Guan Eng thanks Tunku Aziz, says will not trade barbs
KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Lim Guan Eng has refused to “exchange personal attacks” with Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim despite the latter claiming the DAP secretary general had insulted him by “dangling” a job offer before he quit the party on Monday night.
Lim had said in an immediate response yesterday that he would try to convince the former party vice-chairman to rethink his quit move.
But Tunku Aziz, who was the party’s most senior Malay leader, has since openly criticised the Penang chief minister in an interview with The Star published this morning, saying Lim was “biadap (uncouth)” and that he did not trust the latter.
“I received Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim’s brief resignation letter from DAP yesterday. I have tried to contact him since his announcement on Monday resigning from the party, but without any success.
“I have no wish to exchange personal attacks against Tunku but to convey the party’s thanks for his service during his four years as national vice-chair of DAP.
“Time will prove who is on the right side of history,” Lim said today in a statement that signals the end of efforts to woo back the ex-Bank Negara advisor.
Tunku Aziz told The Star that Lim had called him on Sunday offering him a senior fellowship in Penang Institute and “[dangled] travel as an attraction” after his tenure as senator was not renewed.
“Then yesterday, Zairil Khir Johari (Lim’s political secretary) called and repeated the offer and stated there was a stipend of RM50,000 to go with it.
“Totally totally insulting, and I could only conclude that it had come from someone who had no sense and not even a modicum of respect.
“Did he think I was that kind of person? This man has no sense of decency. The only word is a Malay word, and it’s ‘biadap’,” he was quoted by the English daily as saying.
But sources within DAP told The Malaysian Insider that the job offer was “genuine”, and that it had nothing to do with Tunku Aziz leaving the party.
Previously, Lim had publicly censured Tunku Aziz for saying that Bersih should not go ahead with an illegal street protest despite the party making a clear stand to back the electoral reforms movement’s April 28 rally.
The founding president of Transparency International Malaysia told The Star the rebuke gave the impression that what he had said was against the party as well as Bersih, and this was why he decided to “withdraw from the party.”
“I am not against the party. I am just against the attitude taken by the party secretary-general, particularly when he falsely accused me of going against the party decision to support Bersih. I have always stood for free and fair elections,” he said.
A distant relative of the Kedah royalty, he said he has always supported Bersih but only disagreed with proceeding with an illegal gathering after the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and police had refused to allow the movement to use the historic square for their rally.
DAP has tried to reach out to Malays, who make up 60 per cent of the 12-million strong electorate, by recruiting leaders such as Tunku Aziz.
But he has conceded his failure to win over the community to the Chinese-dominated party that has been accused by Umno of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam.