Ong Tee Keat

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Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato' Sri
Ong Tee Keat
8th Malaysian Chinese Association President
In office
18 October 2008 – 28 March 2010
Preceded by Ong Ka Ting
Succeeded by Chua Soi Lek
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Pandan
In office
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Rafizi Ramli
Malaysian Minister of Transport
In office
18 March 2008 – 4 June 2010
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi
Najib Razak
Preceded by Chan Kong Choy
Succeeded by Kong Cho Ha
Personal details
Born (1956-11-22) 22 November 1956 (age 58)
Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political party Malaysian Chinese Association
Spouse(s) Chooi Yoke Chun (徐玉珍)
Children 3 daughters
Residence Taman Midah, Cheras
Occupation Politician
Profession Engineer
Religion Buddhism

Tan Sri Dato' Sri Ong Tee Keat (simplified Chinese: 翁诗杰; traditional Chinese: 翁詩傑; pinyin: Wēng Shījié; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ong Si-kia̍t; born 22 November 1956) is a Malaysian politician. He was a member of the Parliament of Malaysia until 2013, the Transport Minister in the Malaysian federal cabinet from 18 March 2008 to 4 June 2010 and the 8th president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).

Personal life[edit]

The son of a fishmonger, Ong was an active grassroots MCA member even while at varsity. Educated at Confucian High School in Kuala Lumpur, Ong went on to the prestigious Methodist Boys' School for Form Six studies. Six years after graduating as a mechanical engineer, and while enjoying a lucrative post at an engineering firm, he quit to become political secretary to the then Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Lee Kim Sai in 1986.

Ong is married to Datin Seri Chooi Yoke Chun and has three daughters. Despite being Chinese educated, Ong is fully trilingual in Mandarin, English and Malay.

Ong won several literary awards for his works was once a columnist for Chinese daily Sin Chew Jit Poh. His articles ran from 1979 to 1986.

Political career[edit]

After becoming a full-time politician in 1989, he contested the Ampang Jaya parliamentary seat. He faced a tough challenge in his maiden effort to be a member of parliament when he was pitted against former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Harun Idris who was standing on a Semangat 46 ticket.[1] Ong beat the former Umno strongman by 4,500 votes. He went on to hold the seat for four terms before contesting and winning the newly created Pandan parliamentary seat in the 2004 general election. He successfully defended the seat in the 2008 general election.

When Ong was MCA Youth chief, he criticised the party top brass for the decision in 2002 to acquire Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd. A few years later, he was censured by the Cabinet for speaking out at the shoddy renovation work at a Chinese school in Muar, Johor.

Ong was appointed to the federal Cabinet after the 2008 election, as the Minister for Transport. He had previously been Deputy Youth and Sports Minister and Deputy Higher Education Minister.

MCA presidency[edit]

In October 2008, Ong was elected MCA president, while Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was elected deputy president.[2] This set forth a tumultuous partnership, and eventually Dr Chua expelled from the party by the Disciplinary Committee for his involvement in a sex scandal.[3]

An extraordinary general meeting of the MCA was held on 10 October 2009 in which a vote of no confidence was passed against Ong and his deputy, Chua Soi Lek.[4] Ong Tee Keat refuses to resign. Instead, he and Chua have agreed to bury the hatchet to unite and strengthen the party without any conditions under a "greater unity" plan. He said Dato' Liow Tiong Lai still as legitimate deputy president of MCA as it is elected by the Central Committee. Dato'Sri Liow was later removed from the deputy president's post by the Registrar of Societies which declared that the post was never vacant to begin with.[5]

Some Central Committees who were previously supporting Ong, led by Liow Tiong Lai, turned against Ong and attempted to demand for a re-election for the Central Committee. They were supported by MCA Youth Chief, Wee Ka Siong, and also the MCA Women Chief, Chew Mei Fun. Finally, these Central Committees, and also a few other CCs led by Chua Soi Lek, together resigned and forced a re-election, as they have achieved at least 2/3 majority of the CC, as per the party constitution.

Loss of MCA presidency and Cabinet post[edit]

Ong Tee Keat contested in the re-election to defend his Presidency, against his former Deputy, Chua Soi Lek, and also his predecessor, Ong Ka Ting, who came back in popular demand. He did not appoint any partner to contest for the Deputy Presidency, unlike Chua who appointed Kong Cho Ha and Ong Ka Ting who appointed Liow Tiong Lai.

Ong Tee Keat and Ong Ka Ting were both defeated by Chua Soi Lek. Later in 2010, and as a consequence, Ong Tee Keat was dropped from the federal Cabinet.[6]

Exit from Parliament[edit]

The Barisan Nasional coalition left Ong out of its list of candidates for the 2013 election. He considered recontesting his Pandan seat as an independent, but ultimately decided against it. Barisan Nasional lost the seat to the Rafizi Ramli of the People's Justice Party (PKR).[7]


  1. ^ MCA needs to stay relevant, The Star, 5 May 2008
  2. ^ Tee Keat wins, Soi Lek is MCA No. 2 The Star. 18 October 2008
  3. ^ Soi Lek expelled Malaysiakini. 26 August 2009
  4. ^ "EGM Votes No-Confidence in Ong, Reinstates Dr Chua Only As A Member". Bernama. 10 October 2009. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Ong Tee Keat dropped in cabinet reshuffle". The Sun. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Chooi, Clara (20 April 2013). "Tee Keat opts out of Pandan contest". Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 

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