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Monday, September 27, 2010

Koh seen putting Cabinet post first, ducks Dr M, Perkasa, BTN


Koh - mulling the odds of a Perkasa showdown?
Malaysia Chronicle

In a sign that Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon will continue accepting a Cabinet post even if his party is wiped out in the next general election, Koh insists that the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition wouldl never win control of the federal government because of ideological differences between DAP and PAS.

“Koh is just trying to deflect attention from his own cowardice. Gerakan cannot gerak (move) anymore. It is comatose but Koh doesn’t have to worry at all. Without any seat, he can still enjoy the fabulous perks offered to Cabinet ministers. Umno will surely maintain him as their pet to make up the non-Malay faces in the Cabinet,” PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

Reneging on vows

In the run-up to the 2008 general election, Koh had vowed as a matter of principle not to accept a Senator-ship so that he could be made a Minister through “the backdoor” if he lost his seat. However, he soon reneged on his words.

On Monday, he dismissed recent remarks made by former premier Mahathir Mohamad that Umno would lose without support from ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa, but did not criticize Perkasa.

“We should not give them too much space and face. However, we should look at the root cause of their problems which are socio-economic and political in nature," the Star reported the youthful-looking 61-year old Koh as saying.

Subservience

The mild-mannered Koh, who was Penang chief minister from 1990 to 2008, has come under heavy fire from both Gerakan members and other Malaysians for his perceived subservience to Umno leaders.

When Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan publicly distanced his party from Perkasa earlier this month, Koh was among the first to rush to support him. Yet a week later when Prime Minister Najib Razak U-turned on the attempt to reject Perkasa and push through his multi-racial 1Malaysia plan Koh did not question Najib or Tengku Adnan.

Instead he turned the spotlight on the secular DAP and the Islamist PAS.

“Pakatan Rakyat will never win because of the differences between the two parties, PAS and DAP. DAP will never agree to PAS’s intention of setting up a theocratic Islamic state,” said Koh.

You can't keep ducking the issues

About 80 percent of Gerakan members are ethnic Chinese, 15 percent Indian, and the rest are Malays and other races. Formed in 1968, the party slumped to its worst electoral performance in the 2008 general election, wininng only two parliamentary seats compared to 10 previously.

Pakatan leaders also warned Koh that he could not keep avoiding a showdown with the extremist groups. Sooner or later, there would be a another flare-up either by Perkasa or some other government agency as these will now take the cue from Najib’s U-turn to increase their agitation for Malay supremacy or ketuanan Melayu.

In fact on Monday, the National Civics Bureau deputy director Hamim Husin reportedly made comments that suggested that only Malays had the right to rule Malaysia.

“Will TsuKoon, MCA, BN ministers demand that the Cabinet act against the BTN deputy director?” DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said on Twitter.

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