KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Tebrau MP Steven Choong has denied that the new EcoSocial Movement was meant to pave the way for his exit from PKR, pointing out that he had even turned down a ministerial post from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
Choong went on to explain that the new movement is a platform to enable continued services to the public.
“I am disappointed in the last few days a post specifically mentioned my name, and two others that we have set up an NGO as there is no place for us in PKR because of our affiliation with those who have since left the party to form the PN government,” he said in a statement dated yesterday.
Although confirming that he had on March 3 — after the fall of the PH government — said that it was about time for him to return to his auditing and tax profession with a reduction of almost 80 per cent of cases handled at his service centre in the first two days of March, Choong noted that his assistants, however, wanted to continue serving the public.
“My assistants were suddenly very free but they wanted to maintain at least at 50 per cent of the level of services that we used to render in the last 22 months.
“Hence, an NGO named EcoSocial Movement (Gerakan EkoSosial) was set up in March 2020 to help us raise funds as well as recruit volunteers for works. Hence, the post associating me to the NGO and the allegation that this was done because it serves as an exit tool for me in PKR is baseless and untrue,” he said.
On its Facebook page, the EcoSocial Movement is described as a movement to shape national policies on environment, human rights and social welfare, with plans to work with government agencies and the government of the day to achieve this.
Choong lamented the factional politics that started appearing in his Tebrau constituency since the end of the 14th general elections, where those from two unnamed rival political parties have allegedly started to find ways to discredit him.
“I could not avoid but to think that one or more of them has done the work of spreading the news that I am exiting and joining Gerakan.
“I hope such work of discrediting an opponent will be stopped and let us compete professionally and ethically,” he said.
Choong said he remains committed to serving the public based on the ideals of social justice and the reform agenda.
“During the collapse of PH government which just happened two months back, I even turned down an offer of a full minister post from the other side,” he said, hoping to continuing serving in his current role by speaking on behalf of Tebrau voters “free of dirty politics”.
News portal The Star today reported that PKR’s Padang Serai MP M. Karupaiya similarly denied speculation of him quitting the party to defect to Perikatan Nasional, asserting that he cannot be bought over. The Kedah lawmaker reportedly said that a minister had asked to meet him but that he was adamant on staying loyal and remaining with PKR.
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