Former MCA deputy secretary-general Loke Yuen Yow has confirmed that he mooted a second deputy prime minister’s position for MCA back in 2009.
However, Loke said that he did so in his personal capacity.
According to a report by Sin Chew Daily’s evening edition today, he said the appointment of a Chinese as the second deputy prime minister will show that MCA was being respect and allow the party to carry out its functions more efficiently.
He said this will also help MCA to draw Chinese support.
Last week, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad kicked up a storm when he told a forum in Putrajaya that DAP was eyeing the deputy prime minister’s post in the event that Pakatan Harapan wins the next election.
Immediately, Umno actors had used the issue to spook the Malay community while DAP denied having made such claims.
Mahathir later clarified that he had mistakenly mixed up what Loke said with DAP.
Today, Loke refused to respond to Mahathir’s comments because he was no longer a MCA leader.
Dr M got burnt
Loke believed that the position of first deputy prime minister should remain be reserved for Umno because the federal constitution would not allow a non-Muslim or non-bumiputera to be prime minister.
However, the position of second deputy prime minister should go to MCA because of its contributions to Malaysia and that other races would accept a Chinese filling this position.
He said that although he had made the comment in his personal capacity, it was reflective of what MCA grassroots wanted in 2009.
Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong said Loke’s comment could not be taken as a party stand.
He urged DAP to stop using the issue at MCA’s expense.
On Mahathir’s comments, Wee believed that the former premier was trying to test the water, but was met with brickbats instead and was now in fire fighting mode to avoid losing Malay support.
Wee said DAP is currently has the most number of seats in the Dewan Rakyat (37 seats) and it would not be strange for them to negotiate for government positions.