Wikileak: Koh Tsu Koon humiliated by Pak Lah and Umno

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi publicly humiliated Koh Tsu Koon, then Penang chief minister, in 2006 in “an ironic exercise in hypocrisy and political expediency” just before Umno divisional meetings, according to the US Embassy’s political officer, Mark Clark, in a secret diplomatic cable published at Malaysia Today through WikiLeaks.

The cable said Abdullah, then prime minister, “echoed the earlier remarks of his son in law, Khairy Jamaluddin”, and publicly charged Koh Tsu Koon “with systematically marginalising [Penang] Malays and demanded immediate action to address the needs of the marginalised Malay community”, the cable said.

Penang executive councillor Dr Toh Kin Woon, sometimes called the conscience of the Gerakan, later told Mark Clark privately that Abdullah thoroughly humiliated Koh, who was caught unprepared and unable to respond “although Malays in Penang have a higher per capita income than Malays in many other states”.

The irony noted by the cable stemmed from a political controversy sparked by Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew statement that Malaysian Chinese had been systematically marginalised by the ruling coalition, principally by Umno.

Koh Tsu Koon faced further lambasting from Najib Tun Razak, then Abdullah’s deputy, who called on Koh to more equally divide his executive powers with the deputy chief minister (an Umno man), and Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, the education minister then, demanded Koh take unconditional immediate action to address the needs of Penang Malays.

“According to sources who attended the meeting, Koh was dumbfounded and unprepared to respond to the Prime Minister’s accusations,” the cable noted.

Mark Clark said in the cable that Gerakan deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon told him that Koh was viewed by the whole Chinese community as weak: “it is just his personality, and everyone comes to expect it.”

Dr Toh Kin Woon stated that it was this type of weakness that placed Barisan Nasional’s Chinese component parties (the MCA and Gerakan) in danger of losing ground to DAP or Party Keadilan Nasional in more mixed constituencies. In another meeting he faulted Koh for not standing up to Abdullah about the Chinese marginalising Penang Malays. Such weakness opened the door for the opposition to make significant gains at the next general election, Dr Toh said.

(In the 2008 election, MCA and Gerakan were wiped out in Penang by the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition. Lee Kah Choon agreed to serve as chairman of a state government agency under the DAP-led administration. He left Gerakan when criticised for doing so.)

Mark Clark also commented that Koh Tsu Koon “is an intellectual” with a doctorate in physics from Princeton. “His technocratic style makes him popular with corporate leaders, who appreciate his business friendly approach to governing, but is ill-suited to the cut-and-thrust of party politics.”

The cable in full…


12 thoughts on “Wikileak: Koh Tsu Koon humiliated by Pak Lah and Umno

  1. You call this humiliation? Wait till the unspeakables that Mamak thrown at MCA presidents behind closed doors are leaked. This is the price for being traitors to the community they claimed to represent.

  2. To Gerakan & MCA leaders, it is worth it even to be sprayed with saliva from the UMNO leaders just to get govt positions. A disgrace to the Chinese community. What is the point of being in the govt when they are too chicken to stand up against the UMNO goons?

  3. Dumbfounded only? Is that all he could muster? He dared not hit back at such bullying, even verbally? Like that he is not a leader lah, so Boh Hood (tadak telor).

  4. Merely a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Who is Badawi Abdullah after all? The biggest let down PM Malaysia had. All the promises he made and being similar to Dr. Koh, i.e. mild natured, was a breath of fresh air to Malaysians after 22 years of Mamak ironfist. So he gathered a huge majority in 2004…but did he do anything? why didn’t he ask Dr. Koh to step down then? However, the voters learned their lesson and in 2008, we saw him pushed out. At least Dr. Koh is still in the Government.

  5. Koh was a Puppet of UNMO for 18 years when he was the chief minister.He was the Yesman of his UNMO deputy.He had no power.Every dicision must get approval fron UNMO man.He could not even have the gut to give a piece of land to a Chinese primary school.

    Now he is the follow dog and running dog of Nasib.When you see Nasib, you see this dog.Shame on you act like a disgraceful dog just for a miniter post

  6. It’s interesting to see where is KTK going to stand as candidate next GE… What humiliation is he going to receive form voters of 3 dif. races……..kkeke kekekke ke ha h ha h hahah hahh ahahah ahahha

  7. many thanks TO KOH T K n MCA for masterminding the downfall of PENANG to PAKATAN N DAP. GREAT JOB done n continue to bring the downfall of UMNO at FEDERAL LEVEL

  8. Pingback: Zaini to Gerakan: shut up, so Umno can rule Penang « uppercaise

  9. KTK is really an insult to the chinese community. By accepting the backdoor minister appointment, there is nothing you can say or do for the community. Umno offerred the post for him to keep quiet and just follow where the PM goes. PM is happy to have CSL and KTK as president of their respective party. In this way, both will not be able to demand and just be ” yes” men. If they are men of dignity, they should have resigned long ago. Stupid, brainless chinaman.

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