KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming today announced that he will not be contesting the upcoming 15th general election (GE15) as he will be taking a break to “regroup and recharge”.

In a statement today, Ong stressed, however, that he is not retiring from politics, and stands ready to serve the party and the country in the future.

“I promise to give my full support to whoever [DAP] names as the candidate for Bangi in GE15. In the meantime, I will continue to serve my constituency and the party until parliament is dissolved,” he said.

Last March, Ong had failed to defend his seat in the party’s Central Election Committee.

“While the results of the recent DAP Central Election Committee elections did play a role in confirming my decision to take a break from frontline politics, it was not the main reason for my decision. 

“When I was first offered to be a candidate for the parliamentary seat of Serdang, my agreement with my wife was that I would serve out two terms and then re-evaluate the situation. 

“Coming to the end of my second term, I believe that I have served my constituency, my party and the country to the best of my abilities. It is now time for the younger generation in the party to take over the reins of leadership,” he said.

Ong also thanked the many supporters and colleagues that he worked with over his nine-year political career, with special credit for Damansara MP Tony Pua, who he named as the person responsible for bringing him into the party.

Pua, a DAP veteran, had also failed to be voted into the party’s Central Election Committee during the committee elections, which is the first time he wasn’t voted in since 2008.

Ong nevertheless expressed his “full confidence” in the leadership of Anthony Loke as the new DAP secretary-general, whom he said would continue to bring in more young blood to the party.

“As for my immediate plans after GE15, I will take a much-needed break and spend some time to exercise, read and reflect on how and where I can best put the skills and knowledge which I have accumulated over the past nine years to good use,” he said.

Before his stint as Bangi MP, Ong previously served as MP for Serdang from 2013 to 2018.

He also served as deputy minister of international trade and industry from 2018 to 2020.

Before his entry into politics, Ong worked as a political scientist.