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Gerakan must stop turning white to black and black to white when respect for Koh Tsu Koon’s predecessors is taken as ridicule to cover up Tsu Koon’s ineptitude in running Penang’s economy and refusal to answer why Penang’s FDI for the first three months of 2007 is only a lowly 8th in Malaysia


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Penang, Tuesday): Gerakan must stop turning white to black and black to white when respect for Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s predecessors is taken as ridicule merely to cover up Tsu Koon’s ineptitude in running Penang’s economy and refusal to answer why Penang’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the first three months of 2007 is only a lowly 8th in Malaysia. The sense that Penang economy is not expanding and 1.5 million Penangnites not benefiting from economic growth can be felt not only on the ground by ordinary people but also some alarming figures. 

FDI’s for the first three months show Penang receiving only RM 97.4 million the fifth lowest in Malaysia. Johor is No.1 with RM 1,610 million, followed by Selangor with RM 877 million and Kedah with RM 588 million, Terengganu with RM 274 million, Negeri Sembilan with RM 167 million, Sabah with RM 165 million and Pahang wih RM 114 million.  

If Gerakan leaders can prove that these FDI figures shown by me are wrong, then I am willing to apologise to all Penangnites and Gerakan. If Gerakan can not do so, Gerakan and Tsu Koon should formally apologise to the people of Penang for their economic failure. 

Why is it that Gerakan leaders continue to harp on my ridiculing Tsu Koon’s predecessors but not explain Tsu Koon’s poor economic performance? At least during the time of his predecessors, Penang used to be the leading economic state in Malaysia. However economic stagnation has set in and Selangor declared itself to be the first developed state in Malaysia last year.  

That is why I related this story of how all Tsu Koon’s predecessors crying after meeting the Supreme Being to get advice how to ensure that Penang Leads(anyone who is God-fearing would cry after meeting the Supreme Being). However when it was Tsu Koon’s turn, the Supreme Being instead cried upon seeing Tsu Koon.  

At least Tsu Koon’s predecessors tried hard enough to ensure Penang retained the edge unlike Tsu Koon, whom almost everyone has given up hope. This is not ridicule but respect for Tsu Koon’s predecessors and Gerakan leaders are politically bankrupt in using desperate tactics to try to mislead the people. 

Penang’s economic stagnation has been proven not only by the sentiments expressed by businessmen but also by facts and figures. According to the Ninth Malaysian Plan(9MP), Penang ranked third amongst Malaysian states in economic growth rate for the period 2001-2010. Penang ranked No. 2 under the Development Composite Index after Kuala Lumpur.

Penang’s mean monthly household income of RM 3,531 in 2004 ranks a distant third after Selangor’s RM 5,175 and Kuala Lumpur’s RM 5,011. The most damaging indictment of Penang’s economic stagnation is that Penang recorded the lowest average annual growth rate in mean monthly household income in Malaysia of only 2.5 % from 2000-2004(9MP). Even Sabah, the poorest state in Malaysia, recorded a higher average annual growth rate mean monthly household income of 5.5% during the same period. 

There are four factors of success in the making a developed economy:-

      Dynamic leadership;

      Transparency, accountability & good governance;

      Upholding Rule of law & crime prevention; and 

      Discarding political and historical burdens such as ending the preferential policies, racial quotas, anti-competitive, inefficient and corruption-breeding New Economic Policy (NEP). 

Instead of dynamic leadership, Penang has “dwarfish leadership” that submits to UMNO. Instead of transparency, accountability and good governance, there is abuse of power and no open tenders of government procurement projects. Instead of rule of law and crime prevention there is double-standards and selective prosecution as well as rampant crime. Worse of all the present unprincipled Penang state leadership continues to support the NEP. 

If Gerakan leaders talk about respecting elders, then why is it that Gerakan dare not take any action, hold any counter-demonstrations against UMNO Youth members who demonstrated against Tsu Koon openly in front of him and the Prime Minister? The facts of Penang economic stagnation is clear for everyone except for Gerakan leaders who have eyes but are blind to the truth. 

DAP reminds Gerakan that you can deceive some of the people some of the time, even deceive all the people some of the time but can not deceive all the people all the time.



* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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