Archive for category Penang

Paradise in Penang

Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper, Singapore
Jan 10, 2017

We are only 10 days into the new year, but if that all-too-familiar feeling called wanderlust is already creeping in, its not your fault.

Besides, it is never too early to start planning your next getaway.

If a short vacation that will not break the bank is what you are eyeing, consider Penang.

The Malaysian state is not just steeped in culture and tradition – it is also a haven for foodies.

The best part? We have done the calculations for you – the airfare will set you back less than $100, while decent accommodation will cost less than a $100 per night. Read the rest of this entry »

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Second tranche of five questions for Salleh to answer before he can restore his right to demand answers from others

Yesterday, I said that the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has lost the right to ask questions and demand answers from others, when he as Minister which incorporated the Ministry of Information of the past, had failed to answer numerous questions about government scandals and failings.

I put to him the first tranche of five questions for him to answer to perform his Ministerial duty before he could start asking questions and demanding answers from others.

Today, I am putting forward to him the second tranche of five questions to answer in the process to restore his right to demand answers from others.

My second tranche of five questions are:

Question 6 –

In early October, the country was convulsed by reports of the rampant corruption in the Sabah Water Department, especially the revelation that 60 per cent of the RM3.3 billion earmarked by the federal government to improve water supply to residents, including those in remote areas in the Sabah State, had been “siphoned off” by corruption.

Would Salleh agree that the 60% corruption at the Sabah Water Department, for which no one has yet been charged in court for corruption, is proof that Malaysia is not serious about combating corruption, even less so with regard to grand corruption affecting top political and government leaders.

Can Salleh explain why China is catching “tigers” and Indonesia “crocodiles”, but Malaysia has not been able to catch a single “shark” at the national level in the war against grand corruption?
Read the rest of this entry »

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Must Pakatan Harapan win Putrajaya before Penang International Airport ceases to be a “pasar malam antarabangsa Pulau Pinang” just as Penang only stop being “garbage dump of the Orient” when it is ruled by a DAP-led state government?

I was piqued by an Internet news item that “Shenzhen Airport, via its official Weibo account, stated it expects to welcome its 40th millionth passenger for the year on 15th December 2016”, the first time the airport’s annual passengers have exceeded 40 million, and I wondered what were the air passenger traffic for Malaysia for the major airports, particularly Penang International Airport.

I found that according to Ministry of Transport’s annual transport statistics, total air passenger traffic (excluding transit passengers) in the past ten years had slightly doubled from 42.9 million in 2006 to 85.9 million in 2015.

KLIA claimed the bulk of the air passenger traffic, from 23.6 million or 55.2% of total air passenger traffic in 2006 to 48.6 million or 56.6% of total air passenger traffic in 2015.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport occupied second place, with 3.86 million passengers or 8.99% in 2006 to 6.57 million or 7.64% of total air passenger traffic in 2015.

Penang International Airport (PIA) leapt from fourth place with 3.09 million passengers or 7.2% in 2006 to 6.25 million or 7.27% of total air passenger traffic in 2015.

Kuching International Airport slipped from third place in 2006 to fourth place in 2015, with 3.1 million or 7.2% in 2006 to 4.76 million or 5.5% of total air passenger traffic in 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite and build an united, great, just and prosperous Malaysia

The statement by the UMNO Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob in Sungai Besar is typical of the lies and politics of hatred spouted by UMNO leaders, even in this holy month of Ramadan.

Ismail accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of working with a group who wants to reject Malay special rights and Islam, and said that if Mahahtir is “with Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang that speak for itself”.

I challenge UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite Malaysians of diverse races and religions in the country to build a great, just and prosperous Malaysia.

I can cite a list of the racist speeches by Ismail and other UMNO leaders, including Ismail’s infamous call to Malays last year to boycott Chinese businesses, but can they cite just one instance of my being anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in Malaysian politics?

I do not think there is another political leader who had suffered more sustained and greater demonisation in the past 50 years than myself, as I had been accused of all sorts of dastardly and evil deeds especially through the Barisan Nasional-owned and controlled mainstream media.

I have been accused of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Malay Rulers, anti-Chinese-educated Chinese, anti-English-educated Chinese, anti-Indian, an agent of Russian KGB, agent of American CIA, agent of British M16, agent of Australian Intelligence Services, and a host of unimaginable allegations.

