War of words

20 July 2010

GEORGE TOWN: Simmering tensions boiled over yesterday when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the federal-appointed State Development Officer (SDO), who oversees the channelling of all federal allocations for projects in Penang, traded verbal blows at separate press conferences.

Lim accused Nik Ali Mat Yunus (pic) of “openly and blatantly” sabotaging the state government, while the latter, in an outburst uncharacteristic of a civil servant, called Lim biadap (uncivilised) and said he had no right to question his qualification and competency for the job.

“He (Nik Ali) is like a little Napoleon in the civil service who gets high pay and does nothing for the people, but instead causes losses to them,” Lim said during a visit to the Botanic Gardens. He asked who should be held responsible for the RM150,000 plus losses over the scheduled demolition of controversial twin arches, one of which is tilting, that were built only recently for the gardens’ expansion project by the Tourism Ministry.

He said Nik Ali, as the officer in charge of overseeing project, should be held responsible. “Nik Ali refuses to explain who will bear the losses. If he is willing, we will not pursue the matter. But if not, who is? Every sen counts, because it is a question of public trust,” Lim said.

He also took issue over a letter sent by the SDO’s office, dated Oct 13, 2009, to the state Drainage and Irrigation Department. In it, the SDO’s office gave an “ultimatum” for pending issues on the Botanic Gardens’ facade and pavilion development to be settled by Oct 31, 2009, failing which a RM5 million federal funding for the project would be withdrawn. (The state was at that point tackling eviction problems in the area).

Lim said that was an example of how the SDO’s office tried to rush through development projects without consultation and feedback. Nik Ali lost his cool after a press conference held by state Umno leaders on alleged sand theft at a federal land in Politeknik Balik Pulau. He denied any involvement in the design of the Botanic Gardens arches or in allowing the allegedly illegal sand mining, which was brought to light over the weekend, to occur.

“This is the third time that Lim has used rough words against me after the Penang Hill railway launch where he alleged that I did not prepare a seat for him and then the issue of the twin arches’ demolition,” he said in a statement.

“Only the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department can say if I am incompetent or not.”

Nik Ali accused Lim of attacking him knowing that as a civil servant he was not allowed to issue press statements. “I will continue to be considered a ‘coward’ for remaining silent and eventually become a ‘scapegoat’ for Lim,” he said.

Nik Ali also took the state secretary to task for not advising Lim on the SDO’s scope and responsibilities as directed by the federal government, and help forge closer state and federal ties. “He should prepare talks with the SDO and not allow Lim to twist facts and continue to attack the SDO,” he said.

  1. #1 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 12:08 pm

    So this Nik Ali is the “taiko” of Penang,behaving like a warlord. I think penang people should sent him back to putra jaya.

  2. #2 by limkamput on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 12:41 pm

    “Only the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department can say if I am incompetent or not.”// nincompoop nik

    Owah, this nincompoop thinks he is very smart only ICU can judge/evaluate him. What if the whole of ICU is also stupid like him? So it is one stupid ass judging or evaluating another stupid ass then. No wonder all of them think they are smart asses.

  3. #3 by limkamput on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 12:48 pm

    Look, nincompoop Nik. First, what are you doing in an UMNO press conference? Second, we know that you can label LGE biadap and get away with it. We know, it is not out of your bravery and principle, for you have none other than cowardice. We know you did it out of racism and tacit support that you are likely to get. We know.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 1:47 pm

    Nik’s only chance of further promotion lies with his actions in supporting the opposition umno in Penang

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 2:48 pm

    Like Wang Ehsan, Heritage Fund money etc etc, No-one is responsible.

    Lodge a missing person police report to quickly find No-one.

  6. #6 by habis on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 3:36 pm

    First and foremost all funds held in Trust by the govt of the day Belongs to the Rakyat from Taxes collected from the Rakyat.So in Principle the federal allocation of the funds should be given to the State govt (elected by the people of Penang) for it to disburse for the benefit of the people and state govt held resposible for the proper usage of the fund allotted.The fact that Encik Nik Ali appearing at the UMNO press conference doesn’t appear too well to be the proper conduct of a civil servant and showing himself to be a lackey of UNMO hoping for better promotion prospect.If at all there is any element of negligence in the performance of his duties then HE alone must be ANSWERABLE to it.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 6:15 pm

    These irresponsible UMNO B corrupted crooks are never wrong.
    Arc tilting…roofs falling from stadiums and schools…leaking roof tops…are all showing sub-standards materials used for constructions.
    Contractors pressed hard to give huge commission/bribes.
    Crooks outwit crooks with no considerations for public lives.
    LGE did the right thing to press Nik Ali for actions.
    After all..he is representing the Federal Govt.
    With no answers…drawing a fat salary..with no knowledge whatsoever how to serve the people..except how to fool his own race.
    Such is an example of an UMNO B good for nothing braggart.

  8. #8 by c730427 on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 9:38 pm

    ICU and Putrajaya definitely gives u a two thumbs up because u just being used as a puppet n made urself as a fool. U r such a sensitive n spineless jelly fish. Nik, I pity u n hope u could display ur wisdom.

  9. #9 by raven77 on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 12:35 am

    To all these fellas who dont want to toe the line….just leave..

  10. #10 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 1:24 am

    This is the result of the Bankrupsi Negara regime usurping the role of the state government to handle such projects.
    It is a blatant abuse of the relationship between the federal and state authorities to create such posts just because the opposition is in control of the state – especially such a piece-meal project like the Botanic Garden improvements(?).
    The state government should sue the federal government for violating the state’s rights.

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