PKR man quits, calls DAP ‘autocratic’

(New Straits Times) –  An opposition grouping insider called the DAP-led state government “autocratic and undemocratic” with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng constantly meddling in the affairs of the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP).

Lim Boo Chang, 56, said this after leaving Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and resigning as MPPP councillor. He was also PKR Bukit Gelugor division chief. He said Penang PKR was often sidelined by DAP, which behaved arrogantly because of its huge majority of 19 seats in the state assembly. PKR has nine, Pas one and Umno 11 seats in Penang.

He said MPPP had lost its autonomy because of Guan Eng’s constant interference. Boo Chang, who served as MPPP councillor for 11 years, and the last three years as a PKR representative, cited the subterranean Penang
International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) project as an example of Guan Eng’s strong-arm tactics.

Councillors were forced to act as rubber stamps as Guan Eng wanted to see his brainchild project completed, no matter what, he said. “Until now, I have not even been given a copy of the agreement signed between MPPP and developer, Eco Meridian.

“I have been a councillor for nine years  and I have never seen such an undemocratic thing happening in the council.

“The state government keeps chanting about its CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) principles, but in reality, it does not exist.” Boo Chang  was one of two councillors who objected to the RM50 million that MPPP would have to pay for the sPICE project.

The other councillor, Dr Lim Mah Hui, also put on record his opposition during  MPPP’s budget presentation in October  .

As for PKR, Boo Chang  said he decided to quit as he had become disillusioned with the party.

“I joined PKR in June 2008 as I was  attracted to its reformation pledges.

“However, all the promises made by their leaders have fallen short of expectations.

“The internal squabbling has also caused me to lose confidence in the party.”

Boo Chang  started his political career in Gerakan in 1984, but left the party in 1999 to join MCA.

His late father, Datuk Lim Ee Heong, was a founding member of Gerakan.

Boo Chang, who was also the state PKR legal and social service bureau chief, said he had sent his letters of resignation to PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and MPPP president Patahiyah Ismail.

The former Datuk Keramat assemblyman (1995  to 2004) said all the internal problems faced by the opposition had pushed the loose alliance to the crossroads,  but  it was  putting on a united front because of  the pending general election.

“Mark my words. It  will go its own way after the general election.”

On the contrary, he said, the transformation programmes laid out by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to move the country forward had impressed him.

Citing the 1Malaysia vision as an example, he said Najib had demonstrated a determination to be close to the people and unite all Malaysians.

“That is also why I have decided to quit PKR.

“I hope  those who share my views will join me in support of Barisan Nasional’s transformation programme.”

He  said he hoped to rejoin Gerakan, but had yet to officially inform the party’s leadership.

“I have seen how Gerakan transformed after the last general election and I want to lend it a helping hand throughout the transformation process.”

State Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said Boo Chang was welcome to join Gerakan,  but he had to  fill up a membership form.

He added that Gerakan’s central working committee would decide whether to accept Boo Chang.

“As long as someone subscribes to Gerakan’s ideologies and BN’s policies, he is more than welcome to join us.”