Forward    Feedback    


Why is Tsu Koon in the dock with UMNO national leaders endorsing allegations of neglect, discrimination and marginalization of Malays in Penang

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliment, Monday) :  There seems to be a major shift in the political dynamics  after the public humiliation of the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon at the  official opening of the Tanjong Umno division premises by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi last Tuesday – not only the open slight by the Tanjung Umno Division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ibnihajar who completely ignored Koh  in his speech but also by the seven-banner public protest by Balik Pulau Umno Youth accusing Koh of  neglecting the Malays in Penang.

The statements and speeches by UMNO national leaders carry one common message – that Koh is in the dock as the allegations of neglect, discrimination and marginalization of the Malays in Penang have their endorsement.

Hence the support  by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak of the call by the Tanjung Umno division on Saturday that the Penang  Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah be vested with more executive powers to “enable him to plan his own approach to help Malays”.

Tsu Koon’s quick explanation yesterday that his “position, responsibilities and authority as Chief Minister will not be affected” with the vesting of “more executive powers” to the Deputy Chief Minister must rank as among  the most unbelievable statements of the year.


Umno  Youth leader and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin has also  weighed in against Koh  and thrown his support behind Penang Umno/Umno Youth when he said in Sandakan yesterday that Koh must resolve the problems of the Malays in Penang without laying down any condition. (Berita Harian)


Without asking Balik Pulau Umno Youth to apologise for the public “slap-in-the face”  to Koh with the seven-banner public protest, Hishammudin wanted Koh to meet Penang state Umno/Umno Youth  leaders to iron out issues pertaining to the Malay development in the state.

Koh had pleaded for time, saying that had there been no demonstration from members of the Balik Pulau Umno division against him  on Tuesday, he would have met the Umno leaders already.


This has resulted in Hishammuddin’s harsh warning to Koh from Sandakan yesterday.


It was only last week at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference  that Koh rebuked  and challenged Penang Umno/Umno Youth leaders to give facts to substantiate their allegations of neglect, discrimination and marginalization of the Malays in Penang.
He said: "To my critics, don't simply criticise. Instead, give concrete facts.”

However, not only have the Penang Umno/Umno Youth leaders disregarded him, his call has not been heeded by national Umno/Umno Youth leaders.


Hence, Hishammuddin’s warning from Sandakan and the statements from Najib on vesting more executive powers to the Penang Deputy Chief Minister and the need for Koh to demonstrate that he is “CM for all races”.


What has happened to Koh’s challenge to his critics to produce “concrete facts” to back up the allegations that under his Chief Ministership in the past 16 years, Malays in Penang had been neglected, discriminated against and marginalized, and that he had failed to be “CM for all races”?


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

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: