PENANG, 21 April 2009: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was taken to task by the state opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim (BN-Penaga) over the appointment of the deputy chief minister I and accused of being subservient to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said it was a case of “the pot calling the kettle black” because Lim had previously accused then chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon of being subservient to former prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“Do not look down on other people because, in the end, the same thing will happen to us,” he said during the debate in the state assembly, reports Bernama.
Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin had resigned as deputy chief minister I on 8 April and subsequently quit as the state assemblyperson for Penanti.
“It has been weeks since the post (of deputy chief minister I) fell vacant but there has been no decision on a replacement. The chief minister has the authority to make the appointment. Why wait for Anwar?” he said.
The issue raised by Azhar became a hot topic of debate and Speaker Abdul Halim Hussain ordered that the issue be dropped and not raised again as the person in question (Mohammad Fairus) was not in the house to defend himself.
Meanwhile in PETALING JAYA, DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua slammed PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali and its Penang chief Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim for their verbal attacks against Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, yesterday.
He said Lim has the right to express his disagreement and it is ironical that while Syed made the call for Lim to stop speaking to the media on the issue, he himself chose to issue his statement to the media.
“At no time did Datuk Seri Anwar say that Lim had no right to express his concerns when asked by the press,” said Pua in a media statement issued today, adding that the duo should check with Anwar on the matter.
Pua described Syed’s call as “ill-advised and uncalled for” while Zahrain’s baseless attacks against Lim were “irresponsible and politically motivated to help hide weaknesses in his leadership that caused so many problems in Penang PKR”.
Pua, who is the member of parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, added that Lim and the DAP have shown a genuine spirit of camaraderie and cooperation in the entire episode despite having withstand strong criticisms for Anwar’s postponements in naming a replacement for the DCM I post.
“However, this gesture of goodwill by DAP is not reciprocated by some PKR leaders. Instead DAP regrets that Datuk Zahrain is behaving like a little Umno leader with comments that do not reflect the multi-racial nature of PKR and its Malaysian spirit,” said Pua.
He said such irresponsible comments would rule Zahrain out as the possible candidate for the Penanti by-election.