GEORGE TOWN: Former DAP member of parliament (MP) for Batu Kawan Kasthuri Patto announced today that she would not be defending the seat in the next general election (GE15) to make way for future leaders in the party.
The announcement was made during a press conference at the state DAP headquarters this morning.
"This is the hardest decision I have had to make in my life.
"I wish to announce that I am stepping down gracefully and not contesting in the 15th general election to make way for future leaders in the DAP and for Malaysia.
"And I will forever be indebted to the party for providing me a platform to serve the people and the nation for two terms as MP for Batu Kawan," she said today.
Kasthuri said the party leadership had persuaded her to rethink her decision.
"But after much thought, I will stick to my decision and have received full support and blessing from the party leadership which I truly treasure.
"There have been rumours that I have been dropped but this is not the case as I am stepping down on my own accord and account.
"The DAP has, is and will always remain as more than a party to me. Instead, being born into the party, it will always be family to me, my mother Mary Patto, my sister Shaalini Anne and my husband Alain Morvan, who have been my rock and confidante in this tumultuous time," she added.
Kasthuri said she wished to continue and pursue her work on human rights, namely on the abolition of the death penalty, criminalising child marriages, gender inclusivity, civil liberties and social justice for all on a different platform with Malaysia close to her heart and the principles of the DAP as her moral compass.
In the wise words of Lim Kit Siang, she noted, the party catapulted her to the world and she appreciated the support from the party to pursue this.
"In my last term as an MP, I was a member of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee for International Affairs and was elected as president of Parliamentarians for Global Action and am currently the DAP deputy secretary of International Affairs.
"I wish to thank from the bottom of my heart, (Mr) Lim (Kit Siang), who has been a father figure to me and to the late (Mr) Karpal Singh for embracing me like a daughter as I journeyed in politics as an elected representative and in life.
"My utmost love, respect and gratitude to the leadership of the DAP, chairman Lim Guan Eng, secretary-general Anthony Loke and the Chief Minister of Penang Chow Kon Yeow for your wisdom, direction and tenacity in facing imminent obstacles in the political landscape of Malaysia.
"To my party comrades, thank you for all your support and know that you will always have mine. To Chong Eng, chairman of DAP Women, for paving the way for more women representation in decision making positions, I am grateful for your persistence to see this happen.
"To my supporters and voters of parliament Batu Kawan, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to represent all of you in the Dewan Rakyat and to my officers in my service centre, I and the people of Batu Kawan thank you for your service all these years. It has been a true privilege to have served in my constituency under the DAP flag and I wish only the best to my beloved party and Pakatan Harapan to steer Malaysia to reach her full potential as a Malaysia for all Malaysians," she said.