PRESS STATEMENT : 1 AUGUST 2008
On 30th. July 2008, The Kajang Municipal Council had its first Board Meeting. The YDP Dato Hasan Nawani came in 50 minutes late. At the Council Meeting, Councillor Tan Boon Wah cautioned that the meeting should have started on time and not 50 minutes late. The YDP than attributed his delay that some Council members had to be persuaded to wear a coat and that was the reason for the delay.
At an impromptu press conference during the break, he told the journalist that the delay was due to me not wanting to wear a coat and that I had to be persuaded to do so.
For the record, let me state that I do not own or have any coat in my possession. Though some of my friends and supporters wanted to buy me one but I refused because these are difficult times (fuel hike and inflation) and they should not spare any money to buy me a suit as this cannot be the priority. We cannot be buying suits when we are told to change life-styles.
I have raised this issue of attire to Ronnie Lui, the Exco on Local Council and he just told me that attire is a grey area. I would pursue this with a letter to the Selangor Menteri Besar as the Pakatan Government is Perak is said is going to make some changes to this effect.
As a grassroots activist, I find it difficult to wear an attire which is alien to my believes. I find as a Councillor, my biggest challenge is to resolve local issues (rubbish collection, drainage, grass, road and light) and for me to be closer with the people. I do not see how wearing a coat for the Council meeting is going to resolve these issues.
Having said that, let me explain what happened on the 30th. July. I wore a shirt and the Deputy YDP asked me why I didn’t wear a coat. I told him honestly that I don’t have one and during the swearing in ceremony on the 8th. of July, the YDP did speak about the need to wear proper attire and said that they will take our measurements and we have to ensure we do wear the attire. He indicated that the coat will be ready before our Council Meeting on the 30th. July 2008.
So I told the Deputy YDP that was expecting for them to pass me my coat and he said that it is not ready and told me that when the others can wear a suit, why not me. I explained that my problem is I don’t have one. He then suggested that I wear his and I agreed if it could fit me. Obviously it didn’t fit me. Later another MPkj officer passed me a much bigger coat which I wore. Therefore it is not correct to say that I was persuaded to wear one. I just didn’t have one. It is also wrong for me to be used as scapegoat for the YDP coming late for the meeting.
Yesterday, once again I was inquired if my coat has been ready and I was told it is not yet.
I hope I will be judged by what I do and not with what I wear...