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Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Inconvenient Truth About Why Chua Soi Lek Was Sacked

According to Special Branch intelligence, it took just three meetings, arranged by one "Umno Lim" in 1½ months and the deal was struck. Two meetings took place in Eastin Hotel, PJ and one in Corus Hotel (owned by CSL's close friend Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng).

By I Love Malaysia

Those who believe Chua Soi Lek was expelled due to the sex DVD scandal also believe that Elvis is still alive and living out the remaining years of his life in Pangkor Laut Resort. No one, not even Ong Tee Kiat's inner circle, buy the idea. How could they? The sex scandal was just an inconvenient excuse Ong Tee Kiat had to fall back on to give his deputy the boot.

"Inconvenient" because OTK knew the sex scandal was not something the public would easily buy. Not the post-March 8 voters, who's emboldened by the tsunami in the last election, buoyed even further by the LDP's heavy losses in Japan. Voters have wisened up from Umno's excesses and now have low tolerance to even the mildest whiff of leaders trying to subvert democratic processes to prolong their own political lives. But not many people know that OTK had to bite the bullet, so to speak, because he knew real, live ones could end up in him.

It's no exaggeration - in fact, it's even an open secret - that the underworld has already put a price on Ong Tee Kiat's head. Bukit Aman knew this long ago and has dispatched another bodyguard to keep Ong out of harm's way. So, he has 2 persons guarding him now, which is unheard of for a Minister. And it's not any ordinary bodyguard. The Malay chap is from UTK - an elite squad that offers protection to the King, PM and the DPM. It is something Umno's mouthpiece, the NST has also reported in its September 3 issue (

To understand why CSL was sacked, let's go back to Oct 20, 2008, two days after the MCA election. The meeting took place in a hotel in Putrajaya. The former Health Minister wasted no time on niceties and went straight to the point: Make me a Minister.

He looked at his boss OTK in the eye, waiting for a response, but the newly-elected maverick president knew better. After all, the issue of vacancy did not arise as Najib had not taken over as PM yet and the issue of filling up a post did not arise. It was months later that OTK found out that CSL had worn a wire and secretly recorded the conversation that night in the hope of trapping the newly-minted president. (CSL had gotten quite close to Edward Chong, an expert on such matters from Puchong, after his tryst in Hotel Katerina was beamed to computers worldwide.)

Feeling somewhat let down with OTK's cold treatment, CSL hatched a sinister plan: call an EGM. That's the only way for him to kill off the president politically. He knew that at 62, time was not on his side, especially since the party's election, due in 2011, could be postponed in view of the 13th general election. And he knew OTK well enough to know that the strong-headed leader would ostracise him. Yes, CSL was planning an EGM when the Ong-Chua team was barely one week into their office.

Drawing from the 1980s Neo Yee Pan-Tan Koon Swan experience, he plotted an ambitious comeback - more ambitious than his election as deputy president following his fall from grace after being caught with his pants down literally. Hence, a covert operation has begun to harvest as many signatures as possible for the EGM to be called.

But CSL knew he could only "harvest" what he "sowed". That's when he went back to the only basics he knew: throw money - not just money, but lots of them - so much that you'd think he prints them behind his mansion at the super-elite Persiaran Mempari in Sierramas, Sg Buloh. The modus operandi worked well during the October 2008 party election. He upset the favourite, Ong Ka Chuan, who had the full backing of the then president Ka Ting, by 114 votes.

If it worked well then (to win the election), it should work well now (to get rid of OTK). The going rate was low at first (RM3,500 per signature). But as pressure built up, he hiked the rate to RM15,000 per signature. Can you imagine just signing a piece of stupid paper and being paid what to many delegates was probably three times their monthly income?

But therein lies a problem for CSL: his cash reserve amassed during his heydays in the Ministry of Health was drying up faster than he could get his thing up with the magical blue pill. This was in late March when it dawned on him that there was another person who hated OTK as much as he did. And that person is Kuala Dimensi's Tiong King Sing, who's made so much cash from PKFZ that he could hire Daim Zainuddin to be his gardener if he wanted to.

According to Special Branch intelligence, it took just three meetings, arranged by one "Umno Lim" in 1½ months and the deal was struck. Two meetings took place in Eastin Hotel, PJ and one in Corus Hotel (owned by CSL's close friend Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng). Tiong agreed to bankroll CSL to topple OTK. In return, CSL would cease all action against Kuala Dimensi when he becomes the MCA president. In no time, RM100 million was raised.

But OTK painted an inaccurate picture about the RM100 million to his party members during their closed-door briefings. It's not like TKS had given the money to CSL in cold hard cash. Unless you live in Fort Knox, nobody would want to keep that much cash at home. The money was to be given to CSL in phases to avoid easy detection. The one entrusted to handle the cash is Tee Siew Keong, his former political secretary in the Ministry of Health whose hands are soaked in blood because he ALWAYS dragged his feet whenever approached for help, especially cases involving aged parents of MCA grassroots who needed help to get into places like IJN.

The stage is set, the war chest replenished and CSL is ready for his Armageddon. But he hit a snag: delegates are shying away from signing his EGM requisition, no thanks to the sudden surge in OTK's popularity after he came out with guns blazing at "evil contractors" who milked PKFZ like a bottomless goldmine. By then, Tiong was angry he had not been able to "reap", what he had "sowed".

Besides, there was a tacit understanding that CSL would be able to get rid of OTK before the Minister of Transport made public the Pricewater House report, which opened the Pandora Box on Tiong like how the "correct, correct, correct... " video hit VK Lingam. That was the start of Tiong's nightmare, which could only end, possibly after 15 years in Sungai Buloh.

This was when Tiong decided to take matters into his own hands. He made use of his triads link. Everyone in Bintulu knew Tiong as the Godfather of the Hua Kiew Road Gang. Despite opposition from his party SPDP boss William Mawan, Tiong decided unilaterally to expand the party to the Peninsula. He needed a base for his machai to operate from to finish off OTK, and subsequently cover their tracks. Who would believe that a Sarawak-based party could ever find support in Peninsula, which is already saturated with BN component parties?

Tee Keat found out about Tiong's grand design and was not taking chances. One of Tee Keat's informers is his own deputy minister, Robert Lau who is from SUPP, which has always viewed SPDP with suspicion. When OTK shared this with his inner circle, they raised one concern which totally slipped the MCA president's mind: if one day he ended up like JFK, Chua Soi Lek will automatically be the president.

That's when MCA will be under the thumb of Umno, just as MCA was trying to break free from it after the March 8 election. The man, tainted by sex videos would be too indebted to speak up in BN meetings. Besides, several police reports had already been lodged over his oral sex crime and it would be something hanging over him each time he spoke up about getting rid of the 30 per cent quota or ask for more Chinese schools to be built. And if CSL attends international conferences as a Minister, he would be subject to cheeky giggles behind his back by the international community, who has seen him having sex - probably the only minister in the world.

No, Ong Tee Keat was not going to let that happen. He had worked too hard and risked too much to see his efforts, like in PKFZ, being unravelled. The party may not have fully recovered the support from the Chinese community but it's already heading in the right direction. MCA could not go back to the subservient days of Ling Liong Sik and Ong Kah Ting. He knew MCA would go down the treacherous route of self-destruction if the party's Father of Money Politics were to take over.

After several rounds of discussions with his inner circle, OTK made the painful decision: CSL had to be sacked. For the sake of MCA, he had no choice. For the sake of the Chinese community, he had no choice for Gerakan has already gone down the road of oblivion. OTK would not allow MCA to go down the same route - not even over his own dead body.

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