“As the state exco members are travelling overseas using public funds, it is the people’s right to know the details and outcome of these trips”
GEORGE TOWN: Penang MCA has questioned the outcome of the overseas trips made by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, his two deputies and state exco members.
Its treasurer Datuk Ma Kok Ben said he doubted the state government had brought home any success from the trips meant to attract foreign investments.
“We are not opposing the overseas trips to bring investments to the various sectors in Penang.
“However, these trips must truly benefit Penang. It should not be used as a free ticket to go abroad that serves no real purposes other than wasting public funds,” he said in a statement.
At the 13th session of the Penang legislative assembly, Lim, in his written reply to Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu, said a total of RM2,252,848.28 was spent on 55 business trips between January 2016 and May 2017.
He said the trips involved him, his two deputies, eight exco members and other representatives.
Ma said a check found that some trips were unrelated to the portfolios of the state exco members concerned.
Citing an example, he said Lim Hock Seng, who is Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman, visited Taiwan for its presidential election from Jan 10 to 15 this year.
He said Hock Seng also went to Hainan International Tourism Festival from Nov 25 to 28 last year.
“These trips are questionable and raised much concern. Lim (Hock Seng) must explain why he used public funds to take part in two activities which are unrelated to his portfolio.
“Was he acting on instructions or self-recommendation?” he asked.
Ma said when former MCA vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen was the Tourism Minister, DAP kept questioning her many business trips, and even ‘slandered’ her in cyberspace.
“As the state exco members are travelling overseas using public funds, it is the people’s right to know the details and outcome of these trips.
“The Penang government must give a satisfactory explanation to the people,” he said.
Hock Seng declined to comment when contacted, apart from saying Ma was in no position to question the matter.
Source: The Star Online