PENANG: Jawi assemblyman Tan Cheng Liang wept tears of joy while her Datuk Keramat counterpart Lim Boo Chang let out a sigh of relief on hearing that their suspensions were lifted by the MCA yesterday.
Are you sure this is not a joke? Tan kept asking when reporters broke the news to her at her service centre in Nibong Tebal.
Tan said that she felt as though she had just been taken out from a huge ice block where she had remained frozen for the last seven months.
Lim, who was in a state of disbelief when met at his Gurney Drive lawyers office, said he was looking forward to fully resuming his duties in the MCA and serving his constituents effectively.
They thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the party leadership for the decision to lift their suspension.
On Dec 16, the MCA had suspended them indefinitely after they had abstained from voting in the State Assembly against a DAP motion on the Penang Outer Ring Road project.
The decision was endorsed by the Barisan Nasional on Jan 7.
When asked whether she had learnt anything from the episode, Tan said: I am wiser now and I have learnt about patience and tolerance. I also look at things in a broader perspective.
She said that it also made her understand peoples character better.
I thank God, my family, friends and my constituents for their strong support. They are the pillars of my strength.
I will definitely bounce back and serve the people even harder, she promised.
On her suspension, Tan recalled that she could not attend any party or government meeting and was not invited to some official functions.
There was no effective communication for me to channel my constituents problems. It hurt me real bad, she said.
She added that she slowly picked up the pieces because she had to serve the people who had voted her in.
I thank the MCA leadership, especially party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, for lifting this suspension. This shows that they have listened to the grassroots.
Tan also thanked former party president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik for encouraging her to be strong and to accept the suspension in a positive manner.
She said yesterdays decision also proved that the MCA leadership wanted to give her and Lim the chance to continue serving the people.
Lim said he was relieved as he could now finally resume his duties without facing unnecessary obstacles.
I would first like to thank the Barisan and the party leadership for their confidence in me by making this decision, he said.
He said that the past seven months had been fraught with obstacles.
I couldnt apply for funds for my constituency due to my suspension and as a result, my constituents had to suffer, he said.
I am now looking forward to attending future party meetings, especially the MCA Penang Convention 2003 at TAR College on Aug 1.