CRITICISM: Former Penang CM says he has never threatened to sue media
JOHOR BARU: A 41-YEAR-OLD Dr Koh Tsu Koon (now Tan Sri) was greeted with some damning media comments when he was made chief minister of Penang in 1990, with one analysis suggesting he would not last 100 days in office.
Yesterday, Koh invoked this particular experience in criticising the constant threats of legal action by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
"In my 18 years as chief minister of Penang, I've never threatened to sue the media for whatever criticism written about me," said the Gerakan president in his address to about 400 party members at the Johor Gerakan annual delegates conference yesterday.
Koh said the opposition was the self-proclaimed champion of the Freedom of Information Act but it did not practise what it preached.
"We should try to answer questions raised by the media. We should clarify the situation instead of threatening to sue people.
"The true colours of the dictatorial DAP are beginning to show after about four years in office," said Koh, who also is minister in the Prime Minister's Department.
Koh was political secretary to then chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu when he was chosen to succeed Dr Lim following the 1990 general election.
At a press conference later, Koh said the party would field new faces in the general election.
"We should strengthen our machinery by reactivating those who are inactive and creating links with non-governmental organisations and getting more volunteers."
Present were Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn, secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow, Wanita Gerakan vice-chairman Priscilia Yong, Johor Wanita Gerakan chief Tai Mun, Johor Gerakan chairman Datuk Teo Kok Chee and his secretary, Cheong Chin Liang, who is also Bukit Batu assemblyman.
Earlier, the Johor Gerakan delegates passed four resolutions, including steps to be taken against inflation and efforts against crime.
Koh said fighting crime was not confined only to the police.
"To say that police have not been doing their job is not true. Members of the public can lodge a complaint against policemen who discourage anyone from reporting a crime just because they want to keep the crime rate down."
He said statistics might show crime had gone down but for victims of crime, or their family and friends, one crime was too many.