PETALING JAYA: Former Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming has returned to academia, joining Taylors University as the director of an academic programme, but is keeping the door open for a political comeback in the next general election (GE16).
A former lecturer and political analyst with UCSI University, Ong said returning to academia had always been his plan after deciding to take a break from politics in May last year.
He had held discussions with three private universities following the last general election (GE15) to explore the possible roles he could assume.
“After many engagements, I decided to choose Taylor’s to pursue the challenge and opportunity of launching a new philosophy, politics and economics programme, which will be the first in Malaysia, in 2024,” he told FMT.
While the Selangor DAP treasurer said he was open to running for election again, it would only be in GE16, and not in the upcoming state election.
“I am open to contesting again in the next general election if such an opportunity arises. In the meantime, I will focus on my academic work and provide ideas and suggestions to my colleagues in the government on public policy matters,” he said.
Ong said he wanted to use his experience as a former two-term MP and deputy trade minister to help university students expand their horizons about the world.
In May last year, he announced that he was taking a break from politics to “regroup and recharge”. This came two months after he failed to defend his seat in DAP’s central executive committee (CEC) elections.
While admitting that the failure to win a seat on the CEC was a factor behind his move to hit a pause on politics, Ong maintained that it was not the main reason.
His decision to step down paved the way for Syahredzan Johan to be nominated as DAP’s candidate for his Bangi parliamentary seat in GE15.
Syahredzan, one of the few appointed members of the CEC, defended the seat for Pakatan Harapan with a strong majority of 69,701 votes, bettering Ong’s majority of 68,768 in 2018.
Ong was elected Serdang MP in 2013 and then Bangi MP in 2018. He was also appointed deputy international trade and industry minister in 2018 when PH was in power.