Does Lim Guan Eng Walk the Talk December 3, 2008Posted by malaysianstory in Uncategorized.
“Every political struggle is a long journey but we have to start somewhere. We may not form the government this time around but if people accept our manifesto, one day we may form the government and implement our ideals of good governance.”
This is what DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said when he launched the state DAP manifesto, A Dynamic Penang and Malaysia for All, before the March 8, general election.
Let us read and ponder if Lim walks the talk.
Case 1: DAP councillor arrested for vice activities.
A Taiping municipal councillor who was arrested on suspicion of producing pirated CDs and VCDs will not be asked to resign, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said.
He said he would wait for a full report first as the arrest ”may be politically motivated”.
On Thursday, the municipal councillor was detained on suspicion of producing pirated CDs and VCDs at his home in Taman Seri Hijau, Taiping.
A team from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s enforcement division was seen taking out boxes from the house, two computers and bottles of printing ink, into a van before detaining the councillor who is a DAP member.
Case 2: Danny Law, a copycat exco.
AN opposition assemblyman has described Penang Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law a ”copycat” for not coming up with original ideas to boost tourism in Penang.
Muhamad Farid Saad (BN”Pulau Betong) chided Law for claiming that the coming Cultural Fest was a new event when two of its activities, Penang Island Jazz Festival and Little Penang Street Market, were products of Barisan Nasional.
”The only new things are some seminars held during the fest. Isn’t this a case of being a copycat?” he asked when debating the state’s 2009 Budget.
Muhamad Farid also questioned the status of the state park in Pulau Jerejak and the Botany Park extension plan, projects undertaken by the previous administration.
”What are his (Law’s) ideas or suggestions on them? I hope he is not going to be a copycat again and continue with what had been approved earlier,” he said.
He said while Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng might be striving for a CAT (Competent, Accountable and Transparent) government, Law preferred to be a copy cat.
Case 3: Kings of Tennis Fiasco
On the Kings of Tennis fiasco, Farid alleged there might be favouritism when it was announced that the organiser was exempted from paying the RM2mil safety deposit.
”I feel those who approached the state government behaved like a Persian Cat who liked to be mollycoddled and got away with what they wanted,” he added.
Farid said it was ironic that State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, and not Law, was sent for the World Travel Mart which was held in London from Nov 10 to 13.
He also questioned Lim Guan Eng for leaving Penang on Nov 7 although the event only started on Nov 10.
”Was he there to work or for a holiday? And on Nov 12, he was back. As the cost was high, he should take part in the event from the beginning to end,” he added.
The case continues:
Criticism has continued over the Penang government’s role in the Kings of Tennis fiasco.
Tanjung Umno division deputy chief Raja Munir Shah Raja Mustapha, accompanied by 11 members, lodged a police report claiming alleged misuse of power in the matter.
”We have made a report against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and state Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law for giving approval to the organisers to proceed with the event.
”It is clear they did not follow procedures in the collection of the RM2mil safety deposit and the RM200,000 rental fee.
The stands are still up. Who will be responsible for the Esplanade field now?” Raja Munir Shah asked at the Beach Street police station.
The former Penang municipal councillor said a huge amount of taxpayers money might have to be used to restore the field.
The tournament was to feature former tennis greats like Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Mats Wilander and Bjorn Borg.
Penang Ratepayers Association president Datuk Eddy Choong said the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) was answerable for not collecting the RM200,000 when it rented out the field.
”It is an explanation they owe ratepayers,” he said.
“We hope that after this fiasco and also the recent Asean Culture Expo flop, the state government will learn from its mistakes and there will be no more such failures in future,” he added.
Meanwhile, checks found that most of the stands had yet to be dismantled and part of the field was a muddy mess.
Case 4: RM350mil golf course controversy
A RM350mil golf course that was proposed by the Pakatan-Rakyat Penang Government was not in the original development plan for the Batu Kawan satellite township as the previous state government wanted to retain the hills for the greenery.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah said the Seberang Prai Structure Plan had proposed the site for housing, an equestrian centre as well as small and medium industries (SMIs).
