Poor, unworkable attempt to discredit Penang

Letter by Lilian

I refer to the letter Penang must arrest this alarming decline. As a citizen journalist and a Penangite who loves my island, I wish to point out some of the things that the writer mentioned in his letter. Being a citizen journalist, it is my habit to observe and report on things on the ground.

Firstly, I found that the same writer has written the same letter to The Star and The Sun in January. Obviously, he is still sore from the ‘supposed nightmares’ he encountered in Penang after two months. A blogger had posted these two letters on his blog and claimed it as a blatant attempt to discredit the Penang government by BN/Umno.

I shall not dwell into the political side of things. But I can provide my own observations:

  1. Penang has improved tremendously in terms of cleanliness. The writer said he found Penang to have deteriorated so much that it made him to swear not to visit the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ ever again. But as a Penangite, I can see the state has improved a lot in terms of cleanliness in recent months.

    In fact, the former council president had ‘gone to the ground’ to meet us citizen journalists when we pointed out a pile of rubbish outside Captain Francis Light’s grave. He then ordered a garbage disposal truck to clear the debris left by irresponsible people and asked his men to ensure cleanliness.

  2. ‘Overwhelming’ posters of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng – The writer implied Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had an overwhelming presence like North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung and Tamil Nadu politicians through his billboards and banners. I agree that there were some tourism billboards with Lim’s face on them. However, when I mentioned this over my Facebook status a while back, I was told that these will be taken down. Now, they are no longer there so I guess our grouses have been heard and heeded.

    However, it is common in Pakatan Rakyat states such as Kedah and Penang (the only two states I have observed) to place at strategic locations the Hari Raya, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Deepavali greetings from state leaders and elected reps. I have asked a few state assembly persons why the need the spend money on such posters and was told that many people in their constituencies do not recognise their representatives.

    Therefore, I can only say that we shall have to endure these smiling faces grinning at us until our fellow Penangites are sure who are their state reps.

  3. Bad traffic jams due to the Grand Prix – The Petronas Cub Prix held on Dec 20, 2009 was an event covered by citizen journalists and we can attest that the event received tremendous response. Only a certain stretch of road along the Esplanade was closed for a short time. Therefore, it is ridiculous for the writer to expect a jam-free Penang waiting for him during Christmas, New Year and the school holiday seasons.

    Horeover, there are very few hotels in that area. The bigger hotels like E&O and City Bayview would have probably warned their guests in advance.

  4. Midnight parking – The state did not ‘quietly’ extended parking fees to midnight as claimed by the writer. It was mentioned in the papers and Penangites knew about this. The reason given for the extended parking fee collection was to deter the ‘jaga kereta’ menace. Some of them used to haunt the Esplanade areas and there were several drug addicts high on drugs who create a huge spectacle if you dis not give them some money.

    I have seen this with my own eyes and certainly welcomed the move to feed the machine 30 sen every half and hour. It is legitimate money earned by the municipal council instead of encouraging drug abusers to demand money and terrorise tourists.

  5. ‘Ugly structures’ at Batu Feringghi – It is very easy to give a general picture of ‘ugly structures’. If the writer wishes to be more specific, please write to the municipal council and lodge a formal complaint. As far as I know, there have not been any ‘cleaners’ at Penang’s beaches.

    We are not like the Thais where each stall, pub and hotel owner works hard to keep the beaches clean. I have personally heard the new municipal council president telling her directors and staff to ensure beach and toilet cleanliness.

  6. ‘Frenzied’ construction in town – As far as I know, some of the works are part of heritage restoration. Georgetown is part of a Unesco World Heritage Site.

  7. Illegal hawkers and parking – I am sure CM Lim will be very pleased to get the writer’s specific complaints on which illegal structures he is referring to because the state has come under a lot of flak over the demolition of illegal structures. I bet the writer’s grouses will help CM Lim tremendously in proving the importance of maintaining orderliness.

    As for parking, the Pulau Tikus area is a clamping zone and no one dares to do double parking there. Otherwise, we Penangites are pretty patient folks and we live with the bit of chaos which is what makes us unique. Charm amidst the chaos.

  8. Tamil road signs – Since I don’t read Tamil, I cannot go into this. But rest assured, if I ever get a chance, I will go to Little India and ask the Indians there if the signs are translated properly. So which road names were wrongly translated?

