KOTA BELUD, April 23 – Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said he did not go ahead with his plan to debate with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as he agreed with the advice of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
He said he had to accept the advice from the MACC and IGP because he did want to send the wrong signals to the people especially on complying with the directives and advice of the authorities.
He said he have to agree because he is a member of the Cabinet. In the meantime, he also said that it is difficult in his capacity as a minister because he will give a signal to the people that as minister he can disregard the directive or advice of the MACC and IGP.
“So, this is the problem to me. But I want to stress I never run from a debate. I have debated with many opposition leaders. The issue of being afraid does not arise. In fact, I am ready. I have been prepared a long time. But when directed by the police, I do not want to give the impression or signal to the people that if a minister himself does not listen to the advice of the IGP, what more the ordinary citizen,” he said.
Abdul Rahman told this to reporters attending a discussion on current issues with Kota Belud community leaders at the Tamu Site, Kampung Pandasan, here, Saturday. Following this development, Abdul Rahman urged Guan Eng not to dilly-dally but to quickly give answers and explanations to the MACC and police on the issue of the bungalow and land in Kampung Manggis as requested by the authorities.
Abdul Rahman, who is also Kota Belud Member of Parliament, said the Penang state government and Guan Eng should not view the issue lightly by giving inconsistent answers to the people. He said the issues related to the poor and marginalised people in Penang and as such the Penang Chief Minister must cooperate and avoid delaying the answers demanded by the people, as they were raised by the Barisan Nasional (BN), non-government organisations (NGO) and several DAP leaders themselves.
Abdul Rahman also reminded Guan Eng of his promise during the 2008 General Election to settle the problems of house prices, traffic congestion, would not sell the land in criticism of the BN government at that time for implementing the sea reclamation projects.
“We want to ask the Penang Chief Minister whether the issues are solved after eight years of being Chief Minister. What we hear is that the problems are not solved. The house prices in Penang are still exorbitantly high, reclamation rampant, hillside developments are still taking place and damage to heritage and environment are still widespread,” he said.
“In fact, the state government also turned a deaf ear to the NGOs especially those related to human rights and consumerism. Don’t be too quick to blame BN. After being hemmed in by the people, after eight years of being chief minister, still using the excuse it was the problem of the previous government. To me, this is irresponsible. Take responsibility to what is happening in Penang,” he added.