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  Media Conference Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang at Penang DAP Hqrs on Tuesday, 12th February 2008 at 12 noon:

Chia Kwang Chye will be Khairy�s favourite choice to be the next Gerakan Penang Chief Minister

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that with the announcement by the Acting Gerakan President, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to move to the federal level in the upcoming general election, the post of Penang Chief Minister will continue to be reserved for the Gerakan.

Yes, the post of Penang Chief Minister will continue to be reserved for the Gerakan, but for the first time for four decades, it will be UMNO and not Gerakan which will decide who will be the Penang Gerakan Chief Minister!

This is because Tsu Koon has submitted three names as his successor to the Prime Minister and it is up to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to decide who should be the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister!

The confession by the Gerakan Secretary-General Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye that he knew nothing about the three names submitted by Koh to Abdullah is most shocking.

Shouldn�t this be a decision or at least the consensus of the top Gerakan leadership instead of by one person who is the Acting Gerakan President?

Furthermore, did the Gerakan leadership take an earlier decision that Gerakan surrender to Abdullah its power and right to decide as to whom should be the next Gerakan Penang Chief Minister or did Koh act unilaterally and unconstitutionally in violation of Gerakan party constitution?

Once Gerakan surrenders the right and power to decide who should be the next Gerakan Penang Chief Minister, this right and power is lost forever and never is regained � and the Gerakan Penang Chief Minister will just be an UMNO appointee!

It is an open secret that once Koh surrenders the Gerakan power and right to decide who should be the next Penang Gerakan Chief Minister to Abdullah, it is in fact surrendering to UMNO and Khairy Jamaluddin - Abdullah's son-in-law and the real "power-behind-the-throne".

Khairy Jamaluddin, the master of the powerful Putrajaya Fourth Storey, is already a very powerful man if not the most powerful man in UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

For instance, everybody knows that Khairy is the de facto Mentri Besar of Terengganu and that Datuk Idris Jusoh is just a puppet and 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 for the state 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 which are announced 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!

In the guessing-game as to which one of the three names submitted by Koh will be the next Gerakan Penang Chief Minister, there is no doubt that it is Chia Kwang Chye who is the �hot favourite� as the choice of Khairy. The other two contenders Datuk Dr. Teng Hock Nan and Datuk Lee Kah Choon just don�t stand a chance at all!

As Deputy Information Minister, Chia has fully served UMNO interests instead of Malaysian interests in turning the RTM and the Information Department into shameless appendages of UMNO to spread UMNO propaganda instead of being non-partisan in disseminating news and information as they are government departments funded by taxpayers irrespective of political beliefs and voter preference.

If UMNO wants to use radio and television to spread its propaganda, it should set up a Radio and Television UMNO but it should never misuse government resources and facilities like the RTM for party propaganda.

Chia had been a loyal subordinate to the Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin in the misuse and abuse of RTM not only for narrow UMNO and Barisan Nasional political interests, but also to promote divisive and polarizing viewpoints and policies.

Two recent examples are:

� For the past two weeks, the nightly insertion into television news of the tendentious, unethical and distorted presentation of the 40,000-people peaceful gathering for the submission of the BERSIH petition for free, fair and clean election to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on Nov. 10 to vilify Opposition leaders; and

� The misrepresentation of the culture of the Malaysian Chinese on RTM Panorama programme on the second day of the Chinese New Year purporting to depict a typical Malaysian Chinese family preparing for Chinese New Year when it showed a Muslim Chinese family�s preparation for the occasion.

Why had Chia been so thunderously silent on these two episodes?

Bernama�s reporter had been very perceptive with the Sunday report that Tsu Koon's announcement that he has decided to move to the federal level 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".

Koh has proved that he is even more indecisive than Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, which must have pleased the Prime Minister very much.

I regret that in his comments on Koh�s decision, Gerakan adviser Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, like Chia Kwang Chye previously, continued his attack on the �Lim Kit Siang-Lim Guan Eng father-and-son� political dynasty in Penang.

A final decision has yet to be taken as to whether Guan Eng would be leading the DAP campaign in Penang in the next general election and I had said last week that it is my intention to defend the Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat.

However, since Keng Yaik and Chia Kwang Chye have been so perverse and persistent in wanting to make �Lim Kit Siang-Lim Guan Eng father-and-son� political dynasty in Penang into an issue, may be the best way to join issue with this political onslaught is in the Penang political arena itself. This warrants consideration.

* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman


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