“Clouding perception has always been the ‘name of the game’ insofar as the administration of Lim Guan Eng is concerned. Two months ago, on the 16th of September 2017, the Chief Minister told newsmen that the movement of earth down hillslopes “wasn’t a problem as long as it didn’t obstruct traffic.” He said this amid concerns that an 18-hour long thunderstorm claimed one life and left a massive trail of destruction on the island”
THE THIRD FORCE
Hours ago, a Penang State Legislative Assembly sitting saw R.S.N Rayer criticise the organiser of a forum he never attended. According to a report by Bernama, the Seri Delima assemblyman claimed that the forum, held to discuss flood and landslide problems afflicting the state, could have been a platform for some quarters to point fingers at the DAP-led state government.
This is what Rayer had to say:
“We are aware of the recent flood events and the Penang Forum was focusing to blame the state government for what happened. My question is whether the Penang Forum organised the forum with an ‘open heart’ or just to blame the state government.”
Now, that struck me as weird.
The reason being, is it not his duty as assemblyman to first assess a situation – any situation – before making a judgement call? As a legal practitioner, he, of all people, should know that it is inexcusable – and might I add, somewhat prejudicial – when an office bearer entrusted to represent the people attempts to second guess others, and in the process, flies in the face of democracy.
Yes, democracy, the very democracy he and the party he represents claim to champion. Democracy does, in part, entail the right for one to voice opinions, so long as those opinions aren’t prejudicial, sub judicial or harmful to the interests of others. Even the organiser of the forum demands the right for his (or her) opinion to be heard. Rayer should have felt duty bound to uphold that right by attending the forum and lending his constituents a voice.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he chose to second guess the organiser by implying malice. As a result, not only did he fail his constituents, he caused their voice to drown amidst the din of rhetoric and speculation that began right after a freak rainstorm wrecked havoc on the island state of Penang. He actually had the chance to quash negative perception against his government, but chose instead to fuel speculation by floating more rhetoric.
It’s quite sad how these DAP assemblymen behave, really. Rayer should realise, that people are not really interested in his personal prejudices. All they want to know is what the state plans to do to ensure that Penangites never again have to face calamities of proportions witnessed last weekend.
That having been said, it isn’t really wrong for anyone to criticise the state government. As an assemblyman, Rayer should be bold enough to hold his head up and concede his shortcomings. Shying away from the forum and criticising its organiser later only sends signals of cowardice. As far as I am now concerned, Rayer did not have the balls to face criticism and chose to cloud perception instead.
Yes, clouding perception has always been the ‘name of the game’ insofar as the administration of Lim Guan Eng is concerned. Two months ago, on the 16th of September 2017, the Chief Minister told newsmen that the movement of earth down hillslopes “wasn’t a problem as long as it didn’t obstruct traffic.” He said this amid concerns that an 18-hour long thunderstorm claimed one life and left a massive trail of destruction on the island.
What’s worse, he actually told reporters things weren’t so bad.
Not only did he fail to calm flood victims, his exco – Rayer – had the cheek to question on Facebook why Penangites were after the state government and not God (see picture below). Perhaps that explains why he refused to attend the forum – perhaps, he preferred God to descend from the Heavens and address the grouses of the people.
Yes, whenever disaster strikes, we need to blame it on God. There is no need to explain to the people the wanton sale of state land to cash-rich developers or how that may have played a role in the scale of destruction witnessed last weekend (READ HERE). If people need to know why the state never regulated the development of luxury high-rises on the island, they need to ask God, not Guan Eng or Rayer.
If that’s the case, perhaps God can tell me what happened to the billions the state raked in from the sale of state land since 2008. If I were to meet God, I would want to know why the Chief Minister chose only to allot a yearly average of RM11 million for flood mitigation projects but ‘donated’ a whopping RM220 million to consultants for a project none of us really need.
And while I’m at it, I will ask God to put a proper brain in Rayer’s head. Only with a better brain will the Seri Delima assemblyman realise how unregulated changes in the state’s topographical map impacted on the containment capacities of major drains and rivers. Yes, if I met God, I will do Rayer a favour by asking Him to do something that will probably go a long way to save the Seri Delima rep’s career.
I will ask God to get Rayer out of the ‘Dunggu-zone’.