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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ong wants Najib to retain 4 MCA ministers

PUTRAJAYA, April 8 — By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani | malaysianinsider

MCA wants to retain the four Cabinet slots it has in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s new line-up to be announced tomorrow despite talk of a smaller administration.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said he has asked the new prime minister to retain the same number of MCA seats in the cabinet which is speculated to be with just over 20 ministries.

“We have agreed on one understanding that is we all realise the PM’s prerogative in determining the members of the cabinet but MCA would like to voice the hope that its current numbers be retained,” Ong told reporters after chairing a party presidential council meeting.

Apart from the four Cabinet positions, MCA also has six deputy minister slots. Some leaders have been asking for Barisan Nasional to create a second deputy prime minister's post to be filled by MCA.

Ong added that the name list given Najib consists of MCA leaders according to the party hierarchy and their status as a member of the parliament or the senate.

”This means that those appointed as a member of the cabinet must be from the parliament or the senate," he added.

The Transport Minister also refused to answer on whether the current MCA cabinet members will be retained and that it was between him and the prime minister to discuss.

MCA will analyse Barisan Nasional’s losses in two by-elections yesterday although Ong pointed out that both constituencies have never been with MCA. The ruling coalition lost most of the non-Malay votes in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.

He said that the scenario in the two areas were different from what MCA experienced during the by election in Kuala Terengganu where Barisan Nasional won more votes from the Chinese community.

“In that area, there is an MCA seat in the state assembly. That is the difference,” he said.

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