  9. Not familiar with the state politics? The writer started out as a very displeased tourist. However, it puzzles me why he would want to mention that he is not familiar with the state’s politics? As a Penangite, I don’t see any politics in these issues as they are all administrative matters. Since Pakatan Rakyat took over, the state has improved by leaps and bounds.

    We are now people-centric. So regular folks like me get a voice. If something displeases me, I get to lodge a complaint with the right authority. The state departments like the council and Land Office etc all have their own websites. We can write to the directors and get our views heard by the right department. Our state reps are easily accessible to us. So as far as we are concerned, it is not about politics unless one wants to dabble in it.

As I had mentioned in my opening paragraph, I take pride in being a Penangite. Letters like the writer’s which give sweeping statements do not augur well for the attractions of this beautiful island I am living in. He has sent letter after letter to the media with the same complaints.

If he is so deeply unhappy, please forward all your complaints to the right department instead of painting Penang as such an ugly picture. Otherwise, our wide network of citizen journalists around Malaysia can help the writer make a video with specific details. I personally give the writer my assurance that I will ensure that all the relevant departments including the CM’s office are informed about his grouses but only if they are supported by facts, receipts (of parking ticket) and photos.

  1. #1 by baochingtian on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 8:19 pm

    Thanks Lilian for putting the perspective right.

  2. #2 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 9:09 pm

    LGE you are doing a good job in Penang. Most of the people we talked to in kopitiam agree that Penang now is cleaner. Clean in terms of corruptions and surrounding as well.

    Do not let the little [email protected] in Bayan Baru, Nibong Tebal and Kulim bogged you down. You don’t report or answer to them.

    We all know who is their behind-the-curtain paymaster is. We understand they need to make noises and sell their souls to be relevant. We know.

    If you keep them frustrated like these, means you are doing mightily good job for the rakyat.

    Hip Hip Hooray!
    Guan Eng Boleh!

  3. #3 by Sino Kadazan on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 9:46 pm

    Lilian, point 2. Over here in Beaufort, Sabah, UMNO MPs and Wakil Rakyat have big billboard pictures of them parading themselves and their families wishing everyone a happy Hari Raya, Christmas or CNY and it’s not only in Beaufort, even in Papar.

    So why do they make noise if LGE wants the Penangnites to know that he celebrates their respective celebration with them?

    If you want proof, I’ll send you one tomorrow. I’ll take pictures of this billboard signs.

  4. #4 by storm62 on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 10:02 pm

    cheap skate works by umno/bn sore losers to discredit Penang…..thanks to PR and LGE for doing a good job in keeping Penang clean of rubbish and corruption.

    No way bn/umno can win back Penang, do you understand?….sore losers!!!

  5. #5 by rahmanwang on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 10:07 pm

    storm62 os correct.
    The complainant is an UMNO or Gerakan ahli.
    Just trying to discredit Penang government.

  6. #6 by Dap man on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 10:34 pm

    If you add up all the newspaper reports and police reports against the Pakatan Penang State Government I am sure their number would have exceeded those made against Gerakan in the last 40 years.
    UMNO/MCA/Gerakan/MIC will have nothing good to say about Pakatan. Let them have their say. This is their last hurrah.

  7. #7 by chengho on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 10:36 pm

    this letter a cheap skate to promote guan eng.
    most people in kopitiam penang feel guan eng should go back and join betty in melaka and let another Dap local leader to replace guan eng.

  8. #8 by penang lim on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 11:08 pm

    undertaker 888 ,

    You have my support and fully agreed with your comments , I was brought up in penang , in just a matter of 2 years , i noticed changes for the better in penang , please bear in mind this is just 2 years , so you could just imagine if he is given another 2 terms , the state will be transformed into a beautiful swan , perhaps transformed into one of the most developed state in the peninsula

  9. #9 by ShiokGuy on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 11:55 pm

    Dear Paid Writer
    Do you dare?

