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Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Tuesday, 15th January 2008:

Would Gerakan, Lim Keng Yaik and Koh Tsu Koon dare to oppose UMNO MPs who showed contempt for minorities, women and rule of law by urging voters not to support them?

The severe criticism these last few days by the entire Gerakan top leadership from Gerakan National Advisor Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, Gerakan Acting President Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Gerakan Secretary-General Datuk Chai Kwang Thye against DAP alleging DAP was cheated by PKR when DAP agreed to an electoral understanding with PKR is a desperate attempt to hide Gerakan’s hidden internal crisis.

Earlier Gerakan was confident that a split opposition and a three corner fight between BN, PKR and DAP would distract public attention from their quiet and hidden internal crisis involving leadership succession of either the post of Cabinet Minister or Penang Chief Minister. With general elections round the corner, Koh Tsu Koon has yet to decide whether to remain as either Chief Minister or move up to Parliament level and assume the Federal Cabinet post.

His difficulty to make a decision is related to the fears of a party split from several strong contenders seeking the CM post such as Dr Teng Hock Nan, Datuk Chia Kwang Chye and Datuk Lee Kah Choon. And even the Ministerial replacement to Keng Yaik is split between the “natural” choice of Deputy Information Minister Datuk Chia Kwang Chye or the upstart Chang Ko Youn from Perak, who enjoys the important patronage of Keng Yaik.

DAP is not surprised that Lim and the entire Gerakan leadership is trying to “fry again the stale cold rice” by alleging DAP’s co-operation with PAS through PKR, even though no such co-operation exists. If Gerakan’s perverse logic holds true, then Malaysia is a close friend and ally of Israel through United States because using Gerakan’s logic, Malaysia has good relations with US whilst US is the main patron and supporter of Israel.

But Keng Yaik went too far by claiming that DAP leaders only cared for themselves and they were not interested in the people’s welfare. No DAP wakil rakyat have stolen public money’s to enrich themselves unlike BN leaders. Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Khir Toyo said today that BN would even field candidates who were perceived to be corrupt, scandalous or having disciplinary problems and they could be "forgiven" as long as they had a strong base in their area and could help win the seat.

Amongst the controversial Assemblymen likely to be fielded again are Umno's Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and Cempaka assemblyman Datuk Mad Aris Mad Yusuf. Zakaria had extraordinary wealth in excess of his allowance as Assemblyman which enabled to build a mansion in Klang without the approval of the local authorities and had defaulted on assessment payments for more than 10 years whilst Mad Aris is allegedly involved in at least eight land deals.

Other UMNO MPs likely to be fielded again by BN are those who called women having to go through their monthly periods as “bocor’ or UMNO Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said asking Customs Department to close one eye in carrying out its duties? Would Gerakan dare to abide by the public disgust at such antics by urging voters not to support such UMNO MPs? As Gerakan would still continue to support these UMNO candidates who have shown contempt for women, minorities and rule of law, Gerakan should be answering why they cared for their own positions at the expense of the welfare of the people.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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