team A leaders are therefore putting together a strategy to prevent Team B from ‘seizing power’.
And like a chess game, Team B leaders also calculated the possible moves and their response to the various scenarios that could happen.
“They too are weighing the alternatives, especially in paving the way for Lim Ah Lek to take over the party leadership,” said another source.
Lim had said the status quo of the peace plan – brokered by the Prime Minister – holds no water after he was dropped as the party disciplinary committee chairman three months ago.
08-01-2003, 02:30 PM
THE MALAY MAIL
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
<font size="+1">Soh to subpoena Ling, son as witnesses</font>
BUSINESSMAN Datuk Soh Chee Wen, who is facing trial for allegedly defrauding a now-defunct brokerage firm of RM521 million, will apply to the court to subpoena Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik and his family members as his material witnesses.
“I have instructed my lawyers to subpoena Dr Ling and his family as my witnesses,” Soh told The Malay Mail.
He said his lawyers are processing the applications for the subpoenas from the Shah Alam Sessions court.
Soh said the witnesses will be called to his hearing once the trial proceeds.
Soh said this after the court allowed him to inspect two categories of documents that had been withheld by the Securities Commission (SC), ahead of the hearing of the alleged shares fraud case, yesterday.
“They are important figures in my trial. Their evidence will help,” he said.
Soh is expected to subpoena Dr Ling, his son Hee Leong and daughter-in-law Carol Ong Lee Choo as his witnesses.
Soh and Hee Leong were once business partners.
Soh was also once an ally of MCA president Dr Ling, but the relationship soured after he filed a RM149-million lawsuit against Hee Leong and Ong.
Soh is facing trial on two charges of allegedly defrauding the now defunct brokerage firm Omega Securities Sdn Bhd under Section 87A(a) of the Securities Industry Act 1983.
08-01-2003, 09:50 PM
7:37pm Wed Jan 8th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Ah Lek furious over ‘plot to discredit’ him</FONT>
Beh Lih Yi
MCA deputy president Lim Ah Lek today dismissed Chinese media reports which portrayed him as the catalyst for party president Dr Ling Liong Sik’s intention to resign as transport minister.
Describing the allegation as a ‘rumour’, Lim said this was a plot to discredit him. He sent a strongly-worded protest to editors of the newspapers concerned today, asking that the ‘misleading’ reports be clarified.
“No such thing happened and it was very irresponsible of whoever who did this. It is not true at all. Nobody raised the issue before Prime Minister (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) made the announcement, not me or the other members of component parties,” Lim said when contacted by malaysiakini.
In its online edition, China Press quoted sources as saying that Lim had asked the premier to confirm the MCA chief’s resignation at yesterday’s Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting.
"They not only implicated me, but also said the prime minister had scolded me. It is very, very serious to write something that the prime minister did not say, but they don't realise it.
"If it is true that I raised the issue (of Ling's resignation), I could neither deny it nor run away...I would be a fool (to do that) and the prime minister would also scold me for telling lies. Everyone (who attended) the meeting knows what happened yesterday."
...Asked why he had been implicated by the Chinese press, Lim said it could be due to his announcement earlier this week, that he was ready to challenge Ling in the 2005 party election.
"They (Team A) are trying to discredit me at this moment, they are
desperate. They must be controlling the papers, or how is it that the reports only appeared in the Chinese dailies?"
MCA's investment arm acquired Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press in May 2001, while Sin Chew Daily and Guang Ming Daily owner Tiong Hiew King is said to be Ling's close associate.
Sin Chew said in a front-page sources-based report that Mahathir had brought up the issue when he expressed dissatisfaction with Lim's intention to contest the MCA president's post, and that he (Mahathir) had rebuked Lim.
The daily also quoted MCA central committee member and Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung as saying that there was a "culprit" behind the resignation issue.
"The person who intended to contest against the president had manipulated the reporters to pursue Ling's resignation to gain political mileage.
"What was surprising is not the resignation (since Ling had revealed his desire to quit in 2000) but that somebody would, for his political interest, manipulate reporters to ask the unsuitable question," he said.
Although Chor did not name the 'culprit', observers said it was apparent he was referring to Lim who announced earlier this week that he would contest for the top post in the next party election if Ling refused to step down.
The headline on Nanyang's front-page read: 'Response to Ah Lek's intention to contest for party president, Ling: I have resigned'.
Also quoting sources, the daily said Ling had told reporters about his resignation because Lim had announced his decision to challenge him in the 2005 party election.
Meanwhile, Lim said his announcement to contest as president should not be seen as a factor behind Ling's intention to quit his ministerial post.
"It has nothing to do with my decision to contest for the post. This is the second time that he has said he wants to resign. It is up to him and if it is true, we should respect his decision," Lim said.
"But, if the prime minister made the announcement without informing him first yesterday, (it must mean) that the premier is trying to send out some message."
08-01-2003, 10:07 PM
Let's mark Kit's words to see if he is responsible for what he said today.
by Lim Kit Siang
Only time will show how the new MCA political drama is to be
played out, but one thing is certain - Liong Sik's days in Cabinet
are numbered and will not outlast Mahathir's October retirement
date, the question is only whether he will be required to go fairly
instantly or he will be given a few months' grace before the fall of
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman
08-01-2003, 11:13 PM
6:26pm Wed Jan 8th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Loyal Ling to soldier on for PM</FONT>
MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik ...clarified that PM's disclosure about the resignation letter yesterday was not in response to a request from anyone.
"It (the information) just came from PM himself. Why? That you have to ask him," he said.
In its online edition last night, MCA-owned daily China Press quoted a party source as saying that Lim (Ah Lek) had asked Mahathir to confirm the widespread rumours in recent months about Ling's resignation.
09-01-2003, 01:43 PM
<font size="+1">Pak Lah speaks up...</font>
NEW STRAITS TIMES
Thursday, January 9, 2003
PM: It’s my prerogative
Firdaus Abdullah, Ainon Mohd and Patrick Sennyah
...Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said it was Dr Ling's right to make his own decision on whether to resign, retire or withdraw from politics.
"It is a decision he has made, and when he is no longer around, surely there are others to take over," Abdullah said after chairing the Umno management meeting here today.
Asked if Umno would appeal to Dr Ling to reconsider, Abdullah said: "Why should we do that? That is the prerogative of the Prime Minister. His resignation will not affect the Government as his decision was not a result of a crisis in the Government. It is not as if he disagreed with his responsibilities or policies for his portfolio. It is all related to his party."
09-01-2003, 06:05 PM
4:16pm Thu Jan 9th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Misreporting of Ling's resignation caught on camera</FONT>
MCA-owned The Star carried a very misleading headline today: "No" to quit letter, [followed by] "PM rejects Ling's offer to resign as Transport Minister".
I watched the TV3 Bahasa Malaysia news yesterday evening showing Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad being surrounded by reporters and asking him on his decision relating to Ling's letter. Mahathir distinctly and clearly said: "saya belum bersetuju Ling letakkan jawatankuasa itu..." (if I did not misunderstand, it meant "I've yet to decide on Ling's resignation..."). This is different from saying he has rejected the resignation.
A rejection involves a "decision" and in this case, Mahathir has said that he has not decided. If he has not decided, it is morally wrong for The Star to twist and distort the remark to mean, "a rejection".
This is the most hideous act a newspaper owned by a political party can do. It is unprincipled and ethically wrong to skew the news in favour of its patronage. What about the high flying journalistic ideals that MCA (Team A) leaders expounded when they chose to acquire Nanyang when they talked about democratic ideals of press freedom, accurate reporting, etc.
In fact, I have the gut feeling that Mahathir will accept Ling's resignation soon. But with Ling (Team A) planning a big event this Sunday for the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman ground-breaking ceremony, which will also include paying a tribute to Mahathir, could be the reason for the PM to delay making his decision.
Moreover, if Mahathir accepts Ling’s resignation now, the vacancy of party leader has to be filled. That is the big question mark in view of the power tussle between Team A and B.
10-01-2003, 05:27 PM
The title of this thread should probably be changed to Ling, Team A, Team B, Soh Chee Wen... and newspapers, don't you think so?
2:42pm Fri Jan 10th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">When journos become lapdogs</FONT>
I refer to Ex-reporter’s <A HREF="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301090033731.php"TARGET="NEW">Misreporting of Ling’s resignation caught on camera</A>.
The credibility of any newspaper whether in the form of print or electronic media shares an important thread that binds the integrity and values of reporters in today's world of journalism. The "guard dog" function of journalism in news coverage particularly of a political nature must be tampered with balancing interests and a large dose of accuracy.
Unfortunately, there is a rare breed of journalists who are willing to compromise their personal integrity, sacrifice their professional ethics to become "lapdogs" rather than "watchdogs" by following obediently the instructions of their political masters who happen to own the newspaper.
Of course, there is nothing hideous when deserving journalists are given recognition for their genuine dedication, talent and contributions to society through their job performances. But it is also common knowledge that there are "rotten apples" in the profession who readily accept titles and awards, free or sponsored travel and even promises of a political career just to perform a hidden agenda set out by their political masters.
The so-called "professional ethics" are being compromised or thrown to the wind. The most basic ethical tenet of journalism which begins and ends with the "accuracy of facts" or reporting the truth to these rare breed of reporters becomes an opposing interest compared to their self-vested interests. Any media organisation that nurtures and protects such reporters through their political masters cannot convince its readers that it is credible.
A conscientious editor or reporter should at least be aware of the conflicts and keep his or her professional responsibilities foremost in mind. Unfortunately there are a few reporters who are willing to compromise their personal and professional principle by becoming very cosy with politicians or their same political masters to further a certain agenda.
