Archive for category Penang Government

Mosque polls: King’s name being used, says don

By Hazlan Zakaria
Jun 18, 11 | MalaysiaKini

While the Agong has purview over Islamic matters in ruler-less states like Penang, renowned constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari fears that the Agong’s name is being used to criticise the Penang government’s policies.

“Only after Pakatan Rakyat took over Penang that suddenly the Agong became a significant figure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Penang aims to emulate Hong Kong’s openness

By Shannon Teoh
June 17, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Lim Guan Eng said today Penang will “learn more” from Hong Kong in embracing change and openly engaging regional neighbours.

The Penang chief minister told foreign correspondents in Hong Kong that the two “small states… have so much in common,” sharing a joint appreciation of open discussion and successfully putting “ourselves on the map internationally.”

“Here in Hong Kong, when the 1997 turnover happened, you embraced a new future. In 2008, in Penang and other Pakatan Rakyat-run (PR) governments, we also embraced the future and continue to do so,” he said, comparing the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to China with the March 2008 election in Malaysia when PR won five states. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno ‘welcomed’ to sue Penang on mosque polls

By Susan Loone
Jun 17, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Penang state executive councillor for religious affairs Abdul Malik Abul Kassim has challenged groups protesting the elections to mosque committees in the state to sue the government.

Abdul Malik said the election would go on despite the fierce protests from Umno as the procedure was in compliance with Section 22(4) of the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) enactment.

“So if anybody wants to challenge this, you are welcome,” said Abdul Malik, the assemblyperson for Batu Maung.

“Those who cannot accept improvements that benefit the people and the Muslim community surely cannot accept this change,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Koh trying to sabotage Greater Penang Plan?

By Susan Loone
Jun 13, 11 | MalaysiaKini

A local think-tank has questioned former chief minister Koh Tsu Koon if he was planning to sabotage the Greater Penang Transformation Programme by calling for the release of the state’s blueprint.

Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (Seri) executive director Liew Chin Tong asked today whether Koh, who is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was not prepared for a joint federal-state plan to be produced.

In April last year, Seri was officially tasked by the state government to prepare a five-year blueprint for the period 2011 to 2015.

The committee is headed by former senator and pioneer general manager of the Penang Development Corporation, Chet Singh. Read the rest of this entry »


Penang CM shoots at Star

By Susan Loone
Jun 12, 11 | MalaysiaKini

MCA-owned Star Publication’s editorial today has displeased the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng so badly that he has urged the paper not to follow in the footsteps of Utusan Malaysia.

The Malay language paper has come under fire of late, for its extreme views and sensationalised reporting.

Lim has urged the English language daily to correct its editorial titled ‘The Pearl of the Orient needs a new polish’, saying it has twisted facts about the state’s economic performance. Read the rest of this entry »


Guan Eng rounds on Soi Lek for Penang deficit ‘lies’

By Yow Hong Chieh
June 10, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has slammed MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek for “lies” in claiming that the state government was running on a budget deficit that will deepen next year.

Lim said that since Pakatan Rakyat (PR) took over the state from Barisan Nasional (BN), Penang has recorded the highest budget surpluses in the nation’s history with RM88 million in 2008, RM77 million in 2009 and RM33 million in 2010, as confirmed by the Auditor-General’s Report.

He added that the current Penang administration was the only government in Malaysia, whether state or federal, to be praised by Transparency International for its fight against corruption.
Read the rest of this entry »


Penang retains power over water tariffs

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Penang will sign a water restructuring deal with Putrajaya tomorrow that will see the state relieved of its financial burden in developing water assets while at the same time, retaining control over water tariffs.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the agreement terms in a statement today, adding that the deal demonstrates the Penang Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government’s willingness to foster a mature working relationship with the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government.

Lim said under the deal, Penang would agree to the migration of its core assets in Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP), in exchange for a complete restructuring exercise of the outstanding federal loans owed by the state.

The terms of the agreement are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »


Penang gives RM25,000 to landslide victims

The Malaysian Insider
May 22, 2011

GEORGE TOWN, May 22 – Penang will give RM25,000 to the 25 victims of the Hulu Langat landslide yesterday which claimed 16 lives.

Nine others survived the landslide at the Rumah Anak-anak Yatim dan Anak-anak Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa at Batu 14, Hulu Langat in Selangor.

“Although it is not a lot, it is moral support for the families of those who died and survived so that they can persevere through this tragedy,” Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »


Penang seeks Home Ministry sanction on Utusan

By Clara Chooi | May 11, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

GEORGE TOWN, May 11 — The Penang government has filed a formal complaint to the Home Ministry demanding stern action against Utusan Malaysia for its report last week alleging a DAP Christian conspiracy.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said this afternoon that the state executive council had unanimously endorsed the complaint following yesterday’s admissions from two Umno state assemblymen that they, too, did not believe the report.

