Sour grapes over Kah Choon’s issue, Guan Eng promises more to comePosted: April 25, 2008
Now that Lee Kah Choon has officially quit Gerakan, there are all sorts of criticisms coming from left, right, front and back. But they all come from within the Barisan Nasional vicinity. But no, these criticisms don’t just go to Kah Choon, who’s apparently an “opportunist” and all sorts of other things now. These criticisms are also saved for Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang. And some of these criticisms are among the best.
To Barisan Nasional, it’s that simple – accept any offer and you’ve crossed the line
KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — One down and many more to go – this is the sentiment of DAP and PKR as they look to the boost their ranks with talent from the Barisan Nasional.
On the surface, the move to appoint Datuk Lee Kah Choon to senior positions in Invest Penang and the Penang Development Corporation and the standing offer to BN politicians to join various state agencies in Selangor appear as master strokes by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to usher in a new era of bi-partisanship into Malaysian politics.
But BN leaders believe that there is something more insidious at play here. They say that if the ruling coalition politicians are allowed to join investment bodies or hold positions in Opposition-held states, they will be plugging the talent deficit in Pakatan Rakyat and helping DAP-PAS-PKR continue to rule in Selangor, Penang, Perak and Kedah.
The thinking within BN is that the Opposition’s biggest obstacle at the moment is lack of talent and experience. If these gaps are not filled, the state governments will have a tougher time implementing their agendas for each state.
That is why pressure was exerted on Lee to reconsider his decision to join InvestPenang and the PDC and why Tan Sri Khalid Ahmad Sulaiman had to change his mind about staying on as deputy chairman of the Penang Appeals Board until his term expired in 2010.
At the BN state meeting on Tuesday, it was decided that he should step down after clearing a pending appeal on May 6. He had been approached to remain as the deputy chairman by Lim and was seriously mulling the offer, reasoning that the Penang Appeals Board was not political in nature.
But the sentiment of the state BN was clear.
“I am a loyal party member and I will abide by the decision,” said the Umno politician, a close friend of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Full article here.
Guan Eng is not giving two hoots about what there BN reps have to say about him or his motives for wanting Kah Choon to chair the two agencies. He says that it is all in the spirit of serving the people to his best efforts.
Guan Eng brushes aside critics, to stick to inclusive approach
The latest incident was over the appointment of Datuk Lee Kah Choon to the key post of director of the Penang Development Corporation and InvestPenang. Lee was formerly Gerakan’s deputy secretary-general and the blue-eyed boy of party advisor Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik.
As a result, many in Gerakan have lashed out at Guan Eng. Some question his motives for appointing a Gerakan member; some remark that it is because the DAP lacks talented leaders. Many of their criticisms made the news headlines in the past few days.
Obviously, Guan Eng has been rattled. But he is committed to “make Penang dynamic again”.
“The Penang government welcomes all Penangites and those who can contribute to its good governance … regardless of race, religion and political background,” said Guan Eng in a press conference held at the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.
Full article here.
The Star Online has something to add to this already interesting exchange of ideas and ideologies.
Penang to continue offering posts to competent people
PETALING JAYA: The Penang state government will continue to offer posts to people who are “competent, accountable and transparent” regardless of which political party they belong to.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he was serious in wanting to forge a new paradigm that cuts across the political divide and brings people together including those “who did not vote for us” to contribute to the betterment of the state.
He said while this was “something new and groundbreaking” he certainly did not expect the move to be “criticised and condemned in such strong terms by top national (Barisan Nasional) leaders.”
“Are we going to grow up and grow out of the outdated mindset? The time has come to look at the content of character rather than colour of skin or the gods you pray to or the respective political beliefs that you hold,” he said at a press conference Thursday.
He stressed that the Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang government would have no second thoughts about offering other clean and competent Barisan leaders in the state a post.
“It is Barisan which is having second thoughts and exerting pressure on its members to pull out. If we have the confidence they can serve – we will appoint them.
Lim stressed that the Penang state government never made it a requirement that Lee or any other Barisan leader in the state leave their respective parties to accept any state appointment “but even that is seen as unacceptable”.
“It is a bit unfortunate that they (Barisan) look at it from a political affiliation perspective and pressure is exerted and applied not allow us to break out of this mould. Is it so difficult to shake our hands?” he asked.
“Let us break out and get down to work for the people. Campaigning is over. The losers should respect the wishes of the people and co-operate instead of trying to sabotage or undermine the efforts of those who had won,” he said, adding that the people expected a certain level of maturity from their politicians and elected representatives.
Full article here.
The BN reps are seriously in danger of being bad sports. Already, they are not in very good stead with the people of Malaysia. Why kick up a fuss over something like this? What’s so difficult to understand about being civil with each other, and work towards a better Malaysia?
Just compare the words that the BN reps spout, and the words that Guan Eng has uttered. There is a world of difference. Whether or not Guan Eng had a terribly talented person to write all his speeches, or whether the BN reps just had not time to think before the words came spewing out of their mouths, it just shows us the different levels of the politicians in the country.
And I just can’t understand why the BN reps would pressure their members so much about not working to aid the Pakatan Rakyat state governments, so much so that even if it isn’t a political group, they have to pull out. If there are people in the BN fold who have the best qualifications to do a job in the best possible manner, then should it not be allowed for this person to do it? Or would they rather a less qualified person do the job badly for the next 5 years so that the people will get fed up with them, and vote BN back into the fray?
Things don’t work that way. Do they not have the rakyat‘s best interests in mind? What are their priorities, I would really love to ask. Party policies are one thing. But serving the people should always come first. Besides, what’s so political about InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation and Penang Appeals Board? If there’s nothing political, then why can’t they do their job?
These BN reps had better start sorting out their priorities before they get bit in their backsides. The rakyat will be quick on bashing them up if they don’t clean their act up. Don’t go on about party agendas and the like, when you don’t even remember that you’re supposed to be serving us from up there.
And just to throw in a little something extra for the BN reps to chew on.. Lee Kah Choon is serving the people of Penang “pro bono publico” (serving the public without remuneration). This shows “how sincere and committed Lee is to serve Penangites”, to quote Guan Eng. Read about it here.
Definitely a whole lot more than what we can say about the BN and Gerakan fold he just left?