Readers like me are aware of a certain English tabloid newspaper that is fast losing credibility among its readers for its extremely partisan news reporting, specifically on the recent political leadership development of a Barisan Nasional component party. Like the maxim that relates to the destiny of any newspaper, it is as good as dead if nobody buys it.
As for those reporters who continue to compromise their principles and conscience in pursuit of this profession, I wish them the best of luck. For I believe that our spiritual world indeed has a natural law called the moral code that does not exist in theory but will bring natural justice to these rotten apples.
10-01-2003, 10:31 PM
11:52am Fri Jan 10th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Analysts: Ling will go before PM steps down</FONT>
Yap Mun Ching
Transport Minister and MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik is likely to prove his critics wrong by relinquishing his ministerial position and presidency of the MCA before the year is out, said two policy analysts.
In separate interviews with malaysiakini today, the two political analysts said although infighting within the MCA is a factor behind Ling's wish to resign both in May 2000 and Aug 2002, two crucial developments are likely to ensure a different outcome this time around.
According to policy analyst Ong Kian Ming, one of these developments is the intensified squabbling among leaders aligned to one of two party factions - Team A led by Ling and Team B led by MCA deputy president Lim Ah Lek - while another is the resignation of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad set for
October this year.
"I think it would take place within a span of six months to a year, before the general elections ... I feel that the resignation offer is genuine. There has been speculation of this over the past few months," said Ong, who has been a close political observer of MCA.
"There has been disunity within the party and (Ling) may also be affected by court cases against him. By stepping down, all these issues could be resolved," he added.
"Furthermore, the infighting (back in May 2000) was not as bad as it is now and the prime minister did not announce his resignation then. These are new developments."
Liability to Umno?
Another analyst, executive director of the Socio-Economic Development and Research Institute (Sedar) Khoo Kay Peng, agreed that "new unforeseen forces" had motivated Ling's renewed offer to resign.
"The political forces is one but it is also tied to his own personal
problems. These have become a baggage to MCA. Ling will be leaving anytime soon. The PM will probably endorse the resignation in a month or two. That is probably why the matter was brought up by the PM," he said.
...Commenting further on the issue, Khoo said Mahathir would want Ling's departure to ensure a smooth transition for the premier's chosen successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"Ling does not have much choice but to leave because of the PM's own resignation plans. For the PM to leave (his post) he has to ensure a smooth succession for Abdullah. For that, he has to first solve the MCA strife," said Khoo, whose think-tank Sedar is linked to Gerakan.
"(Another reason why I think) this is genuine is because Ling initiated the press briefing. If he does not step down, the public will not be kind to him. He will have to stand by his announcement."
Weak support to blame
Meanwhile, the analysts opined that Ling's problems, which had once ensure that he could remain in power, have now reached a point where they become a liability to his erstwhile behind-the-scene supporters.
"Parties opposed to the MCA wanted Ling to remain as president because (his problems) meant that he was in a weaker position (vis-a-vis) the parties," said Khoo.
"Ling's ability to remain as MCA president has been linked to his weaknesses with respect to Umno's influence. However, there comes a point that Umno too has to weigh the pros and cons of having Ling as president," said Ong.
Ong pointed out that responses to two recent developments - one involving the initial opposition by MCA to the implementation of English language teaching of Science and Maths for Chinese primary schools, and the other the Porr highway project - showed that "time is running out" for Ling as the head of the biggest Chinese party in the country.
In both incidents, MCA was strongly attacked by Umno leaders for its opposition to the language switch plan and the its unwillingless to sack the two errant MCA Penang state assemblyperson who refused to vote against the Porr project, as reflected in press reports in Umno-controlled Malay language dailies and the New Straits Times.
A compromise was later reached on the language switch issue whereby Chinese primary schools were allowed greater flexibility in implementing the policy within regular school hours.
"There has been concern that Ling may not have sufficient support within the Chinese community," Ong added.
No easy solution
In addition, the analyst dismissed the possibility that Ling may quit his cabinet post but remain as MCA president until the 2005 party elections.
"I don't think it is possible for him to hold on to the presidency after quitting as minister. This is one of the reasons why he has not stepped down yet as minister. He has stayed on because succession within MCA is still not clear," Ong explained.
"If he quits as minister, Deputy Finance Minister Chan Kong Choy (from Team B) could be elevated to replace Ling in the cabinet. However, the MCA presidency would not be so easy to resolve."
On the likely succession plan should Ling leave, both analysts said that the obvious choice would be Minister of Housing and Local Government Ong Ka Ting, a party vice-president and Ling's protege.
"The likely successor to Ling would be Ka Ting ... Ling has to find ways and means to put his supporters in strategic positions so as to ensure that he is protected (after retiring from politics). However, there would definitely be negotiations with Team B members," said Khoo.
