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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lee Kah Choon quits Gerakan, wants to focus on new job

NST Online

By : Audrey Dermawan




PENANG, Wed:

Datuk Lee Kah Choon has quit as a Gerakan member with immediate effect after he was lambasted for accepting Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng's offer to become director of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and investPenang.

Lee said today he made the decision as the Gerakan leadership could not accept his appointment as director of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and investPenang.

“Since my decision to accept the appointment is not acceptable to the Gerakan leadership, I believe it is best for me to retreat totally from party politics. I have submitted a letter to the party leadership to withdraw my membership from Gerakan,” he said in a one-page statement faxed to all media organisations here today.

Immediately, scores of reporters camped at Lee’s investPenang office in Bayan Lepas but failed to meet him.

Calls to his cell phone were immediately transferred to his voice mail but he returned a call later in the afternoon and confirmed his withdrawal from the party. He declined to say anything more about the issue.
In his statement, Lee hoped his action would put the matter to rest and that he could move forward and work on some serious tasks at hand.

He also touched on the criticism levelled against him by Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on his lack of experience in business-related matters.

Stating that the criticism was inaccurate, Lee said his professional and service record speaks for itself. “If anything, the criticism drives me to achieve more for Penang. With the political ghost exorcised, I now look forward to work with all parties to ensure Penang leads again,” he added.

Lee’s move to accept the directorship of PDC and investPenang, as well as the executive committee chairman for investPenang, had raised the ire of party leaders, his colleagues and also the Barisan Nasional (BN) top leadership.

BN president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not spare Lee when he said on Tuesday that the latter’s move was against the spirit of the coalition.

Abdullah’s deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said on Monday that members of BN component parties should not work for the opposition. On the same day, Gerakan national adviser Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik launched a stinging attack on Lee.

Lee, who was Gerakan deputy secretary general, also touched on the show-cause letter issued to him by his former party, reiterating that he was withdrawing from active politics to focus on serving the society as a citizen and his decision could not be compromised by any political consideration.

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