    Just Writing Letter
    To paper that don’t care

    Why not come out in the open
    Be a man or woman, come on

    don’t be a loser that hidden
    talking cock is common

  10. #10 by monsterball on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:29 am

    DAP promote Lim Guan Eng as unity leader with their posters.
    UMNO promote Najib …how great he is …with his so call achievements.
    Yes…PENANG..”The Pearl Of The Orient” became a dirty filthy city for den of thieves and robbers under Koh Tsu Koon for 18 years..yet this KTK feels no shame nor regrets.
    That is why…he suits UMNO to be chosen again sitting shamelessly on a Ministerial post…when Malaysians rejected him in an election. Imagine ..a Gerakan President …being defeated…in an election..accepts an appointment as a Minister…by Najib…..and that’s “1Malaysia” for you to digest and understand.
    It simple means…all toe the line of UMNO or else…face the “consequences”.
    Fortunately Malaysians are fearless too and are grossly underestimated by UMNO for our intelligence. That itself…exposed so much.
    Back to Penang….I am so glad to hear it is returning to it’s old self…”The Pearl Of The Orient”..slowly but surely.
    When you have a government supporting corruptions race and religion politics…all things stand still or go backwards.
    Do not be fooled by the mega projects. Most are white elephants to reap Malaysians.. high and dry.
    Yes….Penang was so dirty and filthy…with so much sickening nonsensical underground activities..booming under Koh Tsu Koon…and kept Malaysians like me…feeling sick and helpless..seeing the Pearl faded away…dying..with no one to care…until Lim Guan Eng took over…YET…he is not appreciated ..even by his own .one or two comrades….showing dirty politics is very much alive.
    With Anwar backing LGE…that’s a good sign..for Penang.

  11. #11 by Daniel Quah on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:31 am

    I am penangites , i lives here almost all my life…I agreed LGE have make penang a better place with his CAT…for those guy that want to play racial card to debate with LGE…next election, we all penangites will make sure your party totally wipe out of this state…

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:47 am

    U better watch out, 4 KTK n Gerakan aim 2 snatch back Pg fr DAP, PKR, n PAS in d next GE
    No hollow threat fr d hollow guy, true 1 u know

  13. #13 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 1:25 am

    chengho: “this letter a cheap skate to promote guan eng.”

    As expected, die-hard Umno-BN supporters would mock such a letter…

    chengho: “most people in kopitiam penang feel guan eng should go back and join betty in melaka and let another Dap local leader to replace guan eng.”

    Maybe that kopitiam was frequented mostly by pro-Umno-BN PGRM members & supporters. Penang or Melaka or other states… They’re still part of our Malaysia…

  14. #14 by Black Arrow on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 7:50 am

    This writer who discredits Penang is always the same one. Is he a paid BN agent?

    BN are sore losers. They are just taking potshots at Penang as they are envious of the good job that Guan Eng is doing.

    BN must be annihilated in GE-13.

  15. #15 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 8:13 am

    I just don’t get it these UMNO/BN agents doing these things. It never surprise me how much work they are willing to do for a very very marginal chance of damaging the opposition. If they spend the same effort and resources to do the job they are suppose to do, everyone would just vote UMNO/BN in.

    Lim Keng Yaik has already shoveled the earth on Gerakan’s and BN dead chance of recovering Penang anytime soon. You can’t go negative enough on PR and LGE in Penang to knocked them out. Its too late for that. I think Penangites enjoy their new found independence and liberty from the yokes of Gerakan and UMNO. They LIKE telling them to BUGGER OFF.. Its a new found sense of freedom and pride in Penang.

    Frankly, I think Penangites should consider anti income-tax movement against the Federal Govt – no taxes without proper budget allocation from the Federal Government. Create some history..

  16. #16 by Comrade on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 8:17 am

    Paid writer maybe a BN agent
    Out to discredit the Penang state government
    Why are you such a busybody?
    Verify first before complain about anything or anybody.

  17. #17 by Ramesh Laxman on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 9:41 am

    World famous Russian dancer was asked about the kinds of adjustments he had to make after he left his native country. ” Most of all’, he said, ” I had to learn to tell the truth again. In Russia, you lie all the time, not only in what you say but in the way you live and do your work.If you don’t you will not work at all, and you might not live very long. Everything is so different when you come into an open society where, generally, people are not threatened by the truth. Along with telling the truth I had to learn to trust people again. When you have to lie and you know everybody else does the same you don’t know whom you can trust-so often you do not trust anybody”Ellen Switzer in Vogue. Reader’s Digest January, 1982 Personal Glimpses.

