Speech (2) by Lim Kit Siang at the opening of the Canning (Ipoh Timur)
election operation centre at Kampung Simee, Ipoh on Monday, 11th
February 2008 at 11 am:
Has Tsu Koon
surrendered the right to determine who is the Gerakan Penang Chief
Minister to Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of Abdullah?
One shocker of the
news today is the announcement by the Acting Gerakan President, Tan Sri
Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to move to the federal level in the upcoming general
election – not the contents of the announcement but circumstances and
implications of the announcement.
Tsu Koon’s announcement came “a few hours after Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mentioned that he (Abdullah) would decide for
the Penang Chief Minister if the latter was unable to make up his mind
whether to contest a state seat or go for a parliament seat”.
It highlights Koh’s utterly indecisive leadership – even more indecisive
than Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, which must be quite an
“achievement” by itself.
Koh said he had submitted three names as his successor to the Prime
Minister who indicated “he might need a few days to decide on whom to
choose as my successor”. (Bernama)
This is a most shocking display of impotence. Who should be the next
Gerakan Penang Chief Minister should be the sole decision of the Gerakan
leadership. Why has Tsu Koon surrendered this power and right of the
Gerakan to decide who should be the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister
to the UMNO President giving him the prerogative to choose from one of
three names submitted by Koh?
It is open secret that submitting the decision to Abdullah is as good as
submitting it to Khairy Jamualuddin, Abdullah’s son-in-law and the
Khairy Jamaluddin, the master of the power Putrajaya Fourth Storey, is
already a very powerful man if not the most powerful man in UMNO and
For instance, everybody knows that Khairy is the de facto Mentri Besar
of Terengganu and that Datuk Idris Jusoh is just a Mentri Besar in name
only. It is Khairy who dispenses with the billions of ringgit of “wang
ehsan” from the five per cent oil royalty from Petronas, which
completely bypassed the Mentri Besar’s Office!
Now Khairy is accumulating even greater power as he will finally be
deciding who is to be the next Gerakan Penang Chief Minister – as it is
again public knowledge that Khairy virtually makes all the important
decisions for rubber-stamping by the Prime Minister, from top civil
service and judicial appointments, approval of mega contracts without
tender, dispensing billions of ringgit of funds in Terengganu which
completely overshadow the state government’s budget to the latest
decision as to who should be the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister from
the three names submitted by Koh!
I do not think this is the best start for Penang to face the challenges
of globalization after the 2008 general election!
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman