Ong Tee Keat

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 who served as the Minister of Transport in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under former Prime Ministers Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak from March 2008 to June 2010, Deputy Minister of Higher Education in the BN administration under former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad and former Minister Mustapa Mohamed from February 2006 to March 2008, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports in the BN administration under former Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad as well as former Ministers Hishammuddin Hussein and Azalina Othman Said from December 1999 to February 2006, Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat under former Speaker Mohamed Zahir Ismail from June 1990 to November 1999 and Member of Parliament (MP) for Pandan from March 2004 to May 2013 and for Ampang Jaya from January 1989 to March 2004. He is a member of the opposition Heritage Party (WARISAN) and was a member of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a component party of the ruling BN coalition. He also served as the 8th President of MCA from October 2008 to March 2010.

Ong Tee Keat
Minister of Transport
In office
19 March 2008  4 June 2010
MonarchMizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Badawi
Najib Razak
DeputyLajim Ukin (2008–2009)
Abdul Rahim Bakri (2009–2010)
Robert Lau Hoi Chew (2009–2010)
Preceded byChan Kong Choy
Succeeded byKong Cho Ha
Deputy Minister of Higher Education
In office
14 February 2006  18 March 2008
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
MinisterMustapa Mohamed
Preceded byFu Ah Kiow
Succeeded byIdris Haron
Hou Kok Chung
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports
In office
15 December 1999  14 February 2006
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Abdullah Badawi
MinisterHishammuddin Hussein (1999–2004)
Azalina Othman Said (2004–2006)
Preceded byLoke Yuen Yow
Succeeded byLiow Tiong Lai
ConstituencyAmpang Jaya
Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat
In office
11 June 1990  10 November 1999
Serving with Mohamed Amin Daud
Juhar Mahiruddin
MonarchsAzlan Shah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
SpeakerMohamed Zahir Ismail
ConstituencyAmpang Jaya
8th President of the
Malaysian Chinese Association
In office
18 October 2008  28 March 2010
DeputyChua Soi Lek
Preceded byOng Ka Ting
Succeeded byChua Soi Lek
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Pandan
In office
21 March 2004  5 May 2013
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byRafizi Ramli (PKR)
Majority14,112 (2004)
2,961 (2008)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Ampang Jaya
In office
28 January 1989  21 March 2004
Preceded byLim Ann Koon (BNMCA)
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Majority4,250 (1989)
13,350 (1990)
31,061 (1995)
7,767 (1999)
Personal details
Born (1956-11-22) 22 November 1956
Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyMalaysian Chinese Association (MCA)
Heritage Party (WARISAN)
(since 2022)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
SpouseChooi Yoke Chun (徐玉珍)
Children3 daughters
Residence(s)Taman Midah, Cheras

Personal life

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 Tan Sri Dato' Sri Lee Kim Sai in 1986.

Ong is married to Puan Sri Datin Sri 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

After becoming a full-time politician 1989, he contested the Ampang Jaya parliamentary seat in the 28 January 1989 by-election, upon the resignation of incumbent, Lim Ann Koon. 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 Parti Melayu Semangat 46 (S46) 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

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 was 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 Liow Tiong Lai still was the legitimate deputy president of MCA as it is elected by the Central Committee. Liow was later removed from the deputy president's post by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) 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

Ong Tee Keat contested in the re-election in early March 2010 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

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]

Resignation from MCA

On 2 March 2017, it was revealed that Ong had resigned from MCA with effect from 2 January 2017, citing the reason that he wanted to remain as an ordinary citizen.[8]

Joining Warisan

On 28 October 2022, Ong had revealed to the news media that he has make a political comeback by campaigning for the parliamentary seat of Pandan. He state that a lot had changed in the Pandan constituency since he left, with constituents telling him there were no festivals to foster unity like he used to host when he was MP. “Warisan gives me a platform to champion integrity and a corrupt free Malaysia – issues which I have always been passionate about.” he said.[9] [10] [11]He lost the election to Rafizi Ramli from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and People's Justice Party (PKR) by a minority of 70,679 votes, garnering only 3,323 votes, which is 2.87% of the total votes and losing the deposit of RM 10,000. For the deposit to be refunded, he has to garner at least 14,457 votes, which is 12.5% of the total votes.

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[12][13]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1989 P88 Ampang Jaya, Selangor Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 23,719 54.59% Harun Idris (S46) 19,469 44.80% 43,848 4,250 63.97%
Wang Ah Hoong
109 0.25%
Syed Idrus Syed Ahmad
49 0.11%
Loh Ah Ha
43 0.10%
Adam Daim
42 0.10%
Che Bakar Said
22 0.05%
1990 Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 39,304 60.23% Zainal Rampak (S46) 25,954 39.77% 66,767 13,350 74.92%
1995 P92 Ampang Jaya, Selangor Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 45,282 76.10% Wan Mohd Fuaad Wan Abdullah (S46) 14,221 23.90% 61,608 31,061 71.68%
1999 Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 40,669 55.28% Sivarasa Rasiah (PKR) 32,902 44.72% 74,869 7,767 75.98%
2004 P100 Pandan, Selangor Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 26,721 66.76% Iskandar Abdul Samad (PAS) 12,609 31.50% 40,024 14,112 69.15%
2008 Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 25,236 53.12% Syed Syahir Syed Mohamud (PKR) 22,275 46.88% 48,309 2,961 74.90%
2022 Ong Tee Keat (WARISAN) 3,323 2.87% Rafizi Ramli (PKR) 74,002 63.98% 115,656 48,296 77.76%
Muhammad Rafique Zubir Albakri (PAS) 25,706 22.23%
Leong Kok Wee (MCA) 11,664 10.09%
Nadia Hanafiah (PEJUANG) 961 0.83%


Honours of Malaysia


  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. "Ong, Chua bury hatchet for party's sake". 22 October 2009.
  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.
  8. "Ex-MCA president Ong Tee Keat quits MCA". New Straits Times. 2 March 2017.
  9. The Star. 28 October 2022 Retrieved 1 November 2022. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. "GE15: Ex-MCA president Ong Tee Keat confirms comeback under Warisan". The Vibe. 29 October 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  11. "Ong Tee Keat joins Warisan, eyes old Pandan seat". Free Malaysia Today. 28 October 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  12. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 11 July 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  13. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  14. "IGP leads King's honours list". Lee Yen Mun. The Star. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  15. "Sultan: Time to be prudent". The Star. 25 October 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  16. Selangor MB heads list of Sultan's honours recipients. New Straits Times. 8 March 1991.
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