Guan Eng tells exco: Beware the press

Penang’s state executive councillors have been told to be cautious when speaking to the press, especially those aligned to Barisan Nasional, reports Malaysiakini.

It said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng advised MPs and state assemblymen to prepare themselves before they spoke to journalists, and to prefer written statements to the press, especially on controversial issues.

“We have been bitten too many times, so be careful,” Lim said at a luncheon to introduce the new state cabinet to civil servants, resulting in Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and The Star not being invited to his press conferences. The journalists were not banned from his events, he said, but he would exercise extreme caution when commenting on controversial issues in their presence.
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Najib promises to let them rape Penang again

No business like hub business

• 2007: Abdullah — logistics hub
• 2008: Guan Eng — outsourcing hub
• 2009: Guan Eng — halal hub
• 2009: Guan Eng — air cargo hub
• 2010: Ramasamy — education hub
• 2010: Najib — regional hub
• 2012: Najib — development hub

Proof that politicians love to go round in circles

You know elections are near when politicians dust off old speeches and make headlines with vague promises of "transformation". That’s what the prime minister did on Sunday, making old news with an old speech about “transforming” Penang, and turning Penang into an economic hub.

Almost every year since 2007, someone has said just about the same thing. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi turned up in 2007 promising to turn Penang into a logistics hub and a “global city”. That was a plug for Patrick “Badawi” Lim’s grand vision to plunder the turf club land.

The next year Lim Guan Eng came into office and said Penang would be an outsourcing hub. He’s also kept on talking about turning Penang into a “world city”, and an “intelligent city” whatever that was.

Then it was Najib’s turn to talk about hubs, in 2010 and on Sunday.

Maybe they didn’t know that Penang has been a trading and commercial centre, a hub if you will, for 200 years, doing business with Aceh and Sumatra, Thailand, Burma, India, feeding the northern region through its port, buying and selling rice, rubber and tin, and for 40 years making and selling electronics products to the world.

And all that without much federal help. Were they all asleep all this while? Continue reading

How the DAP looks just like Umno

If there is one thing politicians have one thing in common, it is that they crave power, but always claim to do so only on behalf of the people. Malaysian politicians have another thing in common: they talk about high principles such as respect for the Constitution but in practice treat the Constitution like a piece of toilet paper.

Some examples of this can be seen in all kinds of little ways in Penang, in the DAP’s practices and working attitudes (not their grand speechifying) towards constitutional governance.

One is in the giving out of cash money to some people. It says: you can be bought.
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The rape of Penang – voices begin stirring

14 April 2012

Seeing red over diminishing green
By Sharanjit Singh
NST Penang bureau chief

Blatant destruction of a hillslope for a housing project in Penang. NST pic: Asman Ibrahim

Reports of exasperated residents protesting against the blatant destruction of hillslopes and remaining patches of greenery in their neighbourhood have become increasingly common in Penang these days

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Elite women’s university for Penang in 2015

Since it’s women’s day, here’s a story about elite women

A private liberal arts university for Asian women, modelled after the elite “Seven Sisters” in the US, is to be built on Penang island, and is expected to enroll its first students in September 2015.

The Penang government is providing a 100-acre site in Balik Pulau on concessionary terms, and the federal government providing financial support to cover at least 10% of total costs. Continue reading

Protest demo by Penang journos outside police hq

journo demo in penang

Photo via Susan Loone

About 100 journalists held a peaceful demonstration outside police headquarters in George Town yesterday demanding immediate action for attacks on two journalists on Sunday, and handing over a petition signed by 249 journalists from various media.

Adam Chew and Lee Hong Chun of Kwong Wah Jit Poh, on duty at Speaker’s Square on Sunday, were beaten with motorcycle helmets when Perkasa and Umno members used violence to disrupt a public rally held in protest against the Lynas rare earth factory in Kuantan, Pahang.
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Millionaires and paupers in the Penang Exco

» FULL DETAILS: Who owns what: the Penang Exco asset list

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Law Choo Kiang went from owning only a Perodua Myvi to becoming an asset millionaire with a house in Bandar Cassia and 609,000 shares in 12 companies, according to the public declaration of assets by Penang state executive councillors on Thursday.

Among other startling disclosures, Prof P Ramasamy changed his Proton Perdana for a Mercedes-Benz 230E making him the only one on the list with his own Mercedes-Benz.

Abdul Malik Kassim owns nothing (he lives in his wife’s house, he said) but bought a second car, Honda CRV, to add to his Proton Tiara. Law Heng Kiang bought a Honda Civic car, his only other asset being joint-ownership of an Island Glades flat.

Phee Boon Poh, the rich man in the Exco, bought a flat in Bagan Ajan and a RM349,000 plot of bungalow land in Batu Kawan, to add to his property holdings which include a house and land in New Zealand. He increased his fixed-deposit holdings by RM150,000 but his substantial investments remain unchanged: 1.2mil units of shares, 2mil units of unit trusts, and a holding in a family business. He also changed cars, from a Nissan Serena to a Toyota Alphard.
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Kg Buah Pala: final chapter

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Tiada Lembu Nak Jaga

Final chapter: federal housing agency gives houses in northern mainland for last nine families of Kg Buah Pala
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Double-storey terrace houses in the northern mainland are to be given to the last nine families of Kampung Buah Pala and nine members of their extended families, left homeless after the village was destroyed two years ago. Kg Buah Pala, near Gelugor on the island, has been home to descendants of estate workers brought to Penang more than 200 years ago by the Brown family. The families were given right of residence under a Brown family trust.

The village was torn down in 2009 after a series of State Government actions from 2004 that resulted in the Senior Government Officers’ Cooperative entering a joint venture with a private developer to build condominiums on the land. Eighteen families have been given houses in compensation by the developer after state intervention, while the nine insisting on fighting on. The new homes for the nine familiesare from Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, the housing agency of the federal government.

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Rasa Sayang farewell to 2011 by Penang govt [video]

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At the Esplanade in George Town for the New Year’s Eve party and New Year countdown