Where is Kin Woon?: Gerakan leaders and reps stand in front of what looks like a pile of food on Nomination Day (Photo credit: Abang Benet)
Gerakan central committee member Toh Kin Woon has quit the party and, by extension, the BN.
He will probably focus more on civil society work. He is a long-time member and supporter of the social reform group Aliran and chairman of the Penang-based Socio-economic and Environmental Research Institute (Seri).
This is what Kin Woon said over the phone:
I am currently involved in a couple of NGOs and in research and writing. In order to have the space to pursue this work in civil society more effectively, I am of the view that it’s best I am not involved in any political party. This will also save the party from any embarrasssment should my stand on any issue be different from that of the party.
I would like to place on record my deepest appreciation to all party leaders and members for their support and for the opportunity given to me (to serve the party). I leave the party without any rancour or ill-feelings. The friendship I built up with all of them over the years will be treasured. I convey my apologies for whatever mistakes I may have made and I wish the party all the best in its struggle for a better Malaysia.
Kin Woon ran into controversy over the last couple of weeks when he spoke at a launch of a book on Gerakan and when he attended an Anwar ceramah in Permatang Pauh – which ruffled feathers in the party. Gerakan secretary-general Chia Kwang Chye later offered him “friendly advice” not to attend anymore PKR events.
Kin Woon has consistently and vocally opposed the Internal Security Act and called for the release of all ISA detainees. Often calling for more democratic space for debate and dissent, he has also been supportive of civil society activities, including during his time in the Penang State Government.
As a Catholic/Christian convert, he believes strongly in the social dimension of the Gospel.