I had been accused of causing the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur, of having led illegal processions through the streets of Kuala Lumpur hurling anti-Malay slogans and provocations and even urinating in the house of the then Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Harun Idris, in Kampong Baru in Kuala Lumpur, as was portrayed in the film “Tanda Putera”!

But I was never in Kuala Lumpur during the May 13, 1969 days as I had flown to Kota Kinabalu early on the morning of May 13, 1969 to help in the belated election campaigning in Sabah and Sarawak and I learnt about the tragic events of the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur when I was whispered the shocking news while speaking at a massive public rally at the Sabah capital. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lim Guan Eng: Penang’s crusading chief minister

Wataru Yoshida
Nikkei Asian Review
March 24, 2016

PENANG, Malaysia Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of Malaysia’s northern state of Penang, is invigorating the local economy through reforms and may inspire the country to set aside its protectionism to achieve sustainable growth.

On Feb. 8, Lim was celebrating the Chinese New Year with his supporters in a meeting hall in Penang. The hall was surrounded by about 30 men carrying placards denouncing him. “It is clear they have no respect,” Lim said. “If they had an issue to protest about, they could have done it at any other time.”

Lim is the only state chief minister of Chinese descent in Malaysia, which maintains a Bumiputera (“son of the land”) policy favoring ethnic Malays. Moreover, he comes from an opposition party. Eight years have passed since he became chief minister, and verbal attacks against him are still an everyday occurrence.

He has earned a reputation as a reformer. He introduced an open bidding process for state projects, abolishing the practice of awarding contracts preferentially to ethnic Malays and opening the door to all, including foreign and ethnic Chinese companies.

The state government handed over the operation of a golf course it owns to a Japanese company after the project was put out for tender. The decision led protesters to storm the golf course, but the company that won the order was relieved by Lim’s words: “To increase foreign visitors, foreign companies’ wisdom is needed.” Users of the golf course have grown 30% since the Japanese company took over the operation.

In another reform, he introduced performance-based pay for state employees, including those doing menial street sweeping jobs. “My dream is to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city. To wake up, we must be clean,” Lim said. The heaps of garbage littering the roadsides disappeared in a year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guan Eng’s bungalow, Taman Manggis deal: BN, you are hollow and hypocritical!

by P Ramakrishnan
Aliran
29 Mar 2016

A person can choose to sell his property at whatever price he wants to sell. It is his prerogative.

It can be way below market value or far above the market price. It is his property and it is his decision. That is not criminal in nature and he has not committed any crime in doing so.

However, if his property was sold below market value in order to receive kickbacks in return, then it is something else. Whatever kickback he gets out of this deal not only will make good what he had lost in the sale, but he will also reap a greater profit from it. That would involve corruption.

The MP for Tasek Glugor, Shabudin Yahya, had implied an element of corruption in the purchase of a house allegedly bought at below market price by the chief minister of Penang. Shabudin had claimed that the purchase of the house in 2015 had links to the 2012 sale of a piece of state government land in Taman Manggis to the private company Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre Sdn Bhd (KLIDC).

In other words, it was imputed that that piece of land in Taman Manggis was sold below market price in 2012 so that Guan Eng could get his bungalow below market price – three years later – in 2015 as a favour for selling the land cheaply. If that indeed was the case – and if it could be proven conclusively – then there is no question that a corrupt act had taken place.

But is that the case? Mere speculation does not become a fact. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP’s most important and challenging tests are not in the past 50 years but in next 20, 30 years

It was exactly 30 years ago that I moved from Kota Melaka parliamentary seat to Penang to contest in Tanjong constituency – the Battle of Tanjong of 1986 – against the incumbent Dr. Koh Tsu Koon who was to become the Penang Chief Minister for four terms spanning 18 years from 1990 to 2008.

DAP comrades in Penang had in fact suggested in early seventies that I move to Penang to lead the DAP charge to make Penang the “engine head” for political change in Malaysia, and although this suggestion was made at every subsequent general election, I had not agreed to the move from “south to north” until the 1986 general election.