"Ka Ting may occupy the top spot but there would have to be a compromise whereby a leader aligned to the Team B faction will occupy the second spot. By seniority, it would have to be Health Minister Chua Jui Meng," added Ong.
Asked if the departure of both Ling and his deputy Lim (photo) from the party would enable other leaders to close ranks once again, Ong said, "Although Ka Ting is aligned to Team A, it does not mean that he has bad blood with the other leaders."
"In politics, you don't make permanent enemies. The main problem in MCA has been Ling, so without him, a compromise would not be difficult," said Khoo.
"Ka Ting would have to play the healing hand to consolidate his position. He is young and would be more forceful than Ling in a lot of things (in relation to other BN parties). He is likely to work well with (Team B members) Chan Kong Choy and Chua Jui Meng," he added.
10-01-2003, 10:35 PM
NEW STRAITS TIMES
Friday, January 10, 2003
<font size="+1">MCA Youth won't make official stand on Ling's status</font>
Chong Chee Seong
MUAR, Jan 10 MCA Youth will not make an official stand on the resignation of party president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister until it is clear on truth of the matter.
Its chief Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the movement had not made a decision because there were conflicting news reports on the reply of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Dr Ling's resignation letter.
He said he could not be sure whether the offer to quit had been turned down or Dr Mahathir had yet to decide on it.
"I have compared reports in several English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese newspapers and was puzzled by the use of words such as 'belum' and 'tidak' (has not and does not ), supposedly to describe the Prime Minister's reply to the resignation letter."
Ong said certain newspapers had carried the interpretation giving the impression that the offer to quit was not agreed upon by Dr Mahathir.
"I have yet to get the real interpretation of the issue as I cannot understand clearly the conflicting words used by the newspapers," he added.
...Ong said the most important issue facing MCA at the moment was the political future of the party, the continuous Chinese community support for it and members' solidarity.
"We are racing against time to strengthen the party and unite all members to face the coming general election, and for this, we want to be a strong partner in Barisan Nasional," he added.
10-01-2003, 10:50 PM
11:48am Fri Jan 10th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Will Mahathir's appeasement of Ling's MCA work?</FONT>
James Wong Wing On
For the leaders of all ranks in Umno, Gerakan and MCA's Team B, as well as the many senior editors or writers in the pro-Umno media who once thought that Dr Mahathir Mohamad is politically closer to them than MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, it is time for them to think again.
Like it or not, they may have been writing, speaking, thinking and making strategies, for the last three years, in collective illusion or
self-delusion with a false sense of power and influence over Mahathir.
The reason is compelling and yet almost self-evident now. According to a Jan 8 Bernama report, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted as saying that Mahathir still wants Ling to continue as the transport minister.
Abdullah reportedly said "PM still wants to retain the services of Dr Ling in the present portfolio, which means that his resignation will only take effect after consultation with PM."
On Jan 9, all the major Chinese-language dailies and The Star reported Mahathir himself as saying effectively that he had rejected Ling's offer to resign as the transport minister.
Two days ago, Ling reportedly submitted an undated letter of resignation as the transport minister to Mahathir. However, he has never indicated that he would also resign as the MCA president.
Ling displayed the same act or exact script once in May 2000.
The act or script, although not new nor very creative, did immediately create a strong impression or even 'hope' that Mahathir was finally convinced of the soundness of the arguments and opinions of those in Umno, Gerakan, Team B and the pro-Umno media who had been clamouring for Ling's total departure as minister and MCA president.
Now, all of these self-styled 'close' comrades, friends, advisers, strategists or tacticians of Mahathir have been proven wrong, and made to look not very smart.
The reality is now clearly that Ling seems to understand Mahathir's psychological and material needs much better than Umno's Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Gerakan's Dr Lim Keng Yaik, Team B's Lim Ah Lek, or the senior editors and writers of the New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian. Mahathir is, for the moment, definitely pro-Ling.
That Abdullah was assigned by Mahathir to first announce that he (Mahathir) "still wants to retain the services of Dr Ling in the present portfolio" speaks volume of the closeness between Mahathir and Ling.
It is public knowledge that Abdullah was deliberately snubbed by Ling last April when the deputy Umno president and deputy prime minister acted on Mahathir's behalf to negotiate a 'peace plan' to reconcile Team A and Team B of MCA.
Ling, in the presence of Abdullah, demanded to know if the "peace plan" presented to him by Abdullah was 'authentic', and personally attempted to contact Mahathir through long- distance phone call to confirm it. Mahathir was then on a trip to Bahrain, Libya and Morocco.
According to one report, Ling actually planned to fly with his protege Ong Ka Ting to Bahrain immediately to see Mahathir in order "to clarify" certain details of the peace plan.
* * *
In fact, it can be observed and reasoned that, without any politically punitive actions taken against Ling's MCA after it unilaterally dishonoured the peace plan brokered in the name of Mahathir last year, Ling and his factions have been growing bolder and more confrontational publicly.
