by Jeswan Kaur
Free Malaysia Today
November 3, 2011
The glowing words of praise heaped by the auditor-general in his latest report stand as proof that DAP is no fluke and has what it takes to turn Penang around.
The recently released Auditor-General’s Report comes as poetic justice for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in particular and Barisan Nasional’s nemesis, Pakatan Rakyat in general. The report is full of praises as to how the state has successfully improved its financial position.
According to the report, Penang last year improved its financial position over 2009.
“The audit analysis found that consolidated funds of 2010 had improved compared to previous years and is at the highest level compared to the previous five years,” the report stated.
Lim took over the state’s top post in 2008 after DAP, a member of the Pakatan coalition, nudged Gerakan out in the 12th general election and took charge of Penang.
In the three years, despite all brickbats from his BN counterparts, Lim remains steadfastly focused on improving the state’s performance. The result? Words of praise by the auditor-general.
Still, like all hardworking people, Lim faced and continues to experience stinging criticism from Umno and BN which have left no stone unturned in belittling and condemning his efforts in transforming Penang for the better.
With the latest Auditor-General’s Report validating Penang’s achievements, the state under Lim’s leadership promises hope, of ensuring that Penangites continue to enjoy progress.
As far as the report goes, Penang has “passed” with flying colours. The state has been lauded where implementation of projects is concerned. The report has hailed the state’s performance as “very good”, with 99% of the 9,003 projects successfully carried out.
The Auditor-General’s Report adds: “The state is recommended to make sure revenue collected is put into the correct account and continue its efforts to increase revenue and maintain its prudent spending to ensure a better financial position.”
It urges the state to continue with its efforts to collect arrears in student loan repayment, rental of properties, land tax and other taxes. These arrears totalled RM78.78 million at the end of 2010.
On development under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the AG rates the state’s performance as satisfactory, with Penang spending 77.8% of the allocated RM1.01 billion.
BN green with envy
There is no denying that the thumbs-up given by the Auditor-General’s Report to Penang has caused the federal government under the aegis of the BN coalition to turn green with envy.
While the Lim administration has received straight “As” for its good management of the state, it is otherwise for three companies owned by Johor which performed badly.
The Auditor-General’s Report said the three companies – YWJ Citra Holdings Sdn Bhd, Johor Skills Development Centre Sdn Bhd and Kumpulan Pendidikan YPJ Sdn Bhd – were found to be unsatisfactorily managed with two companies facing losses.
It will do BN good to buck up and emulate Penang in delivering nothing but the best to the rakyat, instead of resorting to gutter politics, using the dirtiest means possible to force their opponents out.
For Lim, in the 36 months that DAP has been helming Penang, much trial and tribulations have come his way, both professionally and personally.
Personal attacks on Lim came about when pro-Umno blogs had a fortnight ago accused his 16-year-old son of outraging the modesty of a female classmate which resulted in him being transferred to another school.
The bloggers also claimed that Lim had paid the girl’s family RM200,000 to keep the issue under wraps. The accusations, however, turned out to be baseless after the girl was found to be a 21-year- old chess champion from Hong Kong named Anya Corke who has since issued a statement denying the incident.
The headmaster of the boy’s former school as well as Penang education director, Ahmad Tarmizi Kamaruddin, both confirmed that the allegations were untrue.
Despite Anya’s denial, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in his childish desperation, challenged Lim to lodge a report, saying the denial was not good enough evidence to prove the boy’s innocence.
Clearly, Muhyiddin has displayed the worst in him by employing the age-old trick in politics, that is, character assassination of Lim, hoping this will do the trick and finish Lim off, politically that is.
Too bad for the DPM for it will take much more than this irresponsible tactic to put an end to Lim’s political career.
“I wanted to put the matter to rest so as not to affect my young son,” Lim had said in a blog posted on Oct 27. “He had skipped school for two days when the lies first surfaced.”
“I had no wish for him to go through with this again or deal with police investigations which involves ninja character assassins operating behind shadowy pro-BN blogs.”
BN too cocky to wisen up
Doing what a good father would, Lim is going all out to protect his son from the machination minds of Umno and MCA, both of whom seem to be relishing from the attacks on the DAP secretary-general using his 16-year-old son as the target.
Pro-MCA blogs wasted no time in jumping onto the bandwagon and politicising the issue, feigning all loyalty to Muhyiddin and accusing Lim of failing to act as a good father when he refused to lodge a police report.
And when the callow Umno Youth Khairy Jamaluddin, through his disgustingly lewd and sexist remarks tweeted: “Mungkin dia roboh Kampung Buah Pala sebab nak ganti dengan Kampung Buah Dada.” (Perhaps he demolished Kampung Buah Pala because he wanted to replace it with Kampung Breasts), it was a dead give-away of his own ability to play responsible and caring “daddy” to his two young boys.
Khairy, very much a “man in a hurry”, has revealed that he will stoop to any level to please his political masters.
If that is the mark of a leader, it explains why Umno Youth is nothing but an entity of manipulative and power-hungry male chauvinists who will sway any which way they deem necessary to further their personal agenda.
Making matters worse was Umno Online which quoted a fictitious report from Guang Ming saying Lim’s son was transferred out to another school because of drug problems in his former school.
Such desperation by Umno to kill off the trust and support vested by Penangites in Lim, DAP and Pakatan Rakyat!
Too bad that BN has made yet another blunder, of wanting to get hold of Penang come the next general election and bury DAP and Pakatan for good. Thankfully, the rakyat has seen right through BN and are in no mood to entertain its shenanigans.
As for Lim, the glowing words of praise heaped by the auditor-general in his latest report stand as proof that DAP is no fluke and has what it takes to turn Penang around, thanks to his ability to lead the state.
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.