Monday, May 12, 2008

‘Umno man pressured to quit post’ - The Star

BUTTERWORTH: May 12, 2008

Mystery shrouds a veteran Penang Umno leader who accepted an offer by the Pakatan Rakyat state government to take up a “state post”. Umno leaders said yesterday they were unaware of any such offer as claimed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Lim claimed they had offered the state post to an Umno veteran who had initially accepted.

“But due to pressure from Umno, he had to resign from the post. I regret his move because we were sincere in offering him the job,” Lim said.

He said the offer was made “in the interest of the people and country”.

However, Lim did not disclose the name of the Umno man or the post offered to him.

“I will make an official announcement and reveal his identity at the right time,” he said after opening the service centre of Prai state assemblyman Dr P. Ramasamy, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, at Jalan Chain Ferry in Chai Leng Park here yesterday.

There was speculation that the leader in question was Tasek Gelugor Umno division chief Datuk Seri Mohamad Shariff Omar but he has denied it.

“The media has speculated that I was approached by the state government but this is not true,” he said.

He said he was puzzled as to how his name had become implicated in the issue.

Several other state Umno leaders also denied they had been made the offer.

State Umno liaison committee secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said he was unaware of any such offer by the state government.

However, he said based on Barisan Nasional principles, any of its members who worked with a party outside the coalition would have to resign.

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