Lim Guan Eng Chief Minister of Penang was recently in Sabah and he had spoken about a number of issues to the Daily Express, including golf. I want to reproduce a letter a reader wrote to the Editor of Daily Express regarding Lim Guan Eng and his lack of knowledge.
Penang CM exposed naivety in interview
I AM originally from Penang and have been residing in Sabah for 25 years. I love this State and the friendly people. I always tell my Penang friends that Peninsula Malaysians have a lot to learn from Sabah when it comes to harmony and unity.
When Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng visited last week, I was excited that Sabahans will get a good impression of the new CM. My friends in Penang had supported the DAP in the last elections.
But it amazed me that the CM exposed his lack of general knowledge by being mistaken that Santa Monica is in Central America.
Santa Monica is a world famous golfing sea side resort at Santa Monica Bay in the Los Angeles country of California in the US.
I hope the Koreans who wanted to build a US$ 100 million Santa Monica-style golf course in Penang were not equally embarrassed by him.
Penang should also learn from Sabah which has done away with cash distribution to voters many years ago.
According to the interview with your newspaper (21.12.08 ) the Penang State Government will distribute RM70 million to 170,000 families at RM400 per family. The RM70 million could be better spent on human resource training. Cash handouts only contribute to inflation and loose spending.
Already my Sabah friends are complaining to me why the Penang CM wants to use one third of Petronas money to be given out to the people in other states at RM6,000 each per annum (if Pakatan Rakyat forms the Federal Government).
The petrol dollars belong to Sabah (and Sarawak and Terengganu) and is a hot issue here. It is best if the Penang CM avoid any talk of taking Sabah’s oil money to be given to other states.
If Lim cares to spend more time in Sabah, then he will not say things that embarrass himself like boasting about free wifi in Penang and complaining about Sabah getting RM4 billion from the Federal Government.
He should realise that Penang (area 1046 sq.km) is only 1.3% the size of Sabah (76115 sq.km) with a population (1.5m) that is only 42% of Sabah (3.5m).
Poverty here is serious, cost of doing business is high, infrastructural development is still badly needed and Sabah, generally, needs more federal funds for development.
While Penang has won the funds for the RM3 billion second 24-km bridge (as a back up to the first bridge (13.5km), the Labuan-Sabah mainland bridge still remains a feasibility study at the local university. Sabah’s road transport network still needs basic things like good bridges and land slide prevention.
I also think that the fuss generated over the naming of roads in Chinese, Arabic and Tamil in Penang was not worth it. Penang should spend more time on economic matters like jobs creation. So many talented Penang people have left for other states and overseas to earn a living.
Santa Monica Penang
Lim Guan Eng, in his interview with Daily Express acknowledged that golf was not his game and, therefore, did not know where Santa Monica was.
One cannot but credit him for being honest which many politicians lack. By the same token, even a golfer in the US may not be expected to know any of our top golf courses.
On the RM4 billion that Sabah is getting compared to Penang getting only RM200m from the Federal Government, what he meant was that Sabah is getting this amount despite contributing less than Penang’s RM3 billion yearly to the Federal treasury. – Editor Daily Express.