    We are 28 years too late.

  18. #18 by dagen on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:22 am

    Who doesnt know that umno is messing things up for guan eng in penang via remote control and with trojan horses. Now perkasa is acting like a large collection of Tuan Rempit McBullys – parachuting down everywhere at an instance notice to kick up issues where none exist.

    As a political movement perkasa will not gather a lot of speed – unlike hindraf (guess where that perkasa idiot got his idea from?). Almost all indians in the country turned away from mic and towards hindraf. What about malays? A lot of them went to pkr and pas and some would surely remain in umno. So who will join perkasa and its umnoputras-centric struggle? Perkasa is destroying the malays. Perkasa is a true traitor of the malay race. Worse than umno. Perkasa may appear like malays but actually it has mutated genes. It acts and responds only in furthering of its own interest and no one else – not even umno or jib.

  19. #19 by chengho on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:57 am

    the new culture of Dap and PKR ,never admitted any wrong doing or defect practise , even if lightning strike them they will blame government .

  20. #20 by Godfather on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:04 am

    Of course we will blame the (BN) government. Everything that they do is for self interest and with only 1 objective in mind – to steal from the rakyat. That’s Najib’s 1Malaysia.

  21. #21 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:16 am

    chengho :the new culture of Dap and PKR ,never admitted any wrong doing or defect practise , even if lightning strike them they will blame government .

    LKS had admitted somewhere in this blog about some unhappy politicians in Pakatan Rakyat.
    Anwar had also made a public apology to the rakyat about those individuals.

  22. #22 by Godfather on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:16 am

    Typical UMNO modus operandi – award contracts to RM2 company owned by UMNOputras. Chengho should get Zahrain back into UMNO because the mentality is the same.

  23. #23 by chengho on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:31 am

    Zahrain is your creation , your prodigal son that u cannot control.

  24. #24 by baochingtian on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:49 am

    1) I’d like to see Penang benchmarking S’pore for d efficiency of its public transport system
    2) Ensuring cleanliness is not only thru’ words of mouth. There needs to be a monitoring system in place
    3) I suggest collection of parking fee by MPPP at nearby appropriate sites when Pesta Pulau Pinang is held to avoid collection of RM2-3 by illegal ‘jaga kerata’ operators
    4) I’m looking forward to seeing proper set-up of hawker centres with emphasis on proper drainage/sewage control and cleaning facilities, that includes cleanliness in the preparation of food.

  25. #25 by Yee Siew Wah on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:50 am

    Everyone knows that UMNO and their racialistic and “nothing to do cronies” and NGOs are trying all unethical and crooked ways to bring down PKR esp our CM Lim Eng Guan. Just look at properous and clean Penang now. We proud that everyone irrespective of race have a place and fair chance to make a living.
    Increasingly, the public perception is that the police and all BN government agencies have shamelessly abandoned their responsibilities to the people to focus on protecting Umno and doing in the opposition. You name it, they are at it. MACC, the police, the publications division of the Home Ministry, etc, etc.

    Meanwhile, Umno politicians are busy twisting and turning every issue into a racial issue just to hoodwink the Malays into giving them a blank cheque just as in the days following the searing May 13 Sino-Malay race riots which were created by the election-losers for their self-serving ends. The ‘Allah’ term is not the only issue. There are even more racial issues to come from Umno.

    They don’t seem very interested in bringing the people together and managing the economy, which is going to the dogs. If the economy sinks, the first people to suffer will be the rural people. Soon Malay politics will splinter again as in 1955, 1965, 1969, 1987, 1998 and 2008.

  26. #26 by asmehane on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 12:21 pm

    Paid Writer!

    U did write good, u can be the next PKR candidate in PRU 13. U will be PR for dap taking over jeff ooi place.

    Sorry such a cheap skate to will a candidacy 4 the next GE

  27. #27 by good coolie on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 1:18 pm

    I’m the second Earl of the Pearl of the Orient (The first earl would never have recognised that title, by the way). Anyway, Penangites love Penang Island and our adopted mainland! I’ve seen the improvements to Penang Island’s cleanliness. Kudos to the present government, and don’t be fazed by nit-picking politicisers.

