BUKIT MERTAJAM, Nov 23 – The otherwise “quiet” Penang DAP convention here was “spiced up” by a Prai delegate who stunned the crowd by raising a few controversial issues in his debate. In a span of five minutes, Shamsher Singh Thind, posed a few jaw-dropping questions to DAP leaders. First, the law lecturer at a private college questioned the design of the poster for this year’s DAP convention and wanted to know why the mainland was left out of the poster which depicted only Penang Island.
“Why is it that mainland Penang is being sidelined? Are we not part of Penang?” He then questioned why if Penang’s capital was George Town it was not included in the Chief Minister’s official address. Lim Guan Eng’s office address reads, Tingkat 28, Komtar, 10503 Pulau Pinang. Shamser then wanted to know the rationale behind the purchase of the Mercedes Benz used by Lim when the latter had previously openly criticised the Terengganu Menteri Besar for acquiring a similar model.
Language used during the convention was also put under the spotlight, when Shamser asked why Mandarin was being used by DAP state chairman Chow Kon Yeow and DAP national secretary-general Lim Guan Eng instead of using Bahasa Malaysia. “Perhaps it is high time the efficiency of vernacular schools be reviewed.”
The issue of the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP)’s “eagerness” in towing vehicles in a few areas in Penang also did not escape Shamser who questioned why double standards were practised when it involved the car belonging to Lim which was haphazardly parked with no action being taken. In reply to this, Chow said that the poster issue was not done intentionally and there could have been an oversight.
On Lim’s Mercedes, Chow said explanations had been made that the car was not a personal purchase or personal possession of Lim but the state government’s. On the usage of Mandarin during the convention, Chow said it was a traditional practice at all conventions. The issue, Chow explained, had been brought up in the past including at the party’s national congress.
Lim meanwhile explained that he had spoken to his driver on the issue and the state would work out a mechanism to issue summonses to State Excos and leaders found to have parked their vehicle illegally if there was proof. “We shall start with PG1. (Lim’s official car). “If our staff have done wrong, we admit but if this is the only issue people wish to find fault over with us, then it is clear that we do not have issues they can find fault over.”