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Comment by Lim Guan Eng on Wednesday, 20th February 2008 in Petaling Jaya: 

DAP leaders will continue to make efforts to convince Fong Po Kuan until the last minute to persuade her to recontest in Batu Gajah parliamentary seat even though she reiterated in her blog that she was unable to reconsider her decision to opt out of the elections. Fong contacted me last night and I conveyed to her the feelings of hurt and pain the party is feeling at her abrupt and sudden departure which has affected us and our election campaign preparations.

However I stressed to her that our love for her as a "daughter" of DAP remained undiminished and hoped that she returns to the parliamentary leadership to join the DAP's collective effort to reduce UMNO's political dominance. DAP reiterates our condemnation for the dishonest and disgusting tactics of BN leaders and BN-controlled mass media that DAP tried to force her out of Batu Gajah.

Fong is a dedicated battler and great believer of DAP's struggle for truth, freedom, justice and democracy. DAP believes that she can not only contribute significantly to the party's cause but also play a major role in educating the public out of their political apathy to participate in the political process to change their lives for the better. Fong has seen what she can achieve as the wakil rakyat of Batu Gajah changing the lives not only of her constituents but also the mindset of the defeatist to have faith again in making a positive difference in those who believes that we can never change the status quo.

At the critical moment of Malaysia's history, DAP needs her and other leaders to move the process of change towards democracy forward away from the one-party state of UMNO's political dominance. And also dispel the lies spread by UMNO, MCA and BN that DAP wants to force her out of Batu Gajah to contest elsewhere when Fong herself knows that she has always been the one and only choice for Batu Gajah parliamentary seat. However should our efforts to persuade her fail, DAP has to face up to the negative impact from her departure which has reduced our winning chances, including trying to salvage the Batu Gajah parliamentary seat.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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