  28. #28 by Jamal Malik on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 1:32 pm

    Dont know what Chengho’s grouse is. He obviously have an axe to grind.

    My family and I (together with some friends) went to Penang in January this year for 1 week holiday.
    We really enjoy our stay in Penang – – Penang people are friendly, the place is clean, food and transportation are cheap.
    I cant forget that my bus ride from Penang airport to my hotel in the city cost me only ringgit $2.70. And the service is clean and efficient.

    These are signs of progress and improvements. Given another few more years, Penang would have beaten the rest of the states for breakfast.

    Well done Chief Minister Guan Eng. Keep it up !

  29. #29 by Godfather on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 2:07 pm

    The idiot chengho should read how Zahrain was quickly rewarded with a return to the den of thieves, and a trip to Washington DC with Nazri Aziz. Maybe Zahrain now believes that his RM2 company can win some more contracts.

  30. #30 by Comrade on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 2:40 pm

    chengho : Zahrain is your creation, your prodigal son that u cannot control.

    Zahrain is not a creation of PR, but his own creation due to the temptation and greed of mankind. The traitors and BN agents which make PR imperfect must be weeded out. If we want a better future, we must make sure that PR wins by a big majority in GE 13.

  31. #31 by slkhor on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 5:03 pm

    i don’t know how you assess the pulau tikus car clamping campaign. its a shame what they wanted to do and look at the situation now. back to square one and no enforcement in sight. cakap tak serupa bikin. i am sure there can be more than that if the state is on a progressive mode. i was most impressed and most supportive when the committee gave the briefing at the community centre before the launching but had a big question mark as to how well they can carry out their plans. true now its just another day in pulau tikus. indiscriminate parking right in front of the police station as before and no sign of enforcement except the signboard still standing.

  32. #32 by k1980 on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 8:18 pm

    As that old blighter Lim Keng Yaik grudgingly admitted, BN will not be able to recapture Penang. That was why Ahmed Ismail tore up the photos of Ah Koon’s stupid smiling face in disgust. “Apalah, lu senyum lagi gua tak boleh dapat balik Penang. Habis gua punya kontrak”

  33. #33 by baochingtian on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 8:46 pm

    #31 I think the penang team is not god nor superman. Give a constructive feedback (may go thru e-aduan mppp) if u r not happy with the situation/condition and cc the mail to the concerned YB. Make sure they give you a reasonable reply and action taken. MPPP actually acknowledges your aduan and reply on action taken followed by completion status. That’s a positive change!

  34. #34 by lopez on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 10:35 pm

    Some people are really really JEALOUS …

    Coincidentally ….. 20 % always pulls the other 80%.
    The attraction is just too immense…it is really a matter of time when all comes to senses….

  35. #35 by annoyeddriver on Friday, 26 February 2010 - 11:10 pm

    Wow. I am shocked and I’d like to set something straight for all the people who are not Penangites.

    Traffic in Georgetown is probably the worst in Malaysia, and its NOT because there are too many cars. “Charm amidst the chaos”? I almost choked on my food when I read that. You must be kidding or delusional. Parking your car at the side of a rather narrow main road while getting your Kuey Teow fix is one of the most inconsiderate things I have seen Penangites do. I have sat in jams for hours in KL due to lane closures after accidents, but in Georgetown, I get to wait for some guy to get his favourite Apom on Jalan Burma. Charming indeed.

    It gets even better when a school is two hours to finishing. Ecstatic mommies and daddies start showing up in front of the school to wait for their precious little ones and by the time the school bell is about to ring, there’s double parking on both sides of a two lane road. Mind you, there are no parking spaces at the side in the first place! Then a school bus will try to squeeze through half a lane, followed by another anxious mommy from the opposite direction causing traffic to cease altogether. What do I get to do? I get to wait half an hour in line while mommy and daddy walk out of their double parked monster Toyota Alphard, collect their special little guys and gingerly walk back to their car as if the whole world was on wait for them. Yes. I get it. Your kids are special. Just like everyone else’s.

    I think most other things about Penang is fine, but please Lilian, don’t tell me “Penangites are pretty patient folks and we live with the bit of chaos which is what makes us unique”, as all I read from that are “Penangites are self absorbed folks and our lack of important things to do is what makes us annoying to people that actually have to use the roads for travelling and not buying roasted duck”.

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