PENANG: April 18, 2008
A DAP state executive councillor has invited an Umno assemblyman to sit in the state government committee which he chairs.
Penang Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh sent a formal invitation to Sungai Acheh assemblyman Datuk Mahmud Zakaria on Friday to be part of the committee.
This is the first such overture from the Pakatan Rakyat since it seized control of the Penang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor governments from the Barisan Nasional in the recent general election.
The invitation by the Pakatan Rakyat to Mahmud is even more surprising as the latter was recently named as the “shadow exco” for the portfolio being held by Phee, a DAP veteran who was the party’s only victor in the 2004 general election.
“With his appointment as shadow exco, I am inviting him to sit in my committee so that he can get first-hand information and be part of the decision-making process.
“With Datuk Mahmud in the committee, it would provide better check and balance and transparency.
“This is my sincere invitation and I also want to prove to voters in Penang that we don’t believe in revenge politics,” Phee said after launching the Toastmasters International District 51’s 15th annual convention yesterday.
Mahmud said he had yet to receive Phee’s letter.
The DAP-led Penang Government was also reported to be planning to appoint former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon to a key post in InvestPenang and also offer him a director’s post in the Penang Development Corporation (PDC).
Met at the Penang Teong Guan Association dinner at the Han Chiang High School hall last night, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government welcomed anyone who was willing to help the administration for the benefit of Penangites.
“As long as you are able and willing to participate, we will welcome your contribution regardless of race, religion or political background.
“There is no discrimination when it comes to political leanings,” he said, adding that there was a place for those with special expertise so long as they wanted to work for the people.