PENANG: April 24, 2008
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the DAP have begun to woo former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon, who quit the party yesterday.
But PKR said Kah Choon should first be given a chance to settle down to his new roles as Penang Development Corporation (PDC) director and InvestPenang executive committee chairman.
State PKR chief Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the party’s door was “always open” to him.
“Of course, he is more than welcome but let him concentrate on serving the people first – let him show that he is really sincere.
“Kah Choon has said he wants to take a break from politics and focus on his new roles so let him do that for now,” Zahrain, who is also the Bayan Baru MP, said.
State DAP chairman and Tanjung MP Chow Kon Yeow said the party was willing to give Kah Choon “some space.”
“We don’t want to pressure him into joining the DAP because his appointments to the state agencies were 100% non-political,” he said, adding that no one knows what the future will bring.
In IPOH, Gerakan vice-president Datuk Chang Ko Youn said Kah Choon took up the two Penang government agency posts as he failed to get what he wanted from the party.
Declining to reveal what Kah Choon wanted, Chang said it was wrong for the former Health Ministry parliamentary secretary to accept the appointments.
“I know what was in Lee’s mind especially after his defeat in the March 8 general election. The new Penang state government also has its own political agenda (in appointing him) and we know what it is,” he said.
Chang, who questioned the manner in which Lee’s appointment was announced, said if the Penang government wanted to appoint Lee, it should just go ahead with it.
“But the manner in which his appointment was announced showed that the state is out to gain political mileage and sadly Lee played into their hands,” he said.
Chang, who is also Perak Gerakan chief, said the fact that Kah Choon resigned from all party posts three weeks prior to taking up the state appointments showed that his move was premeditated.
“He maintained his party membership as he knew that if he were to resign, his image will be worse off,” he added, saying that Kah Choon preferred to be sacked.
Noting that Kah Choon’s decision was unfair to the party, Chang said Gerakan had given him many opportunities