GEORGE TOWN, MON: April 21, 2008 by Audrey Dermawan
PENANG Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is ready to face any criticism for appointing Gerakan's Datuk Lee Kah Choon as the director of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and investPenang.
"I will explain to DAP members and hopefully they will accept my decision... one which I made after much consultation," he said after the swearing-in of the new Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) councillors today.
He was asked if Lee's appointment would cause dissatisfaction among DAP members who had been eyeing the position. The appointment has led to talk that the DAP lacks capable leaders to helm the position.
However, Lim shot back at his critics, saying the party had enough capable and competent leaders.
"We are not inferior. It is just that as the new state government, we want to chart a new course, a new political paradigm," he said, adding that the joint DAP-Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state government intended to be fair to everyone.
Lim explained that the state government would no longer do things the traditional way.
He stressed that the government would not discriminate against anyone based on race, religion and more importantly, political affiliation.
"If we really wanted to rule the state with our own people, the first person I will replace is Zainal (MPPP president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman) but I am not going to do that.
"He has performed well and has kept up to our principles - he is competent, accountable and transparent - and this is what we want from our people," he said.
On Sunday, Lim appointed Lee as director of PDC and investPenang. Lee was also made executive committee chairman of investPenang.
Lim said the decision to appoint Lee was made during the state executive council meeting last Wednesday.
Lee, who is the former Gerakan deputy secretary-general, had late last month announced his resignation from all Gerakan posts after its poor performance in the Mar 8 general election.