Although the subsequent “Battles of Tanjong 2 and Tanjong 3” in 1990 and 1995 did not succeed in DAP capturing the Penang State Government, this objective was finally achieved in the 2008 and 2013 General Elections, and it is my hope that Penang will not only continue to be the seat of DAP-led Penang State Government, but the base for the achievement of federal change of government in Putrajaya in the next 14th General Election.

Although the DAP is now celebrating our 50th anniversary, I believe that the DAP’s most important and challenging tests are not in the past 50 years, but in the next 20 to 30 years.
We want the DAP message of justice, freedom, good governance and national unity not just to ring loud and clear in Penang but throughout Malaysia, in Peninsula Malaysia as well as in Sarawak and Sabah.
DAP is in the throes of an important transition, and we must be guided by two challenging objectives and principles. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shahbudin: No need for PAS to drag in God

Joe Fernandez | January 19, 2016
Free Malaysia Today

PAS Information Chief Nasharudin Tantawi urged to re-confirm whether God really indicated to him that he need not apologize to Guan Eng at the end of a defamation case.

KUALA LUMPUR: A political analyst, taking to his blog on a reported out-of-court settlement on a defamation suit between Lim Guan Eng the plaintiff and Nasharudin Tantawi, wonders whether it was really necessary to drag God into the case. “What’s important is proof based on the facts of the case.”

The case between Guan Eng and PAS Information Chief Nasharuddin was not one between Islam and non-Islam, pointed out Shahbudin Husin the analyst, but involves character values and the behaviour of human beings, something that can happen to anyone irrespective of religious leanings and race. “So, why invoke God by name as a factor, why sell the almighty’s name in a defamation suit?”

“Such an attitude will only serve to further blacken the image of Islam.”

Shahbudin wants Nasharudin to re-confirm whether God really indicated to him by a sign that he need not apologize to Guan Eng at the end of the defamation case.

If it was really true that God told Nasharudin not to apologise to Guan Eng, also DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, the analyst wonders whether the Almighty also advised him to withdraw part of his allegations and pay compensation to the plaintiff, the victim. “Does that mean that God doesn’t like the idea of apologising?”

“Did God really tell Nasharudin not to tender an apology and go on to advise the PAS Information Chief on other aspects of the defamation suit?”

Again, wonders the analyst, why didn’t God advise Nasharudin to fight Guan Eng to the bitter end in the defamation suit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan has failed?

— Steven Sim
Malay Mail Online
Friday November 27, 2015

NOVEMBER 27 — My dear friends,

Forget which Pakatan for now. But let’s talk about the opposition and our coalition for all its worth.

I always say that I see the world in many shades — and really that makes me unsuited for politics. It is much easier to present a monochrome world, an either-or proposition, a yes-or-no question. Simply because these are… simpler.

So that I look at social media today, many people are whacking Pakatan for failing, I feel that there are more shades to the situation than the ones presented. Read the rest of this entry »

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Penang’s “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang – Mana RM2.6 billion” (photos)


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Proposed RM 50 million donation to Penang State Government for building student hostels

Koon Yew Yin

On 15th Sept 2015, I met the Penang State EXCO which has accepted my RM 50 million donation under the following terms and conditions:

I wish to donate RM 50 million for building student hostels to help students studying in Penang, especially students from poor families, in their access to tertiary education.

1. All the RM50 million and the subsequent profit from the rental and other income must be used for building hostels and other associated buildings for the use of students studying in Penang. These students can come from Penang and other states in the country or even be foreign students in keeping with Penang’s need to draw on the best talent from a globalized world.

2. All construction contracts exceeding RM10,000 must be open to competitive tenders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Stunning Street Art: The Coolest Murals and Where to Find Them

Yahoo Travel Explorers
August 10, 2015
By David Hogan/Malaysia Asia

In recent years, street art in Malaysia has picked up quite a bit, and you’ll now find murals and paintings by both local and international artists.

While this form of art has been alive and well in many other areas of the world for decades, the movement in Malaysia really got rolling in 2012, when Ernest Zacharevic created six murals for Penang’s George Town Culture festival. The paintings were so popular that the BBC even called him the Banksy of Malaysia. Today, there are many cities around the country following in Penang’s footsteps, calling on locals of all ages to add new life to their walls. For visitors, that means it’s easy to find these open-air museums; since they are usually located in high tourist areas, you barely have to look around. But you do need to know which towns and cities to start in. Here are some of my favorites:

Penang

Penang artist Ernest Zacharevic has been called the Banksy of Malaysia. (Photo: Ernest Zacharevic)

Read the rest of this entry »

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The new coalition of Malaysian progressives – whether Pakatan Rakyat 2.0, New Pakatan Rakyat or Harapan Rakyat – will be sequel to 13GE battle in 14GE to rekindle hopes and aspirations of Malaysians for political change in Putrajaya

Five days ago, I posed the question whether PAS could lose Kelantan in the next 14th General Election.

I said that based on the 13th General Election performance, if there is a 4% swing of voters against PAS in Kelantan in the next poll, PAS will lose power in the state it had governed for 25 years since 1990.

Is a 4% swing in a state an unlikely happening?

In the 13th General Election in Kedah, PAS and Pakatan Rakyat lost the Kedah State Government because there was a 3.8% swing of the voters against PAS.

The voter swing against PAS was even greater and more overwhelming during the 2004 General Election in Terengganu, where there was a 15% swing of voters against PAS, sweeping out the Terengganu PAS State Government after only one term of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi as the Terengganu Mentri Besar.

There is no doubt that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would have been wiped out in the next general election if Pakatan Rakyat had contested the next polls in total disregard of the violation of the PR Common Policy Framework by one of the component parties, with hudud as a controversial issue in the election campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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I am a Malay, is DAP for me?

– Shukri Mokhtar
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

“Religion” and “race” are two dangerous words. Since the dawn of time, men have used these two words to assert control the people, to gain power and self-benefits.

A question that you and I must critically ask ourselves, with everything that human beings have achieved until this day in the 21st century, why do we still fall for the same trick over and over again?

My humble answer is simple, it’s “Sapere aude!” (Dare to know). We as human beings are always in a state of cowardice, afraid of knowing the truth and do not have the urge to question our own belief.

Immanuel Kant in his theory of the “enlightenment” argues that enlightenment was man’s emergence from his self-immaturity and immaturity was self-imposed when it caused lies, not in lack of understanding, but in the lack of resolve and courage to use it.

From what is happening in our country, we need a better Malaysia. The great time has just begun, Malaysia has awoken for the better good.

Although Malaysians have never felt this much pressure of cost of living crisis, I know many below-average earning families in Kuala Lumpur happen to have two job just so that they can feed their families.

My friends will be shocked but my life-long teacher, currently a lecturer at a local Islamic university would be pleased of my swift stand in this country’s politics.

It was not the intellectuals who gave me the exposure or information that I needed to change, but I can tell you this came from an old man called “Pak Ngah”, who I helped to clean his home because of the recent floods in Temerloh, Pahang. Read the rest of this entry »

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We won’t forget how CM labelled a holy pig

By TK Chua
Malaysiakini
Dec 20, 2014

Only in this country could a small group of extremists label a chief minister of a state a holy pig and “kurang ajar” and get away with it. Only in this country would a chief minister making a statement based on his legal interpretation be considered as encroachment into the rights of others. When are these extremists going to grow up?

Whatever Lim Guan Eng had said or did not say, we should all debate decently and if possible allow the due process to determine whether he has infringed any law in the country.

But this is not the case. Everyone in the country knows that the extremists are bullying others with raw power and brutal force. They know non-Muslims and non-Malays are the minority and powerless to retaliate. In fact, have you seen non-Malays resorting to trigger-happy demonstrations like this group of extremists in Penang? Since Pakatan took over the helm of the state government, may I know how many demonstrations have been staged by them?

Don’t forget that the tactic used was most uncouth and depraved. We have not forgotten the cake in the shape of faeces that was presented to the chief minister. We have not forgotten the photograph of the chief minister put up as if it was for his funeral. We have not forgotten there was once a challenge to “fist fight” with the chief minister.

We have not forgotten the aggressive storming of the state government office building. We have not forgotten the intrusion into the state assembly building. Now, surely we will not forget how the chief minister of the state was labelled as a holy pig, a wild boar, et cetera. Read the rest of this entry »

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Netizens: Good food to be had all over Penang

The Star
February 7, 2014

PETALING JAYA: With Penang cuisine capturing the interest of the world earlier this week through international accolades, netizens have come out in force to sing praises of their favourite places to dine in the state.