Mahathir's appeasement strategy seems to have produced the opposite effect on Ling's MCA. In other words, Ling's MCA thinks that administering snubs against Abdullah and shouting back publicly at Umno, Gerakan, Team B and the pro-Umno media actually pays.
If Ling's MCA continues to reason along this line, and sees a 'weak' and 'pusillanimous' Umno repeatedly 'begging' for its continued support at all cost, it does not augur well for the post-elections and post-Mahathir Umno leadership of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Gerakan, Team B as well as smaller component parties of the National Front, like the People's Progressive Party
With his re-strengthened authority as someone Mahathir regards as indispensable in his government, Ling could now conduct a campaign within MCA and in the Chinese community to suppress and silence all dissidents, opponents and critics?
Ling's creeping assertiveness and smiling 'ruthlessness' could also set an example for other non-Umno component parties in the National Front, and even within the faction-ridden Umno itself.
Given the newly derived authority from Mahathir's rejection of his offer to resign, Ling could also lead MCA to pose a menace to Gerakan in Penang which is governed by Gerakan's feeble 'intellectuals' and 'technocrats' whose ideological mumbo-jumbo inspires no one in the streets. Who can control some over-zealous supporters of Ling's MCA in Penang who feel they are now 'justified' and psychologically 'empowered' by Mahathir's appeasement policy to again state its claim on the post of Penang's chief minister?
A really puzzling question is why do Abdullah, Najib, Gerakan, Team B and the pro-Umno media still smilingly defer to Mahathir's appeasement policy vis-à-vis Ling's MCA even though their interests and honour have clearly been violated?
Given Mahathir's imminent retirement, they could have adopted a 'containment ', if not 'roll-back' strategy against Ling's MCA. Do they not believe that Mahathir will really retire and give up all power and influence after October this year?
Why do all the 'rising stars' so willingly or altruistically sacrifice their present and future interests to the dictate of one aging and retiring man?
JAMES WONG WING ON is a former member of parliament (1990-1995) and a former columnist for the Sin Chew Jit Poh Chinese daily (now Sin Chew Daily). He read political science and economics at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
11-01-2003, 07:38 AM
09-01-2003 09:49 am
<font size="+1">The MCA President Has No More Tales To Spin</font>
THE MALAYSIAN COURTS HAVE DECLARED that undated letters of resignation every National Front (BN) candidate signs on selection is invalid. Yet, the MCA President, Dato' Seri Ling Liong Sik, who knows this only too well, now springs yet another surprise...
... The split in the MCA ranks arose from Dr Ling's special links with Dr Mahathir. But even that is coming to an end. Dr Ling is not in good odour with the Prime Minister-to-be, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He has only till the year-end, when he must go.
... There is one final worry. The Ling holdouts in the MCA, 32 of the 40 members of CEC, threaten to resign en masse should Dato' Lim become MCA President. Under the rules, an extraordinary general meeting must be called to re-elect a new committee.
But this is easier said than done. Already the Ling ranks disintegrate. Dato' Lim has been inundated with calls of support from the Ling supporters, more concerned with their future than on principle. If Dr Ling were to issue an order his backers to resign en masse from the CEC, it would surprise everyone if more than a handful obeyed.
As Dr Mahathir now finds out, support for a dying King would disappear soon enough once the dauphin is known. Dr Ling tries to stay on in office by using the strong arm methods Dr Mahathir adopts, but he forgot there is a huge difference between a fire and a fire-fly.
12-01-2003, 12:15 AM
January 11 , 2003 15:40PM
<FONT size="+1">Decision On Ling's Position At Appropriate Time</FONT>
PUTRAJAYA, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he has not decided yet whether to accept or reject Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik's resignation as Transport Minister.
"I will make the decision when it suits my time and the government's interest because I have to think very carefully when replacing a minister in a very important position," he told reporters after meeting a group of 84 scouts from the United Kingdom at the Prime Minister's Department here today.
Dr Mahathir was asked when he would decide on Dr Ling's position in the Cabinet following Dr Ling's undated resignation letter, which was submitted to him on Aug 15 last year.
Asked if he had received any name from the MCA as replacement for Dr Ling, Dr Mahathir said he had not.
12-01-2003, 12:22 AM
NEW STRAITS TIMES
Saturday, January 11, 2003
<font size="+1">Ling cannot cry wolf anymore as next cry from MCA chief will be ignored</font>
Jan 11: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik has truly acquired a knack of taking resignations to greater heights.
Recall the first time he tendered his resignation, in May 2000...
...the message sent by Dr Ling was that he truly wanted to give up since last year but he remained because the Prime Minister wanted him to stay.
That Dr Mahathir had the following day said he had yet to accept Dr Ling's resignation sent conflicting messages that the BN chairman has not been very happy with the manner Dr Ling had handled the issues of Chinese schools over the English policies and the two errant MCA Assemblymen.
The whole episode only served to make Dr Ling come out smelling like a rose.