The admissions, said Lim, were made by Teluk Bahang assemblyman Datuk Hilmi Yahya and Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhammad Faris Saad during the state assembly sitting.
Read the rest of this entry »


Penang increases funds for Islamic projects

By Yow Hong Chieh | May 10, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — The Penang government has increased allocations for Islamic projects in the state by 22 per cent to RM33.3 million this year from RM27.4 million last year, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

He said the state government would provide funds to the Islamic Affairs Department and the state secretary’s office to assist “religious projects” like religious schools, mosques and syariah courts in Penang.

He added the Penang government has also set aside RM2.3 million this year to acquire land for the purpose of building religious schools.

“This is far more … than what was allocated in the final year of my good friend’s administration,” Lim said, referring to former Penang chief minister and Gerakan president, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Guan Eng calls BN hypocrites in non-Muslim portfolio flap

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
February 21, 2011

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 21 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition of double standards for rejecting the state’s new non-Muslim affairs portfolio while endorsing the same in Perak.

Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, appeared taken aback by the verbal attacks from his political foes — particularly Gerakan chief Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon — following his government’s decision to set up a portfolio to complement the existing one for Muslims in the state.

He said the state believed the initiative would “promote civilisational dialogue, interaction and understanding” among followers of different creeds as all religions talk about peace.

He pointed out that the BN-led state government in Perak also has a similar portfolio to care for followers of religions other than Islam, which is headed by Datuk Mah Hang Soon, according to the silver state’s official website.

Mah refused to comment on his portfolio when contacted by The Malaysian Insider this evening, saying he was in the middle of a discussion.

(Mah’s portfolio is described on the Perak State government website as “Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesihatan, Kerajaan Tempatan, Hal Ehwal Pengguna, Alam Sekitar, Pengangkutan dan Hal Ehwal Bukan Islam) Read the rest of this entry »


Non-Muslims back Penang interfaith portfolio

By Debra Chong | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The national non-Muslim council has given its thumbs-up to the Penang government for setting up a new interfaith portfolio, and called on other states to follow its example in a bid to counter rising religious extremism.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) applauded Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s (picture) initiative to form and head the new executive portfolio to handle non-Muslim religious issues in the state.

“Further, we are deeply encouraged that he has taken it upon himself to head it to give the seriousness it deserves,” it said in a statement today.

Religious tensions in multicultural Malaysia have been on the rise in recent years and have led to clashes in court and on the street between Muslim and non-Muslim communities last year in disputes over religious terminology and places of worship, among others.
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Syabas to Penang’s interfaith panel

By Thomas Lee

Penang has become the first state in the country to establish a state executive council portfolio to handle religious matters relating to the non-Islamic religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism and Hinduism.

The high-profile Exco Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee is headed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng himself, with Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P. Ramasamy as the deputy chairman.

The proposal for the committee was tabled by Ramasamy at the recent weekly state executive council meeting and approved.

The establishment of the exco committee marks the high point in the state’s celebration of the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week this week. Read the rest of this entry »


Guan Eng blames Umno for ‘misleading booklet’

By Adib Zalkapli
The Malaysian Insider
February 05, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Lim Guan Eng denied today that his Penang administration was behind a tourism booklet which Umno claimed has challenged the early existence of the Malays in the island.

The Penang chief minister also demanded that the Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhammad Farid Saad to apologise within a week for blaming the state government had distributed the “My Balik Pulau” booklet.

“To make matter worse, the Pulau Betong assemblyman and Utusan Malaysia through its reports have attacked the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government accusing us of publishing material containing historically misleading facts and insulting the Malays when it was Umno and the federal government that should be made responsible,” said Lim in a statement.

In an Utusan Malaysia’s report on February 1, Farid reportedly accused the Penang state government of twisting historical facts in an attempt to mislead the younger generation.

The Malay daily said that the booklet was published by the Penang Arts Education Society and sponsored by the Penang Education Council, which Utusan Malaysia claimed to be an advisory body for the DAP’s state government.
On February 3, the Umno-owned daily carried another report calling the My Balik Pulau booklet as dangerous.

The report quoted Penang campus of Malaysian teachers institute alumni president Abdul Said Hussain who claimed that the booklet was aimed at convincing the Chinese that their ancestors were the first to settle in Balik Pulau and not the Malays.

Lim revealed today that among the sponsors for the tourism booklet were Farid’s resource centre and other Balik Pulau Umno leaders. Read the rest of this entry »


Playing Survivor every day


Almost three years after taking over the Penang government, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is firmly in the seat. On New Year’s Eve, Lim spoke to HIMANSHU BHATT of his experiences as a selfconfessed “Survivor” and about the state government.

