PENANG: April 24, 2008 By CHRISTINA CHIN
Former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon has quit the party to complete his “total withdrawal” from politics.
In an immediate response, the DAP and PKR are capitalising on his move by inviting him to join them.
Lee said that because his decision to accept the state appointments as Penang Development Corporation (PDC) director and InvestPenang executive committee chairman was “unacceptable” to Gerakan, he had decided to quit the party.
“I believe it is best for me to retreat totally from party politics. This way, I hope we can put the matter to rest and move forward with the serious tasks at hand. I want to reiterate my stand that I will be focusing on serving society as a citizen.
“With the political ghost exorcised, I can now look forward to working with all parties to ensure that Penang leads again,” he said yesterday.
Commenting on former chief minister and Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s statement that he had no direct experience in promoting investment in the industrial sector, Lee said Dr Koh’s view was “inaccurate”.
“My professional and service track record speaks for itself. If anything, the criticism will only drive me to achieve more for the state,” he said, adding that his decision to accept the non-political roles was to serve the socio-economic interest of Penang and was motivated by the fact that the state’s interest could not be compromised by any political consideration.
“In the next quarter, the projected global economic slowdown is going to affect our export-orientated economic performance.
“I believe the focus on job creation and measures to ensure sustainable growth is more important than politicking.
“My objective – which is serving the people – is clear and it has remained consistent throughout my political career. Hence, I have decided to answer the government’s call for me to serve in both state agencies in this trying period,” he said in a statement.
On Monday night, the party’s central working committee decided to send Lee a show-cause letter asking him to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him.
Dr Koh questioned Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political motive in appointing Lee, describing the appointment as “improper” as it would jeopardise the state’s industrial sector and ability to effectively attract investments.