Monday, February 18, 2008

DAP Chief Denies Forcing Out Fong - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang is crying foul, saying that he has been made the "villain" and denied that he was forcing incumbent Batu Gajah member of parliament, Fong Po Kuan to contest in another constituency in the March 8 general election.

The party never asked Po Kuan to change constituencies as all party leaders had expected and fully supported her to contest for the third time in the Batu Gajah parliamentary seat, the Ipoh Timor MP wrote in his blog.

"Very tired, but no thought of sleep until I blog about Fong Po Kuan. Not just because I have been made the villain prompting Po Kuan's announcement that she would not contest in the general election but also because of her qualities," he said.

Lim, who attended two ceramahs with Fong in Batu Gajah parliamentary constituency on Friday night, said he had received calls asking why he had forced the 34-year-old party's assistant publicity secretary and Wanita DAP national organising secretary to retire from politics.

"I never did such a thing and Po Kuan never resigned from the party - but the damage was done, as first impressions (however false) are most lasting, that I had forced Po Kuan to resign from the DAP because I was forcing her to contest in another constituency apart from Batu Gajah. Talking about "eating dead cat"!," Lim wrote.

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PO KUAN CRIES OFF: Batu Gajah MP declines nomination - NST

By : Shahrul Hafeez and P. Chandra Sagaran

BATU GAJAH: The opposition Democratic Action Party was dealt a major blow in Perak when its firebrand female leader, Fong Po Kuan, pulled out of the general election, citing internal politicking as her reason.

Fong is a two-term incumbent Batu Gajah MP. Her claim to fame was the defeat of Perak MCA chairman Datuk Ong Ka Chuan, who is also the brother of MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, in the 2004 general election.

She had been a favourite to retain her parliamentary seat.

Her decision yesterday threw the Perak DAP into disarray, with state DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham saying he hoped Fong's decision would not affect the party's bid to win at least four parliamentary seats in the Kinta Valley.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said they would try to persuade Fong to stay.

"We were surprised to receive her letter. I have been too busy to read it in detail," he said, adding that the party was caught off-guard as he had phoned her the night before to confirm that she would be re-nominated in Batu Gajah.

At a press conference here, Fong, who is one of the more vocal DAP MPs in the house and was elected at the age of 24, said: "My decision is final. It was not an easy decision."

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