Saturday, May 31, 2008

Put politics aside, says Tan - The Star


A defiant Federal Territory Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong called on those who had asked him to resign for taking up a post in Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor to rise above politics.

He said with many issues currently troubling the people, it was time to rise above political interests for the greater good of the country.

Dr Tan, who was issued a show-cause letter by his party for taking up the post as co-chairman of Selangor’s special task force on land issues, said he had yet to decide whether to reply to the letter.

He told The Star that he fully understood the implications of the letter.

“As a former vice-president, I have previously taken part in many disciplinary actions, including sending out show cause letters.

“I have until June 7 to respond. I have not decided (whether to reply),” he said.

Dr Tan is the second Gerakan leader to take up a post with a Pakatan Rakyat-led state after deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon.

Last month, Lee accepted the Penang Government’s offer to take up the posts of InvestPenang executive chairman and Penang Development Corporation director.

He then resigned from Gerakan.

Asked if he had sought advice from Lee, Dr Tan said he spoke to him briefly but did not ask for advice.

“There is no need for advice. It is very clear. I have been in politics a long time and have given this (the appointment) careful thought before accepting it,” he said.

On Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s statement that Barisan Nasional members who want to take up posts in Opposition-led governments should just quit the party, Dr Tan thanked him for the advice but said it was time to rise above politics for the country’s interest.

Dr Tan said one must be brave and look back at why one became a politician.

“We must go back to our initial struggle – regardless of whether it is me, my Gerakan colleagues, or even DAP politicians.

“It is my humble desire to serve (the people). Individuals do not count and do not matter,” he said

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