Lee & Koh during the last campaign (The Star)
Koh trying to appease Chia after he was not nominated for much anticipated state seat.
Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon has finally made it to the cabinet. His inclusion has been speculated for months. Leaders and members of Gerakan were actively involved in the lobbying, believing that a ministerial position for Koh will help the party to regain back power in Penang.
Koh has been appointed as a Minister in the PM’s department looking after national unity. But who wants to talk to Koh about unity? Koh does not have an impressive track record on unity.
He was instrumental in creating disunity among his top leaders in Penang during the last general election. He was the main man who played the CM musical chair with Chia Kwang Chye, Teng Hock Nan, Teng Chang Yeow and Lee Kah Choon. This had created dissatisfaction and suspicion between the four leaders.
The outcome was catastrophic for the party. Lee joined the new state administration led by DAP. Chia and his brothers had remained on the sideline since his defeat at the party’s state chairmanship contest by Teng. All of the four were defeated in the last general election. The defeats were not thought to be possible before the CM nomination ruckus.
Perhaps Koh should try his hand at uniting his party’s leadership first before trying to do the same for the country. Koh is the only winner in the whole shameful period of Gerakan’s campaign in Penang. He is now a cabinet minister.
What did Koh tell
” Gerakan Acting President Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said it is not currently under his consideration whether to accept offers to enter the Cabinet. He said he and other leaders of the party refused to accept any offer for the positions of Senator and minister for two reasons.
Koh said that even MIC President has mentioned it that it was indeed going through the back door if he accepted the offer as a Senator after being defeated in the general elections. Besides, the Opposition also said on the last day of the campaign period that: there is no need to vote for Koh Tsu Koon as he can be a minister through the Senator appointment.” If he becomes a minister by such a way, it would be contrary to the true meaning of the democratic elections.
“Besides, as the party was defeated this time, I’ll focus on the revitalisation of the party and be a full-time acting president,” he said. (Has he revitalised Gerakan? If not the party needs a full time president)
He added that a Cabinet minister would have to be responsible for the ministry, the party and the constituency. One could not do carry out all duties simultaneously if he wants to do well.” (This is Koh’s own assessment of his performance – a prophecy)
Additional: The inclusion of Gerakan President Koh Tsu Koon as a minister in the PM’s department taking charge of unity is interesting. By accepting the appointment, Koh has gone back on his words not to accept a senatorship and a ministerial position if he was defeated at the Batu Kawan parliamentary contest.