“Perhaps, should the PKR president have lived up to her role as the leader of a “Reformist party,” she would have pressured the Guan Eng administration into action, thus preventing the deaths of Penanti folk who succumbed to cancer, presumably due to the inhalation of toxic fumes and ash that enveloped very large areas surrounding the illegal factory”
THE THIRD FORCE
Did you know that the illegal carbon filter-processing factory in Kampung Sungai Lembu, now the epicenter of a graft probe by the MACC involving Penang exco Phee Boon Poh, is in fact located within the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency?
And did you know that its Member of Parliament (MP), Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, chose to remain silent about the existence of the factory, let alone the health hazards it posed, ever since the issue was first made public by PKR assemblywoman Norlela Ariffin in 2015?
These were among the salient points raised by Barisan Nasional’s Dato’ Eric See-To, who pointed out yesterday that Wan Azizah failed to defend Norlela despite the bad press the Penanti assemblywoman has been getting for some time.
And that got me thinking – is Wan Azizah even aware of the goings on in her constituency?
Perhaps Dato’ Seri Mukhiz Mahathir has the answer.
On the 4th of May 2015, the then Menteri Besar of Kedah told a press conference in Permatang Pauh that Wan Azizah may not have understood her role as MP as she “often relied on others to run her constituencies.”
Mukhriz was alluding to statements issued by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali, who assured the PKR president that they would help “take care” of her Permatang Pauh and Kajang seats should she win the Permatang Pauh by-election, then around the corner.
“I’m perplexed about that too, because usually, a Member of Parliament will be responsible for her own area, she can’t be depending on other people,” Mukhriz said.
“So that, to me, proves that they don’t really understand the responsibility and role of a Member of Parliament,” he added.
Perhaps that explains why Wan Azizah is mum over the issue – she left everything to Lim Guan Eng, who failed to inform her that an illegal factory producing toxic fumes was operating within her constituency.
But there may be another reason.
Perhaps, the PKR president realises that her failure to protect her constituents may cost her votes, which is why she refused to defend her own party rep from being victimized by the DAP, which, according to Eric, had labelled her “Public enemy number one.”
In other words, Wan Azizah has taken Guan Eng’s side to impress upon people that Norlela was making a mountain out of a molehill.
But whichever the reason, the PKR president can no longer afford to take lightly the fact that Norlela broke down in tears at a 20th of November 2015 state assembly sitting after claiming that the Penang state government failed to respond to her queries.
She can’t, considering that the issue now concerns the health hazard posed by the illegal factory following revelations that the incidence of cancer around the factory area exceeded the national average by a factor of 23 times.
In light of this, the PKR president is now duty bound to ask the Guan Eng administration why it refused to take heed of Norlela’s pleas, or, at the very least, conduct a discovery into the health hazards posed by the factory.
If only Wan Azizah had lived up to her role as the leader of a “Reformist party” from day one, none of this would have happened.
A true reformist would definitely have pressured the Guan Eng administration into action, thus preventing the deaths of innocent folk who succumbed to cancer due to the inhalation of toxic fumes and ash that enveloped very large areas surrounding the illegal factory.
Question is, who will answer for those deaths now?
Lim Guan Eng?
Note: the article was edited at 8.21am, Wednesday, the 16th of August 2017