HOW was your relationship with former chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu after you assumed office?

Tun Lim said he felt it would be very challenging for me, as it was for him … I think he felt I was facing the same circumstances and conditions as he experienced when he won power in 1969.

He advised that it was important to take charge. And I agree that we have to take charge. Take charge not by compulsion, but by example and by persuasion. He felt that it was important that we must be fully in command, to be in control of all aspects of government. I told him that I don’t think that I am that capable. So I rely on my trusted comrades. For instance, he said I should also handle local government. I said I can’t cope. So I leave it to Chow (Kon Yeow).
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Councils save millions in managing waste disposal

By Susan Loone
Dec 2, 10

Just by renegotiating with the contractor to reduce the cost of transporting solid waste within the state, two local councils in Penang have saved RM33 million of the people’s money.

The money, in the form of surcharge payment to the contractor, will be reclaimed by the two municipal councils – Penang Island and Seberang Perai.

“Imagine how much Umno cronies had profited before this and caused a burden to the people,” said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at a Seberang Perai Municipal Council function today.

He said following the Auditor-General’s advice, the municipal councils were tasked to reclaim the surcharge money paid to the contractor , which amounted to RM222,880.
Read the rest of this entry »


Neo-Colonisation or Neo-Liberation?

by Zairil Khir Johari

Did you just say what I thought you did?

It is back to the grind as the Penang State Assembly gets underway, as does the UMNO-BN’s theatrical onslaught on the State Government.

Last week, they managed to round up a motley group of protesters ostensibly comprising angry Malay residents from Balik Pulau and a member or three from the BN-friendly Parti Cinta Malaysia, a party made up of disgruntled former members of the DAP and the once-relevant ‘political NGO’ called Gerakan (I posit that a political party with unelected nominees in government more closely resembles an NGO than a political party proper).

Their grouse this time? Over an area of land in Balik Pulau that has been allocated for the development of an educational hub. Of course, it was invariably portrayed as yet another case of the sacrilegious ‘Chinese government’ cruelly robbing the ‘poor Malay peasant’ of his land and rights.
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Will Muhyiddin return to Treasury his salaries and allowances as Federal Minister for past 15 years so as not to be associated with forbidden money?

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Umno Ministers should decide at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow whether they will return their salaries and allowances to Treasury as they do not want to be associated with gambling money.

Ten days ago on September 25, Bernama carried the following report:

MUAR, Saturday 25 September 2010 (Bernama) — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has called on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to answer allegations made by Umno Youth on the state government’s financial source to fund its poverty eradication programmes.

Muhyiddin said Muslims would not want to be associated should gambling money were used for the programmes.

“We want an answer from Lim. If the money is from a forbidden source, Muslims will have no part in it,” he told reporters after launching a Pagoh education excellence programme at the Dewan Sri Pekembar, here.

Muhyiddin was asked on a news report today quoting Umno Youth as claiming that funds from gambling activities were used to finance poverty eradication programmes in Penang.

Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t turn cash aid matter into a religious issue

By Thomas Lee

More than 40 Muslim senior citizens have returned cash aid from the Penang state government due to suspicion and uneasiness over the sources of the funding.

Bernama quoted an imam from Pulau Mertajam, Saidin Chik, 72, as saying that he decided to return the money as he learned that it was from non-halal activities.

“I received a RM100 aid sometime this year, but I heard over television and read in the newspapers that the money was from gambling activities. We have been praying everyday and suddenly we get a cash aid from non-halal sources and spent it. What is going to happen to our prayers?” he said.

Saidin told reporters this after handing over the money to Penang Umno secretary Azhar Ibrahim on Wednesday 29 September 2010.
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What does UMNO Penang fear?

By Sakmangkol Ak47

Some Muslims in Penang were highly agitated when the khatib ( the man who reads sermons) offered prayers for the Penang chief minister. In what manner was it said? Was LGE’s name mentioned in the context of something?

Actually we have not heard what actually transpired other than listening to a few emotionally charged statements from some people. Who are these people? If they are UMNO members, then their response was hardly surprising.

To me, the fearful responses thus far only reflect how desperate UMNO is in re capturing the Malay support in Penang. I won’t say re-capture Penang, because that is already impossible. what UMNO fears now is losing Malay support in Penang. That is like the end of the world.

What UMNO fears is a rising consciousness among Penang Malays that despite detaching themselves from UMNO, their lot can still be improved. This will be the beginning of a wider consciousness debunking the myth that equates loyalty and allegiance to this country to loyalty and allegiance to UMNO. The two things are not the same. If Penang is successful in demolishing this long perpetuated myth and this awareness becomes a national phenomenon, UMNO is in serious trouble.
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