But there are several things which do not tally in terms of Dr Ling's intentions.
He is resigning his Cabinet post and not the MCA presidency.
If he sees the setting-up of Utar as having completed a large part of his agenda, it is then an MCA agenda and not that of the Transport Ministry.
That being the case, he should be talking about resigning as the MCA president as well, on which he has been evasive.
Furthermore, after the Prime Minister formulated the peace plan for the MCA last year, the understanding was that both Dr Ling and Lim would step down together and leave the party in the hands of the second echelon.
...Observers believe that the MCA's protracted crisis would be easier resolved after the top two leaders representing Team A and B are out of the picture.
As it is, many believe that Dr Ling's anointed successor Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting has a better chance of bringing the party together if he is prepared to work with Lim's protege Chan.
However, if Ong is going to continue with Dr Ling's legacy of sidelining Team B, he (Ong) is only going to inherit the prevailing crisis.
While such speculations persist, Dr Ling has come out of this resignation announcement intact, and made sure he lives to the reputation of a cat of a politician who has nine lives.
But announcing his resignation twice is becoming much like someone who cried wolf.
The next cry will definitely be ignored.
12-01-2003, 09:52 AM
<font size="+2">"Is Dr Ling so indispensible?" asks Awang Sulung.
He says Dr Ling's action is nauseating.</font>
Ahad, 12, Januari, 2003
<font size="+1">HEBAT SANGATKAH DR. LING?</font>
AWANG tidak dapat menghormati pemimpin yang mempermain-mainkan soal letak jawatan. Andainya pemimpin itu sudah membuat keputusan hendak berbuat demikian, dia hendaklah berbuat demikian.
Tindak-tanduk Presiden MCA, Dr. Ling Liong Sik dalam hal ini sungguh memualkan. Bagaimanapun kebolehannya untuk kelihatan tenang dan mengekalkan sifat lemah lembutnya, berjaya menyembunyikan Dr. Ling yang sebenar.
Dr. Ling hendaklah sedar bahawa Kementerian Pengangkutan tidak akan runtuh tanpanya. Begitu juga MCA sebagai sebuah parti politik. Jika beliau benar-benar hendak berhenti, tiada apa yang boleh menyekatnya.
Umum lebih cenderung mempercayai bahawa Dr. Ling sebenarnya tidak mahu berhenti. Mereka lebih percaya beliau ada agenda lain dan sekali lagi sedang bermain politik.
Tapi dalam politik adegan yang sama tidak boleh dilakonkan lebih daripada sekali. Dr. Ling boleh terus menjadi menteri kabinet dan penyokong-penyokong kuatnya seperti Dr. Ting Chew Peh boleh bercakap berdegar-degar tentang kehebatannya, tapi pandangan orang terhadapnya tidak akan sama lagi.
Umum juga tahu bahawa di bawah pelan damai MCA, Dr. Ling dan timbalannya, Lim Ah Lek berjanji mengundur diri sebagai jalan keluar kepada kemelut MCA. Tapi ini tidak berlaku. Sebab itu MCA terus bergolak dan para pemimpinnya terus bercakaran.
Dr. Ling tidak sepatutnya menyusahkan Perdana Menteri dengan menyerahkan kepada beliau untuk membuat keputusan. Awang harap beliau tidak naik tocang dan menjadi besar kepala kerana sentiasa menikmati sokongan Perdana Menteri. Tanpa sokongan ini, Dr. Ling tidak akan ke mana.
Tentulah Perdana Menteri berada dalam keadaan serba salah jika Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden parti yang merupakan komponen kedua terbesar dalam Barisan Nasional tidak menganggotai kabinet. Ia boleh memberi gambaran bahawa terdapat masalah besar di antara parti itu dengan UMNO dan pucuk pimpinan kerajaan.
Awang juga tidak fikir UMNO keberatan melepaskan Dr. Ling, malah percaya, golongan muda dalam MCA sendiri menunggu hembusan angin perubahan.
Atau, apakah Dr. Ling, dalam persediaan menghadapi cabaran pada tahun 2005, ingin bertukar menjadi jaguh orang Cina dengan berada di luar kerajaan supaya beliau akan dapat memperjuangkan hak mereka dengan lebih lantang?
Jika Dr. Ling sudah penat bekerja dan merasakan khidmatnya kepada negara sudah cukup dan beliau ingin beristirahat, ada baiknya beliau melepaskan semua jawatan dan bersara terus.
Mungkin elok Awang mengingatkan Dr. Ling bahawa dunia ini fana - sementara sahaja. Wujudnya MCA di dunia ini pun sementara, begitu juga Dr. Ling dan Awang. Maka janganlah berkelakuan seolah-olah dunia akan terbalik tanpa kita.
12-01-2003, 09:58 AM
Sunday, January 12, 2003
<font size="+1">No plan to quit as president until succession issue settled - Dr Ling</font>
KAMPAR Jan 11 - MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik said today he has no plans to resign as the party chief but was willing to go if the succession issue can be solved before his term expires in 2005.
..."I cannot say I want to go tomorrow when you don't complete a lot of things. So, that's my meaning. I am not saying when (to step down)," he said.
Dr Ling, however, declined to answer when asked when he intends to retract his resignation letter to Dr Mahathir following the Prime Minister's statement today that he had not decided on the matter.
13-01-2003, 07:11 AM
Isnin, 13 Januari 2003
<font size="+1">Liong Sik bebas letak jawatan - Ah Lek</font>
KUALA LUMPUR 12 Jan. - Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik bebas untuk meletakkan jawatan sebagai Presiden MCA dalam tempoh terdekat ini sekiranya beliau mahu atau telah bersedia untuk berbuat demikian.
Timbalan Presiden MCA , Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek berkata, terpulang kepada Liong Sik untuk menentukan perkara tersebut kerana soal peletakan jawatan adalah hak beliau untuk memutuskannya.
"Ia seperti dalam permainan bola sepak. Sekarang ini bola di kaki beliau, biar beliau menentukannya dan kita harus menghormati apa jua keputusannya,'' katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia hari ini.
Ah Lek menyatakan demikian ketika diminta mengulas kenyataan Liong Sik hari ini yang belum bercadang untuk melepaskan jawatannya sebagai Presiden MCA dalam tempoh terdekat ini.
13-01-2003, 09:44 PM
NEW STRAITS TIMES
Monday, January 13, 2003 2.02pm
<font size="+1">Ah Lek's nagging getting to be irritating: Dr Ling</font>
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik said today the "nagging" by his deputy Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek is getting very irritating but he will remain patient.
Responding to a statement from Ah Lek yesterday that he was "playing politics" when making statements on his successor to the party presidency, Dr Ling said even if Ah Lek persisted in making such statements, he would continue to be patient.
"Whoever leads the MCA in future will be decided by the members and not by any single person," Dr Ling, who is also Transport Minister said.
15-01-2003, 01:26 AM
What USJ.com.my has been tipped-off and has been reporting on Ling-Soh shadow-play has finally come forefront.
Mark this space.
Tuesday, January 14, 2003, 7.56pm
<FONT SIZE="+1">Soh to ‘refile’ RM150 mln suit against Dr Ling</FONT>
By Jimmy Yeow and Ng Kar Yen
Businessman Datuk Soh Chee Wen said he would file another RM150 million suit against Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik, his son Hee Leong, Hee Leong's wife Carol Ong Lee Choo and Linksun Avenue Sdn Bhd.
At a packed news conference in a Subang Jaya hotel on Jan 14, Soh said he was prompted to file his claim again as he took exception to the Jan 8 news reports that quoted Dr Ling.
“I would be refiling the case very soon before the Chinese New Year. My earlier claim was dismissed on technical grounds,” Soh said.
Soh said since his return to Malaysia after an absence of three years, he had been struggling to make a come back on a personal and business level.
“The Jan 7, 2003 statement (by Dr Ling) was the last straw. So I can no longer keep silent, and today I want to set the record straight and I would be launching a series of actions to clear my name and let the public know the truth,” he said.
Dr Ling and the three others had in Sept 2001 won an application to set aside businessman Datuk Ho Seng Chuan's RM149.21 million suit against them. Ho had sued on behalf of Soh, who had given the power of attorney to the former.
The defendants were sued for money from the sale of shares purportedly owned by Soh. In the statement of claim dated Aug 14, 2000, Ho also sought interest and costs on behalf of Soh.
Earlier, when asked as to what Soh was going to reveal at his press conference, Dr Ling said: “I am not trying to read his mind.”
“It’s for you (the media) to read,” he added.
The minister was at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to officiate the KLIA Ekspres’ one-millionth passenger celebration.
15-01-2003, 01:32 AM
6:58pm Tue Jan 14th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+2">Ling's a 'liar', alleges Soh</FONT>
Businessman Soh Chee Wen today denounced his former political mentor, MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, as a "liar" for repeatedly denying previous business links between the duo.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/storyimages/070103soh%20chee%20wen01.jpg" ALIGN="LEFT">He accused Ling, who is also transport minister, of having abused his position to conduct business deals between 1996 and 1997.
The businessman, who is facing a commercial crime trial, cited Linksun Avenue Sdn Bhd's acquisition of Berjaya Industrial Bhd in late 1996 as an example.
"He (Ling) was involved from Day One, namely taking part in planning, negotiations and later business meetings to look for projects. We had meetings in his house and his ministry office. Yes, Ling used his ministry premises and facilities to conduct his businesses," he told a press conference at the Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel in Selangor.
Linksun Avenue was owned by Ling's eldest son Hee Leong who made a meteoric rise in the corporate world when he acquired Berjaya Industrial (later renamed Rekapacific Bhd) from business tycoon Vincent Tan for RM1.2 billion.
