GEORGE TOWN, Aug 19 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng hold a press conference today urged Barisan National (BN) should declare that they would demolish all illegal structures and hawkers in Penang to allow the people to decide who is right and has no shame. He said Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong should remember that all the false and favourable reports in the BN-controlled media did not save Gerakan from losing all its Penang seats in both the 2008 and 2013 general elections.
To blame the Pakatan state government for the problem of illegal structures, hawkers, Chinese and Hindu temples, churches and factories(or illegal situation) ignores the fact that they existed before 2008 and was a sad legacy of BN’s weak and indecisive leadership.
He said this was also admitted today by BN Penang Chairman Teng Chang Yeow that the illegal situation was a result of development during 50 years of BN’s rule of Penang. In the meanwhile, he also added that Teng did not deny that Barisan National failed to solve the problem but like Mah Siew Keong, refused to say whether they agreed with Pakatan’s solution.
“When Pakatan took over the Penang State government in 2008 we were forced to deal with this legacy of illegal situation inherited from Barisan National. We had taken a policy decision not to demolish or take actions against these illegal situation built before 2008, provided that they did not cause traffic obstruction or they did not disturb public interest.
“Instead the Pakatan state government opted to be considerate to try to resolve these problems amicably in a win-win solution, either relocation or legitimatizing them. Isn’t BN and Gerakan politicizing the Sungai Lembu issue when they refuse to state what would be their solution to the illegal situation – endorse the present Pakatan state government policy or demolish all the tens of thousands cases in the illegal situation,” Lim told in a press conference here today.
“If Gerakan is unhappy with what Pakatan state government have done, then be bold for once and state that BN will act differently by demolishing all the tens of thousands in the illegal situation, when BN wins back power in Penang! Unlike the previous BN state government weak and indecisive leadership, the Pakatan state government is willing to act boldly and decisively.”
Lim said this was the reason we were returned with a 10% increase in popular vote, and the largest mandate in Penang’s history at 68% of the popular vote in the 2013 general elections. He said BN should offer a clear and stark choice to people of Penang.
He said to choose between Pakatan that will continue with our present policy of being considerate, use social mediation, resolve in a humane manner and not to demolish all the illegal structures and hawkers built before 2008 or choose BN’s solution that will demolish over tens of thousands of illegal structures, factories, hawkers including temples, churches, Chinese and Indian temples if they win power.
“Of course Barisan National can use its extensive power to do what they like without regard for democratic value and principles. But this is not the philosophy of the Pakatan government, we prefer a considerate approach that tries to take into account all parties, even though they may take a lot of time, but still a much better solution than demolishing tens of thousands of illegal structures, hawkers including non-muslim places of religious worships, that would cause social disruption and even disharmony.
“Barisan National should also stop lying especially that there was corruption by Penang State EXCO Phee Boon Poh when he issued letters asking for enforcement action on the illegal factory in Sungai Lembu to be delayed. BN and Gerakan knows that here is no evidence that Phee took money nor do they have proof that he has a personal interest or his family members own the illegal factory.
“How can issuing such letters done in the course of duty by all wakil rakyats, both BN and Pakatan, be corruption? If that is corruption, then why has Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission not arrested BN wakil rakyats? Further, BN is also dishonest about when the Sungai Lembu factory was built.
“First BN asked why the factory was allowed to operate illegally for 10 years. Now they said no it is operating for less than 10 years, so it is not caught by the Pakatan state government pre-2008 illegal structures ruling. Do not think that the people of Penang are so gullible as to fall to your tricks and deceit,” he said.
Lim said is this how political opponents blame each other is not important. He said it is the people of Penang that has the final say. He said the people had spoken and they had clearly blamed Barisan National for its ineffectiveness and failure of governance, leading to BN’s defeat in the 2008 general election and again in the 2013 general election where Gerakan lost all seats, including Teng.
In additional, he also said that this illegal situation inherited from BN is our dilemma. He said it is not easy but they have opted for a humane solution that will take time to resolve. He also added that if BN disagrees, then explain why they failed to demolish them when they were in power in 2008.
“Most importantly is BN opting for a final solution by demolishing the tens of thousands illegal hawkers and structures when BN wins power in Penang again? Let the people decide then who is right and who has no shame!” he said in a press conference here today.