Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan has handed in his letter of resignation as housing and local government minister to MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, an aide to Ka Chuan said Wednesday.
According to Bernama, the source said Ka Chuan had submitted an “undated resignation letter” after his defeat in the party elections on Oct 18. Ka Chuan lost to former health minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek in the contest for deputy president.
”Yes, he (Ka Chuan) did submit the resignation letter to Datuk Seri Ong (Tee Keat). That’s all I have to say,” the aide told Bernama before cutting off the conversation.
It is not immediately known whether Ka Chuan had submitted a resignation letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because, by procedure, a minister should address his resignation letter to the prime minister. Abdullah is currently on an official visit to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Party sources told Bernama that Ka Chuan decided to submit his resignation letter to Tee Keat first for the party president to recommend a replacement for the cabinet position as well as other posts.
In the MCA elections, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung lost in the contest for a post of vice-president while Deputy Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Teng Boon Soon failed to make it to the central committee.
Ka Chuan left for Tehran last Monday on a week-long official visit and is expected back in Malaysia this weekend. Calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.
It is learnt that Tee Keat has yet to act on Ka Chuan’s resignation letter, including informing the prime minister of the matter.
When asked about a news report in Sin Chew Daily that Ka Chuan had tendered his resignation, Tee Keat said, “I did not make any statement on the matter and you will have to ask the sources of the story in Sin Chew Daily.”
Tee Keat said it was untrue that he had made his suggestions for the four ministers’ posts for MCA candidates to Abdullah.
On whether he had received any resignation letter from Ka Chuan, Tee Keat said: “Once I make the recommendation (for the posts) to the Prime Minister, whether there is a resignation letter or not will not be important anymore.”
Ka Chuan won the Tanjung Malim parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election.
He was the party’s former secretary-general and Perak MCA chief before the party election on Oct 18. He was appointed the party History and Documentation bureau chief when Tee Keat announced the party’s new lineup on Nov 11.