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PETALING JAYA: Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen are in the list of MCA candidates, ending weeks of intense speculation over their purported retirement.
Dr Fong, also an MCA vice-president, is a four-term Selandar MP while Dr Ng, the Wanita MCA chief, is a two-term Raub MP.
One of the reasons for speculation on their retirement was their age â€“ Dr Fong is 64 and Dr Ng is 62.
Nevertheless, it is learnt that they will be retained due to their seniority in the party hierarchy.
Four-term Alor Star MP Datuk Chor Chee Heung , 53, and three-term Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Tan Chai Ho, 59, will also be defending their seats.
Tan is Deputy Home Affairs Minister while Chor is Port Klang chairman.
With the exclusion of the four incumbent MPs, the list of retiring the party MPs is now down to at least 12 (see table).
They include Deputy Culture Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Wong Kam Hoong, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim, Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng and International Trade and Industries parliamentary secretary Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew.
The rest are senior MPs and former ministers like Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh, a former two-term housing and local government minister, and Datuk Chua Jui Meng, a former two-term health minister, Datuk Loke Yuen Yow, a former deputy minister, and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, a one-term MP and health minister until his resignation last month.
The youngest of the “retirees” will be first-term Kelana Jaya MP Loh Seng Kok, 46.
At the state level, at least 25 assemblymen are expected to step down, including several executive councillors (excos)
The excos include Datuk Oui Ah Lan, Datuk Beh Heng Seong, Datuk Tang See Hang, Datuk Seah Kwi Tong and Datuk Freddie Long Hoo Hin.
Meanwhile, nine MCA assemblymen will be going for parliamentary seats in the elections.
One of them is Kulim’s Boey Chin Gan, 43, who is going for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat.
Two MCA MPs going for state seats are Kluang’s Hoo Seong Chang and Rasah’s Datuk Goh Siow Huat.
Hoo is going for the Paloh state seat and Goh, the Mambau state seat.
There will also be a number of new and young faces in the MCA list.
Among them is Carol Chew Chee Lin, 27, a double degree holder from an Australian university and Dr Ng’s private confidential secretary, who is tipped to be contesting the Seputeh parliamentary seat.
KUALA LUMPUR: A one-stop centre to be set up in three years will help fashion apparel design manufacturers compete in the international market, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.
She said most of the over 200 manufacturers involved in the industry were unable to expand their business due to inadequate trading area and lack of financial backing.
“Therefore, the establishment of the Kenanga Wholesale City will be the first such centre to assist manufacturers in the small and medium enterprises clinch a share of the international market,” she told reporters after a soft launch of the Kenanga Wholesale City at Plaza UE3 near here on Wednesday.
Dr Ng said she had seen such centres in several places in China and was very impressed with the concept.
“Locals and foreigners will be able to shop here without the hassle of running from one place to another.
“We want to attract foreigners, especially those from the neighbouring country, to spend three days and pick out all that they want and go home,” she added.
Dr Ng said the centre would also help young designers to showcase their talents and strengthen the country’s service industry.
Dr Ng…MCA has been working with the Government to help improve Chinese schools.
SUNGAI PETANI: MCA has helped to improve the quality of Chinese schools in the country over the years, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said.
She said seven new Chinese primary schools were built in the country last year while 23 schools were relocated to urban areas.
“The new facilities have allowed an additional 27,000 pupils to register in these schools this year,” she said.
Of about 600,000 Chinese pupils who registered in Year One nationwide this year, 90% went to Chinese schools, she added.
“MCA has always been working with the Government to help improve facilities in Chinese schools nationwide and attract more pupils,” she said at a Chinese New Year dinner at Fu Te Shi temple hall in Sungai Lalang, near here, on Friday. It was organised by Merbok MCA division.
Dr Ng said the Barisan Nasional Government had helped provide a conducive environment for all races in the country.
“The economy of the Chinese in the country had improved tremendously over the last 50 years and it is because of an able Government that we have enjoyed a good life,” she said.
Also present were State MCA chief Datuk Beh Heng Seong, State Wanita chief and Padang Serai MP Datuk Lim Bee Kau and other MCA leaders.
Ladies doing their shopping at the Taman Cheras wet market got a Valentine’s Day surprise when Beliawanis MCA members went around handing out red roses.
About 10 Beliawanis (Wanita MCA Young Women Bureau) members including chief Carol Chew gave out 100 stalks of roses at the market.
“We want to share the joy of Valentine’s with the people,” said Chew.
Cheras MCA service centre director Dr Jeffrey Goh, joined Chew by giving out Mandarin oranges at the same venue.
Charming gesture: Goh (left) and Chew distributing mandarin oranges and roses to women traders at the Taman Cheras wet market.
“Sixty percent of the voters in Cheras are women, and we hope they can give the MCA a chance to serve them,” said Goh.
Among the things he wants to implement to help women are a subsidised day-care centre in Cheras for single mothers because the high cost of day-care for their children makes it hard to earn a living and break the poverty cycle.
“I also know that safety is an issue close to the heart of women so I’ve been working hard to improve safety. Cheras MCA managed to get two police community beats in Taman Yu Lek and Taman Midah,” he said.
However, he said they faced limitations because they do not have the funds as they do not have a representation in the government.
Goh felt he had a 90% chance of contesting the Cheras parliamentary seat. “I believe that if I am given the opportunity, I can do more for the people in Cheras in the next five years. All I ask if for the people to give me a chance. If I don’t perform in that five years, I will step down,” he said.
Asked if she was contesting the Seputeh parliamentary seat, a DAP stronghold, the 27-year-old Chew said: “We have given suggestions to the party president (Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting) but nothing is confirmed. However, if I am chosen to contest, we have a strong team at Beliawanis who will provide the support for our candidates.”
As a potential candidate, she does not feel that her young age is a setback.
“I’ve been involved in politics for the past five years and I’m always willing to learn. It’s good that youths have a representative that can make decisions for them,” said Chew, who is also the private secretary to Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.
Meanwhile, the people in Cheras are concerned about issues that affect their everyday life.
“I want someone that can take care of the town in the long run, not someone who makes promises and leaves,” said Taman Cheras resident Lim Meng Loong, 63.
Belinda Loh, 46, from Taman Desa Aman, said she was worried about the rising cost of goods like flour and petrol. “When the price of petrol goes up, it affects everything else,” said Loh.