PETALING JAYA, 20 April 2009: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been asked to keep mum to the press about his unhappiness over Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin’s resignation as Penanti state assemblyperson.
“PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim met today to discuss the issue and I believe that all confusion has been settled,” said PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali, in a press statement today.
Syed Husin “On behalf of PKR I ask Lim to not continue discussion of Fairus’ case in the media. It will only benefit the Pakatan Rakyat (PR)’s opponents,” Syed added.
Lim had previously expressed disappointment with Anwar and PKR, saying that he was only faxed Fairus’ resignation after the media had been notified. “As far as I am concerned, I knew only when the press contacted me. I am not happy with how everything has unfolded,” Lim said.
Syed revealed that Fairus made the decision to resign as Penanti state assemblyperson himself.
“He made this decision early 16 April morning, after a discussion with Anwar. This was after the end of a Political Bureau meeting, just before midnight on 15 April,” Syed said in the statement.
Syed also revealed that Penang state assembly speaker Abdul Halim Hussain has submitted Fairus’s resignation letter to the Election Commision (EC).
“We hope the EC will act professionally, according to the law, and not be influenced by certain quarters … that appear to want to avoid a by-election,” Syed said, adding that PKR would welcome a decision by the Barisan Nasional (BN) not to contest the state seat.
“Maybe the prime minister and Umno are worried that they may lose, and lose by a greater margin of votes,” Syed said.
Responding to accusations that PKR’s forcing of another by-election was wasteful and manipulative, Syed said, “Why does the question of waste only surface now, when the Umno-BN government has continually wasted the people’s money? Why does the question of politicking surface now, when Umno-BN leaders continue politicking through the media that they control?”
Lim taken to task
Meanwhile in PENANG, state PKR chief Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim has taken the chief minister to task for using the media to voice out his dissatisfaction towards the party and Anwar.
Lim Zahrain said as a partner in the ruling coalition in Penang, it was not proper for Lim to voice out his dissatisfaction in the media over the appointment of the DCM I and Fairus’ resignation as assemblyperson, reports Bernama.
He added that there were internal mechanisms to discuss the matter.
“As a member of the pact (PR coalition), why can’t he discuss directly with Anwar about Fairus’ successor as DCM1 and Penanti assembly[person]?” he told Bernama.
He said that the DCM1’s appointment and the issue pertaining to the Penanti seat were PKR’s internal affairs.
“It is true that as the chief minister, he has the prerogative; but at least give us the opportunity to determine what we want to do. He should have listened first to what we are going to suggest,” he said.
As to Lim’s complaints that he had not been informed about Fairus quitting, Zahrain claimed a copy of the resignation letter was sent to the chief minister’s office by PKR.
However, Lim was in Singapore at that time, and as such, it would have been up to his officers to alert him about the matter.
Zahrain said Anwar had also tried to contact the chief minister but could not reach him.