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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Touching 'untouchable' Tun reveals MCA's irrelevance


In the not too distant past, Tuns and MCA presidents were considered untouchable by the long arms of the law.

But this changed yesterday, and with it, said former MCA vice-president Chua Jui Ming, the death knell has been sounded for the second-largest party in Barisan Nasional.

Chua, who is now with PKR, was commenting on the decision to charge former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, who bears the highest honofiric title in the country.

He was charged in the Sessions Court under Sections 417 and 418 of the Penal Code in connection with the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, and could land in jail if convicted.

The incident sent shockwaves down many a powerful spine, and Chua said it was “blindingly clear” that the Chinese party had outlived its purpose for Umno.

“The Tuns and MCA presidents have always been untouchable with the exception of (former MCA president) Tan Koon Swan,” he told FMT.

“Ling's case is a sign that Umno has lost its faith in MCA to pull in the votes for BN in the next general election,” he said.

“The floodgates are now open for other MCA leaders to be hauled up. Umno must have thought twice about such a move if MCA was still relevant. MCA now needs to wake up to the realities of politics and plan a course of action that is consequential upon the current scenario,” he added.

'Haul up all who are involved'

The Johor PKR chief also reiterated the call for all those embroiled in the PKFZ imbroglio to be brought to court, including the officers in the ministries of transport and finance.

Earlier today, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and PKR treasurer William Leong demanded that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Attorney-General pursue other high-profile figures involved.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang had asked if former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was known to be close to Ling, and his ministers from the 2002 Cabinet would testify in the hearing.

Meanwhile, Chua said Ling could not have single-handedly misled the Cabinet into approving Port Klang Authority's purchase of the PKFZ land with 15-year repayment with compound interest instead of 10 years.

“How could he hide this information from the prime minister – who is also the finance minister - when the valuation falls under the Finance Ministry?”

“It's not fair to only pounce on Ling. There are a host of others that must also be made accountable,” he added.

The PKR leader also speculated that Ling's case could be an attempt to divert the public's attention from Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial.

“We have seen this kind of show before in the Eric Chia case. He was used as a distraction from the Perwaja Steel fiasco and he suffered for so many years as a result,” he said.

“My wish for Ling is that he be tried justly and that he not suffer the same fate as Anwar. He said yesterday that he is in a palace of justice and can depend on justice. I hope he's right,” he added.

courtesy of FMT

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