”South Seberang Prai already has two golf courses, one of which has ceased operations. So, there is no need for a third one,” said Abdul Rashid.
”The present state government should instead encourage the South Korean investor to revive the closed golf course, hence we can save the hills in Batu Kawan.”
The state government has come under fire for the proposed development of the RM350mil golf resort in Batu Kawan covering 162ha of state land, including the hilly area.
A memorandum of understanding was signed recently between the the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and South Korean company DK ENC Company Ltd to develop the resort.
Gerakan vice-president Huan Cheng Guan said the Pakatan Rakyat state government should not treat the PDC like their ”father’s company”.
”PDC is not a sendiran berhad company (private enterprise) and they cannot simply develop any state land they like.
”If you develop a golf resort, you will eventually build bungalows and high-end houses nearby which only benefit the rich.
”Pakatan Rakyat in its election manifesto had promised to look after the people’s welfare and protect the environment. But are they walking the talk?” he asked.
The Consumers Association of Pe-nang also urged the state government to reconsider the proposal, saying that golf courses would alter the environment and contaminate the soil with the excessive pesticides to keep courses green.
”There are more than enough golf courses in a small state like Penang and the state government should gazette Batu Kawan as a green lung and open for public for recreational purposes,” said CAP president S.M.. Mohamed Idris.
Case 5: Does Lim Guan Eng needs 52 people to accompany him for a trade mission?
TWO DAP MPs have denied that their participation in the Penang delegation to South Korea was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi said he went as a director in investPenang, the state government’s investment promotion agency.
”The trip was organised by investPenang, so my participation is a non-issue.
”I am also Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s chief of staff and main point of reference when it comes to issues concerning technology,” he said.
Last month, Lim led a 52-member delegation to Seoul that included his wife Betty Chew, his deputy Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, the two MPs, state exco member for tourism Danny Law, Penang Deve-lopment Corporation general manager Datuk Rosli Jaafar, and investPenang executive committee chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon and three officials. The rest were from the private sector.
Lim had come under fire from Barisan Nasional leaders for wasting taxpayers’ money by taking along such a big delegation.
”Instead of organising several different trips, we only went on one to fulfil several different objectives that would benefit the state,” he said.
Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong said he went along as one of the facilitators of the trip.
”I am also the Chief Minister’s policy adviser and am quite familiar with South Korea,” he said, adding that he also had some contacts in the country as he had spent some time there previously.
”We definitely did not spend a lot. Even the hotel we stayed in cost only about US$65 (RM230) a night,” he said.
Gerakan vice-president Huan Cheng Guan questioned the effectiveness of the trip, saying the state government could not even solve the financial crisis faced by the Football Association of Penang or hold a successful cultural expo at the Penang Pesta site.
”The Koreans are now busy rescuing their own companies; do you think they have time for us? The Chief Minister should take care of his own backyard and ensure that everything is in order before leaving the country,” he added.
Huan pointed out that Lim had yet to reveal the outcome of his trip to South Korea in May.
”Now, he is going there again. Why must he bring his deputy (Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin) along with his wife (Betty Chew) and two DAP MPs (Jeff Ooi and Liew Chin Tong)?” Huan asked, adding that he had never followed former chief minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on trade missions when he was the Batu Kawan MP.
Penang Umno liaison committee deputy chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah questioned the need for such a big delegation, saying the largest entourage the previous state administration had ever handled was only 25 people.
”The DAP criticised the previous Barisan Nasional administration for allegedly not doing anything right but now they are keeping quiet when spending taxpayers’ money.
”What has happened to their much talked about Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) system? Has Guan Eng ever told the people that he travelled Business Class or First Class whenever he goes on official overseas trips?” he asked.
Penang Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said the Pakatan state government should look after the existing investors and provide a conducive environment for them to stay on in light of the current world economic situation.