JOHOR BARU: MCA, though respectful of former members Datuk Tee Siew Kiong and Datuk Goh Tee Tee’s decision to quit the party, has told them not to continue tarnishing the party’s name.

In a strongly worded statement, Johor MCA liaison committee deputy chairman Datuk Lim Pay Hen and MCA presidential council member Tan Tuan Peng hit out at Tee and Goh, who blamed their decision on the party president.

They called the seasoned politicians’ move as “categorically biased, baseless and nonsensical”.

“Tee’s allegation that he was not fielded as a candidate in the March 12 Johor election due to party infighting and that it was the fault of MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who is the state MCA chief, is far from the truth.

“Firstly, Tee is the former adviser to ex-Johor mentri besar Datuk Hasni Mohamad. So what does it mean when he was not fielded in the recent election?

“Is it possible that when Hasni wanted to retake the Pulai Sebatang seat for his Wanita Umno division chief to contest, Tee had no inkling about it?

“Moreover, Umno secretary-general and Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had openly announced that Umno wanted to take back the seat prior to the state election,” said Lim, who is also an MCA central committee member.

He said that subsequently, Tee demanded to contest in the Layang-Layang seat, which had not been MCA’s since 2004.

Lim said it was a fact that Tee had had deep-seated animosity with the leaders in the division for many years which had also caused a backlash from the Simpang Renggam division.

“His claim that the party president had never informed the division about the exchange of the Pulai Sebatang seat is totally nonsensical.

“On Feb 24, when the party’s top leadership was informed that Pulai Sebatang was being contested by Umno, Dr Wee recommended Tee contest in the Puteri Wangsa seat, but the latter refused.

“Tee’s reply was that he was not afraid of being defeated but was worried that he would not be able to provide his service in such a big constituency – more than 10 MCA leaders witnessed him saying this,” he added.

The Layang-Layang seat was also not given to MCA to contest in the recent state election.

Before 2004, Datuk Low Boon Hong was the Layang-Layang state assemblyman for several terms, but the traditional MCA seat had since been replaced by the Pulai Sebatang seat in Pontian.

As for the former Ledang MCA division chief Goh, attempts by the MCA central and state leaders to contact him before the election went in vain, said Tan.

Tan, also the Johor MCA state election operation chief, said that when the party president and deputy president finally met with Goh, he demanded a senatorship before he would campaign for the party.

“The party could not accede to his demand and following events showed that he indeed did not campaign for the party during the Johor election.

“The fact that he boycotted candidate Ong Chee Siang was a well-known truth in Tangkak, an act which also upset several non-governmental organisations, Ledang Umno and MIC divisions.

“Neither the party’s disciplinary board nor the presidential council falsely accused him,” he added.

Tee was the three-term Pulai Sebatang assemblyman from 2004 to 2018 while Goh was Tangkak assemblyman for one term from 2008 to 2013.

Both Tee and Goh were referred to the party’s disciplinary board for their public displeasure over the party’s decision not to field them as candidates in the state election.They were both suspended for five years following an inquiry, which led to their decision not to submit an appeal.

Tee announced that he quit the party on May 25 and Goh resigned on May 28.