I refer to the Malaysiakini report PDC: Keng Yaik wishes Kah Choon 'best of luck' .
I hail the appointment of former Gerakan deputy secretary-general, Lee Kah Choon by the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. This is an unprecedented move in Malaysia and I rejoice that Lim has the courage, foresight and vision to appoint the highly honourable and experienced Lee, particularly as chairperson of the InvestPenang, the PDC subsidiary tasked with wooing investment to Penang. That Lee took the bold step to resign from all posts in Gerakan to take responsibility for Gerakan's disastrous showing in the March 8 general election only goes to show how noble and honorable Lee is.
That he genuinely wants to contribute to Penang is without doubt. Now that this has been recognised by Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang, Lee has the opportunity to walk his talk of contributing to society is unlike what most politicians, particularly BN politicians, talk about but fail to do.
Lee's appointment is unprecedented and is yet another proof that Lim Guan Eng is not afraid to not follow the norm but has the courage to strive out for what he feels is best for the state and for Malaysians. He could easily have rewarded his supporters within the DAP or Pakatan Rakyat with such a juicy appointment. BN would have done that. Instead, Lim is bold and forthright enough to choose the best available person to spearhead Penang's development irrespective of gender or political affiliation. Is Lee the right person? Only time will tell.
But what is certain is that his appointment may mark the birth of a new political culture in Malaysia that transcends communal, gender, religious or political barriers. Only the best available and the most capable will do. Achieving the end result transcends other considerations. In this way, the state will benefit when the best and most capable person is tasked with important responsibilities. We know that projects will have the best chances of attaining success. Bailouts by the state will be unnecessary.
As Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said, all he needs are 3-4 capable and action-oriented assistants to help him. Management is about dissecting the job, identifying the core success factors and needs and delegating and empowering competent managers to carry out their portion of the project. The success of any project is very much dependent on the capability, energy, passion and vision of the man tasked with the job. Is Lee the man? Can he do the job? Is he the best man for the job? Time will tell. Lim and the Pakatan Rakyat government think so. We have to give them the time, the support and the freedom to do so. Then we will judge.
For 22 years under Mahathir, such key and not-so-key posts were used to reward Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan division and branch heads for their loyalty or to buy their continued support for the president. This is wastage. The person appointed may not be adequate to the demands of the job and as Murphy said, a person is usually promoted to a level of incompetence. We can cite hundreds examples during Mahathir's 22 years. He propagated such a culture.
Well, I say reward them by all means but do not entrust them with the rakyat 's future or welfare. When that appointed person proves incapable for the job, the project does not take off and the rakyat does not get the benefits of the investment. Worse, such projects fail and the government has to bail them out. I can cite countless examples.
I await anxiously to see more innovative and ‘out-of-box’, out-of-the-norm appointments and projects from the Pakatan Rakyat governments. They are becoming like a breath of fresh air compared to the 26 years of Mahathir-ism’s ‘thinking-in-the-box’ and power-sharing - or rather wealth-sharing - amongst the BN leaders.