KUALA LUMPUR: April 29, 2008 By IZATUN SHARI
A group of leaders from Kuala Lumpur-Federal Territory Gerakan are unhappy with party adviser Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik for calling former deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon a "political frog."
Kuala Lumpur-Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kwee Kwong was especially vocal, accusing the former party chief of causing a lot of damage to the party and urging him to quit.
Dr Lim was very critical of Lee after he accepted the Pakatan Rakyat-led Penang state government's offer to become InvestPenang executive chairman and director of the Penang Development Corporation.
This led to a show-cause letter being issued by the party, to which Lee did not respond; he instead resigned from the party. He was by then only a regular member, having quit all official Gerekan posts to take responsibility for the party's poor showing in the March 8 general eklection.
Speaking about Dr Lim's censure of Lee, Dr Tan said, "We regret that a capable leader who was deemed fit to be a potential Chief Minister of Penang by the party leadership just 60 days ago, was now being deemed 'inexperienced' and labelled an 'opportunist'."
"We regret that a capable leader has been forced out of the party as a result of the action by Dr Lim.
"By giving unsolicited advice publicly over party matters over the past few months, he has done a lot of damage to the party's image," Dr Tan said, adding that Dr Lim should quit his post as party adviser and not interfere in party affairs.
"Perhaps he should now retire graciously and devote more time to his family," he added.
Dr Tan also said he would not stand for state and division level elections. The Segambut Gerakan division chairman said he would however retain his post as Taman Bunga Gerakan branch chairman.
"I make the decision to make way for other people in the party and to concentrate on my business. I came to this decision after much consultation and thought," he told a press conference by a group of Kuala Lumpur-Federal Territory Gerakan leaders at the Federal Territory Gerakan office here Tuesday.
Asked whether he planned to contest for top posts at the national level, he said, "I don't know. There are many more months to go."
Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon earlier said that majority of the party members wanted its elections to be held this year, contrary to its January decision to postpone it to next year.