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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spat continues between DAP and PKR over sacking of duo

DAP and PKR's public spat over the sacking of two of the latter's Penang reps from state agencies continued, with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today asking his ally if it was now saying it was wrong to remove former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Under fire from PKR over the removal of the two reps from the boards of state-government-linked companies, Lim turned the table and said PKR had done the same thing to Khalid when he failed to follow decisions made by the party.

“Khalid was sacked after he did not implement decisions made by PKR, and DAP respected their decision on the matter.

“Why is PKR not supporting us now? It is the same situation. They are trying to get them (the duo) reinstated. Are they saying that they don’t agree (with what happened to Khalid) and want Khalid reinstated too?

“I don’t think so. We should be consistent. Without consistency, it will affect (the opposition pact),” he told reporters during a press conference in Penang this morning.

Lim was asked to comment on PKR's criticism against him for firing Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng and Bukit Tengah assemblyman Ong Chin Wen from the boards of the Penang Hill Corporation; and investPenang and Island Golf Properties Bhd, respectively. Island Golf is a subsidiary of state investment arm Penang Development Corporation. Lim is chairman of all the agencies.

Yesterday, Penang PKR Youth described Lim's action as “immature, autocratic and unfair”. Today Kedah PKR Youth vice chief Mohd Aziz Sukri Mad Amin also slammed Lim, calling the move “vengeance politics”.

Aziz also told Lim not to behave like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, citing the recent removal of Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as Kedah menteri besar.

“Our advice from the grassroots is take the Kedah menteri besar crisis as a lesson…how Najib practised vengeance politics and acted like a dictator against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been criticising him over policies and scandals, to the extend Mukhriz got removed as menteri besar.

“Does Pakatan Harapan want a leader like Najib? A leader who behaves like Najib, who sacked Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasmin and Datuk Seri Shafiee Apdal just because they disagreed with him and his policies? We urge Lim Guan Eng not to become like Najib,” he said.

Aziz in his statement said what happened also showed that the Penang government did not celebrate the diversity of views or the spirit of Pakatan Harapan.

He also said Lim got it wrong that Azmin, who expressed unhappiness over the issue, wanted to interfere in Penang affairs because the latter only commented on the matter as PKR deputy president, following a collective decision made by the PKR political bureau on the issue.

“I don’t want to refer to these attacks because I don’t think they are justified,” Lim said, reiterating that Ong and Cheah were wrong when they failed to “at least inform the state first” that they disagreed with the government’s stand regarding the land reclamation issue.

The duo were among five PKR reps who abstained from voting against a Barisan Nasional motion on land reclamation during the state legislative assembly in November last year.

Lim said the duo did what Khalid had done, which led to his sacking from PKR in 2014. “They did the same thing and yet they are not reprimanded. They did not practise what they preached.

“They had done something completely different from what they agreed in the meeting. This is unacceptable in any organisation.

“The problem is they backstabbed. If you disagree, why did you agree (earlier), and then take a different position outside the meeting?” he said.

Lim said they also did not speak of their reservations concerning the issue during the state assembly sitting.

“They did not even say a single word in the Dewan (House). You (reporters) know since you all were there.

“Why are those who are in the wrong considered correct and what we did right is deemed wrong? Is this a new ethical dimension?

“Is it because you don’t like me so whatever I do is wrong? You like them so all they do is right?”

The controversy in the state legislative assembly months ago had also sent Lim on a tirade, criticising the five PKR reps of failing to toe the line when it came to vote against the BN motion.

On whether he would take action against the other three – Batu Uban rep Dr T. Jeyabalan, Penanti rep Dr Norlela Ariffin and Machang Bubuk rep Lee Khai Loon – Lim said he did not want to take unnecessary action.

“We look at those who are the most prominent and the main people behind the move. We know the others were abiding instructions,” he said.

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