And from the feedback on Facebook, it would seem that half the island is cooking for the other half to eat – from char kuey teow and pasembor from Gurney Drive to laksa at Air Itam, said Jenanee Jai and Soo Lin Ong.

Jeffrey Woo recommended the Anjung Gurney hawker centre and hawkers around the Pulau Tikus area, while Abu Bakar said his places of choice were Tajudin Restaurant in Queen Street and Ramzan Restaurant in Ah Quee Street. Read the rest of this entry »

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Police and authorities must not allow the “spiral of violence” to begin and continue as this is the second stage of those who want to create the conditions for another May 13

Despite my Second Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet yesterday, the third Cabinet meeting of 2014 was a great cop-out, with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers failing to fulfill their commitment and responsibility to face the quintuplet of national crisis squarely and courageously to end the government drift and the leadership, clueless and rudderless Najib administration.

Worst of all, there was no word or acknowledgement let alone leadership to end the systematic campaign by a group of irresponsible and reckless elements out to incite racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension to create another May 13 situation to destabilize the country, to achieve their petty, selfish political ends.

All right-thinking Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or political affiliation must deplore in the strongest terms the gross abdication of responsibility of the Cabinet yesterday to put a stop to the continued incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension as well as to all the saber-rattling to create another May 13 situation.

I agree with former MCA President Ong Tee Keat who recently warned that Malaysia will be left in tatters if the Prime Minister continues to ignore the raising issues that divide the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Life is meant to be fun, says Guan Eng

Malaysiakini | 4:40PM Jan 16, 2014

Despite sitting on the hot seat as Penang’s chief minister since 2008, Lim Guan Eng said, “Life is meant to be fun.”

Lim said the most important thing for an artist is to have its critics and the public to participate in his or her art and “have fun”.

“That is what makes art meaningful,” he said at a press conference to support Lithunian artist Ernest Zachaveric’s solo show ‘Art is Rubbish/Rubbish is Art’ tomorrow.

“Even in serious works, the basic essence is to have fun. So don’t take life so seriously. We can take a different view. Life is meant to be fun,” Lim said, obviously in a good mood.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Pakatan no different from Barisan?

– Richard Loh
The Malaysian Insider
January 13, 2014

Is this equation true:

90% positive + 10% negative = 90% negative + 10% positive

With Malaysia claiming that its education system is among the best in the world there can be no argument that many educated Malaysians would say that this is true.

The above equation is an example of Malaysians learning when they see the 10% of Pakatan Rakyat’s negative performances as equal to Umno-BN’s 10% positive performance – hence terming PR no difference from Umno-BN. The 90% positive performance against Umno-BN’s 90% negative performance is ignored.

Malaysians are using the Selangor Assembly salary hikes, the Jais raid and Penang Chief Minister’s Mercedes-Benz to justify and conclude that PR is no difference from Umno-BN. You have the right to argue that the three issues were wrong, depending on how you judge them and from whose point of view you are hearing and reading from.

There is nothing wrong with the Selangor Assembly salary hike and the Penang Chief Minister’s Mercedes-Benz which I have given my point of views in my earlier two articles here and here. Read the rest of this entry »

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UmnoBN follies but blame it on PR and the States they rule?

Richard Loh
1.1.2014

What is wrong with this nation? Nothing wrong at all. The right question should be, “What is wrong with the 56 years old UmnoBN led government”? The answer would be, too many wrongs that we lost count.

In this article I will just highlight a couple of wrongs which I deem are prerequisite to the overall poor performances of the UmnoBN led government.

Admission of Guilt

No one has ever admitted the wrongs that were originated right from the heart of PutraJaya, starting from the Prime Minister, Ministers down to the civil servants. While it is acceptable to many that they don’t admit their guilt what is worst is that they can use all the highest authorities to defend their wrongs, from Bank Negara, PDRM, MACC and if necessary the judiciary. Cases such as the NFC, PKFZ, the billions of illegal capital flight, ‘Extravagant expenditures’ and the year in year out Auditor General Annual Reports, just to name a few.

It is fine if you do not admit guilt but to continue with the wrongs instead of correcting and putting a stop to it reflects how bad the government is performing. Read the rest of this entry »

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