GEORGE TOWN, Nov 19 — DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook refuted circulating rumours of a movement to oust or replace Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow before the next dissolution of the state legislative assembly.

In his opening speech at the Penang DAP annual convention here today, Loke said DAP Chairman Lim Guan Eng and the entire Central Executive Committee (CEC) are fully supportive of Chow to lead the state for the rest of the term.

There is no issue of cold-shouldering between Lim and Chow either, he added.

“I heard all kinds of rumours about problems within the Penang state government and talks of a movement to oust Chow as the chief minister. I did not respond to the media in Kuala Lumpur or Putrajaya because I wanted to address it at the convention today.

“I want to stress that these rumours are rubbish. There is no such movement. All of us, including the CEC, have given him our full support and entrusted him to lead the state.

“All these allegations are false and I do not want it to jeopardise the administration of this state,” he reiterated.

Also present were Chow, who is the state party Chairman, and Lim as well as state party leadership and representatives.

At a press conference after the convention, Loke, who is also Transport Minister, said he placed his trust in Chow and urged all party members to stand strong behind the party and the state government.

“DAP supported Chow as the chief minister candidate prior to the previous general election, and also to lead the election campaign. He successfully defended the 19 state assembly seats to form a state government with other allies.

“There were no other candidates, we chose him unanimously. It is a collective decision, not just mine or Lim Guan Eng’s. Any changes must come from the CEC,” he added.

He said Chow has given a commitment to lead Penang for only two terms, as enshrined in the state constitution, in addition to implementing a transition plan for DAP, which includes selecting a successor.

Loke said Chow and DAP Penang will identify a successor to lead the state within the next four years. — Bernama