Ahad, November 01, 2009


Newly-elected MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Saturday that he supported a call by 16 central committee (CC) members of the party for MCA to hold another Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to facilitate fresh party polls.

Liow said he hoped party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat would heed the call.

"Since 16 CC members have requisitioned for another EGM, and this has also been supported by CC members who had backed former deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, now it depends on Ong to solve the problem," he told reporters after opening the 9th Asean Congress of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2009, here.

Liow, who is also Health Minister, said this when asked to comment this latest development in the beleagured party.

On suggestions by the same CC members for the entire CC to resign en masse, Liow said :"If all the CC members agree, they can stage a mass resignation and accelerate a fresh election."

On Thursday, the group of 16 CC members, including party vice-president Tan Kok Hon, Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong and Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun submitted a requisition for MCA to hold an EGM to call for fresh party polls.

Under the party's constitution, an EGM can be called three ways -- directed by the party president, requisitioned by one-third of the CC members or requistioned by one-third of the central delegates.

Liow said he believed holding fresh polls was one of the solutions to build up the party's integrity.

He also admitted that after the CC meeting on Oct 15, he felt that a fresh poll was not needed because he believed Ong and the CC were able to straighten out the party's problems.

However, the party crisis developed beyond his expectations, and thus a fresh election was the best way to settle the problems besetting MCA, he said.

MCA held an EGM on Oct 10 to resolve the problems in the party but despite a unity plan announced by the principal players, Ong and Dr Chua, who had been at loggerheads prior to it (EGM), leadership problems in the party continued unabated.

On other matters, Liow said the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill being drafted by the Health Ministry would be tabled in Parliament in March.

Once approved, he said, the ministry would get more funding to help develop the industry.

He said since the national policy on TCM was launched in 2001, it was already being taught in certain institutions of higher learning and practised at some government hospitals.

Its scope could be expanded further and safety aspects assured through proper legislation, he added.

TCM covers areas like homeopathy, chiropractics, accupuncture, traditional massage and others.