KUALA LUMPUR (June 25): MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai today rejoined the cabinet after an absence of 13 months. Liow, 53, who hails from Melaka, made his debut in the cabinet in 2008, holding the health portfolio until the 13th general election last year. He stayed out of the cabinet in accordance with a 2012 MCA decision to reject all government posts, should the party perform worse than the 2008 general election. The decision was rescinded at an MCA extraordinary general meeting in February this year. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Liow was made Deputy Youth and Sports Minister in February 2006. He successfully defended the Bentong Parliamentary constituency for four consecutive terms since 1999.
Liow holds a degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and was head of UKM Chinese Consultative Council. His involvement in politics began when he joined MCA in 1981 and later became the personal assistant to MCA Deputy President Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai from 1988 to 1989. He was appointed political secretary to Human Resources Minister Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek from 1996 to 1999. In the last general election, he defeated Wong Tack of DAP with a majority of 379 votes. Liow was embroiled in a controversy when he was among 15 MCA Youth Central Committee members who resigned in an attempt to force a new party election in December 2001. On Dec 21 last year, Liow won the MCA presidential election for the2013-2016 term when he obtained 1,186 votes, beating Gan Ping Sieu and Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat with a 186-vote majority. He is married to Datin Seri Lee Sun Loo and they have three children.