Soh said this afternoon's revelation was just "the beginning of a series of actions to clear my name and let the public know the truth".
Asked if he had documents to back his accusation, he replied: "I am tempted to ask him (Ling) to challenge me but I would urge him to think carefully before he rebuts anything I said today.
"I would not have said these things, knowing how powerful a minister can be, if I have nothing to back my allegations."
He said more details would be revealed in court when he re-files a suit against Ling, Hee Leong, Hee Leong's wife Carol Ong Lee Choo and Linksun Avenue, for RM149 million before Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 1.
However, Soh said he would not mind ceasing his "actions", including the law suit, if Ling agrees to pay back the money.
"I have no wish to make it into personal vendetta," he stressed.
He said the money would be useful for him to rebuild his business as well as settle part of his debts that amount to over RM200 million.
The original law suit was filed in June 2000 by Soh's lawyers after he failed to recover the money, said to have been raised from the sales of his six million shares in Autoway Holdings to facilitate Linksun Avenue's purchase of Berjaya Industrial.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the case on Sept 25, 2001 since Soh, who was charged a year before with defrauding a now defunct stockbroking firm of RM490 million, had fled the country.
He returned to face his charge last May. If found guilty, he will be fined not less than RM1 million or jailed for up to 10 years or both.
Asked what prompted this afternoon's press conference, Soh said it was Ling' s statement last week that he has won all the court cases against him in recent years because these were (based on) lies.
"He effectively called me a liar. That was the final straw, I am obliged to respond. He did not win the cases because he was innocent. The cases were struck out because of technicalities," Soh said.
"But he has mistaken my silence for weakness. There comes a time when the stone-throwing must stop."
Soh denied that his statement was in relation to the year-long factional fight within MCA.
"I don't stand to gain or lose anything if Ling steps down as a minister or MCA chief. It is totally irrelevant to me if he continues his tenure in the posts... I have no wish to be dragged into the MCA leadership struggle," he said.
Soh explained that his business relationship started with Ling (photo) when they reached an agreement in 1996.
"It was a strategic alliance - he would groom me up politically and in return, I would help him build a business empire which he can step into when he eventually retires, which he said would take place in 2002.
"As a side-thought, he asked me to groom his son in the business world. Then it was times of clouds, angels and roses. I linked Ling and his son to top businessmen in Hong Kong, Singapore, and London," said the former MCA central committee member.
Last week, Ling who has been MCA chief and a minister for 17 years, said he had submitted an undated resignation letter to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad last August.
Mahathir later said he has yet to decide the appropriate time to let Ling step down from his cabinet post.
15-01-2003, 01:38 AM
5:27pm Tue Jan 14th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Art of war, Ling-style</FONT>
...But despite Ling (Liong Sik) coming out on top in this little skirmish, he knows he is still at a disadvantage.
Much has changed since the succession-plan deal three years ago. Umno, especially prime-minister-in-waiting Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is eager to see a Team B-led MCA, and now that the PM is on the way out, Abdullah's views count.
To complicate matters, Lim (Ah Lek) is no longer in the mood to go, or at least he has been persuaded to see through the crisis. Team B, backed by key Umno leaders, has a new plan.
It goes something like this: Pressure Ling to step down, deputy leader Lim takes over. The new president will then appoint senior vice-president Chua Chui Meng, who is with Team B, as No 2.
When Ling is dead and buried, it is expected that most of Team A will defect since MCA - like most political parties in Malaysia - survives on a patronage system.
After the next general election, Lim will step down and Chua will be elevated as party leader. He, in turn, will appoint Lim's protégé, Chan Kong Choy, as deputy party chief.
And when the party polls are held in two years' time, there will be a relatively credible effort in cleaning the membership rolls to ensure that everyone respects the result of any future leadership contest.
Stability will then return to MCA and its members will live happily
together - until the next leadership tussle.
Given this, Ling is fast running out of time, and options.
15-01-2003, 10:24 PM
STRAITS TIMES Singapore
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
<font size="+1">MCA's Ling may quit by year-end</font>
Sources say Mahathir has asked the MCA chief to work on a plan that will see him and his deputy Lim Ah Lek replaced
By Brendan Pereira And Leslie Lau
DESPITE his vow to stay on until 2005, MCA president Ling Liong Sik could follow Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad into retirement by the end of the year.
The only issue standing between him and a life of more golf, travelling and less invective is a succession plan that will be accepted by the two warring factions in the Chinese-based political party.
Sources told The Straits Times that Dr Mahathir - aware that the deeply split MCA has become a lanced boil even to other parties in the ruling coalition - has directed Datuk Seri Ling to begin working on a plan that will see him and his nemesis, deputy president Lim Ah Lek, replaced.
This process will start today when the highest decision-making body of the MCA meets.
Party insiders are not under any illusions over the difficulty of this task.
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