KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 (Bernama)
The decision by the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government in Penang to appoint former Health Ministry parliamentary secretary and Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon to run a state government agency shows that the party lacks local talents to run the state, said Gerakan Advisor Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik Monday.
"DAP has no people who can do the job. They have no local talents as they 'helicoptered' too many leaders from outside the state who did not know Penang and that is why they now have to pick a Gerakan member.
"They have obviously recognised Gerakan's preparation for good leaders. That's why they have appointed Lee Kah Choon, one of our potential (leaders)," he told reporters at the party headquarters at Menara PGRM, here Monday.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Sunday appointed Lee as director of the Penang Development Corporation(PDC) apart from appointing Lee as chairman of the executive committee of InvestPenang, a subsidiary of PDC.
Lim, who is also DAP Secretary-General, said the decision to appoint Lee was made during the state executive council meeting last Wednesday.
Lee had late last month announced his resignation from all Gerakan posts, including as the deputy secretary-general and a member of the party's two decision-making bodies, the Central Committee (CC) and the Central Working Committee (CWC), after its poor performance in the March 8 General Election.
Dr Lim pointed out that Gerakan had always produced talented leaders and had track record in serving the people to the extent that they had also been picked up by the other political parties, including the opposition.
"Such as Anuar Tan Abdullah, the exco member of Kelantan, was once the Gerakan National Deputy Youth Chief (1990's). Do you know that Jeff Ooi, the blogger (and newly-elected member of parliament for Bukit Bendera) was also a Gerakan member in Damansara before joining the DAP last year?" he said, adding some of them "had forgotten" Gerakan and some still respected Gerakan.
"Never mind about that, we have done our job of preparing young and good leaders, trained them to be dedicated, to be clean, to do whatever job that was given too," he added.
Dr Lim further said he "pitied" Lee because, whether he liked it or not, he would be subjected to many suspicions either from the DAP or Gerakan members and this could prove to be difficult for him to carry out his new task.
"There would definitely be a lot of anger from the ground, either from DAP or Gerakan," he added.
Asked how he personally felt about Lee's decision to take up the appointment as he had groomed Lee as one of the Gerakan future leaders, particularly to be the Chief Minister of Penang, Dr Lim said: "Personal things should be kept personal".
"I picked him as the candidate for Jelutong, even this was opposed by the top leadership. I was proven right when he beat Karpal Singh for the seat (in 1999 General Election). He worked well and this was even recognised by the DAP," he said.
Lee had defended the Jelutong parliamentary seat for two terms before being moved to contest the Machang Bubok state seat in the recent general election where the party lost all the seats they contested and totally wiped out from its political base in Penang.
Dr Lim said three days after the General Election, he met Lee at a dinner where Lee presented to him his plan on how the party could play the role of a watchdog in Penang.
"I told him, be patient as it was totally a different ball game all together," said Dr Lim.
Dr Lim said Kah Choon had contacted his son, Lim Si Pin, who is Gerakan National Deputy Youth Chief for a meeting last week but Si Pin was not available then as he was overseas at that time.