“Because of Guan Eng, we now have a state in Malaysia that adopts a policy of “non-interference,” forbidding its administrators from resolving “people issues,” particularly those that are deemed to have been brought upon the people by a past administration. Because of him also, the state administrators are even willing to let people die – literally – just to prove a point to the Barisan Nasional leadership”
THE THIRD FORCE
Last Tuesday, the 15th of August 2017, Lim Guan Eng issued a surprise apology to residents of Kampung Sungai Lembu over the existence of an illegal factory within their vicinity. The said factory had been producing carbon-filters for years, employing an “open burning system” that enveloped the village with cancer-causing agents almost on a daily basis.
Now, the Penang Chief Minister made no bones about the hazard posed by the illegal installation, tacitly acknowledging that his administration had known about the life-threatening consequences it posed to villagers all along. This came just a day after he attempted to shift the blame on the past state administration, telling reporters that the installation was already there when he came into power in 2008.
“I don’t deny that the factory has had a negative impact on the villagers, and I apologise to them on behalf of the state government if it had brought them problems.
“We wanted to find a solution to legalise them, but we are caught in the middle. We are criticised if we demolish them and also if we don’t,” he said.
Spotted the irony?
In the first place, why on earth would the Chief Minister of a state even think of legalizing an installation that he himself acknowledges brings negative impact on the people? In the second place, why would the Chief Minister allow criticism to stop him from doing what is right, particularly if it concerns the security and wellbeing of his people.
And how can that not be true?
On Tuesday, Guan Eng told reporters that the factory was able to operate this long owing to a ‘state policy’ that disallowed him or his administration from demolishing or closing down illegal structures built before the DAP assumed power in 2008. But then, didn’t he say that his administration was “caught in the middle” on the legality of the issue?
If that’s the case, then, what on earth could have ‘compelled’ the Chief Minister to suddenly decide on the issue? And even if he was forced to decide one way or the other, why did he not do the people right by shutting the factory down, given that he knew of “the negative impact (the installation) had on villagers?”
Do you now see the irony?
Guan Eng is telling residents of Kampung Sungai Lembu that he’s ‘sorry’ the factory exists, only to add that he’s ‘powerless’ to act since he ‘tied his own hands’ to prevent the factory from being shut down. And as if that isn’t enough bulls*** to go around, he goes ahead and shoots himself in the foot by telling us that he wasn’t able to decide one way or the other.
The last I checked, an apology is only issued when one is “regretful for an offense or failure” to perform an action. In the case of the illegal factory at Kampung sungai Lembu, the failure is on the part of the state administration, which adopted a policy of “non-interference” that brought untold risk to the people.
And we’re talking grave health risks here, risks that include the possibility of developing respiratory complications or lung cancer due to the inhalation of toxic fumes and ash that billow into the open from pits of burning sawdust. Reports have indicated that “11 of the 500 villagers have cancer, while five young adults have died in the past two years alone –rates that exceed the national cancer incidence by a factor of 23 times.”
Tell me, Guan Eng, would you and your family shift to the village?
It appears that improving the living standards of Penangites and guaranteeing them security is the last thing the Chief Minister has on his mind. Apparently, he is not aware that the people of Penang voted him and his men into power to champion their rights and “put right what was once deemed wrong.” My gut feeling tells me, this fellow is under the impression that being a “Tokong (a deity) figure” to the people has earned him a “free pass” to bulls*** all he wants without anyone suspecting anything.
Because of him, we now have a state in Malaysia that adopts a policy of “non-interference,” forbidding its administrators from resolving “people issues,” particularly those that are deemed to have been brought upon the people by a past administration. Because of him also, the state administrators are even willing to let people die – literally – just to prove a point to the Barisan Nasional leadership.
Tell me, Lim Kit Siang, what kind of government is your son running?