Speech by Lim Guan Eng during the Penang DAP State Ordinary Convention
in Tanjung Bungah Hotel on Sunday, 2nd November 2008:
Completing the economic, political and ethical transformation of Penang
into an international city that serves as an enduring symbol of hope and
optimism for the nation – that even during the bleakest of times, people
have faith in the future
We meet in a spirit of hope. For the first
time in a generation, it is the BN that appears lost and disillusioned.
From marginalised opposition parties, DAP have finally attained our
objective of becoming a full partner in government with our allies PKR
and PAS in Pakatan Rakyat.
Let me congratulate everyone of you, especially the members who worked
tirelessly without any expectations of reward for making history
possible. This people’s victory belongs to you. We have won the last
general elections for three reasons:-
• Discipline and a shared purpose
towards realising our vision of transforming Penang into a dynamic
state that leads again based on public integrity, competency and an
confidence in offering new ideas based on principles, innovations
and sound logic; and
• A common purpose
of realising a people-centric government that can win over
detractors, fence-sitters and skeptics that we can rule as a
democracy based on the principles of justice, freedom, truth, social
welfare and universal values.
DAP has the ideas, ideals and imagination
that has inspired the electorate to vote and gave us and Pakatan Rakyat
a resounding 2/3 majority in the last general elections by winning 29
out of 40 seats with DAP winning all our seats and increasing from one
to 19 state seats. Our ideas of civil liberties and political equality,
ideals of socio-economic justice and equal opportunities and imagination
of empowering all through democracy and integrity has captivated and
inspired Malaysians especially the young.
In contrast BN, UMNO MCA and Gerakan suffer from AIDs – Acquired
Intellectual Ideals, Ideas and Imagination Deficit syndrome. For the
past 50 years BN has exploited racial extremism to win votes where only
the ruling BN elites from UMNO, MCA and MIC dominate.
They have still not learnt the lessons of the political tsunami of March
8 by continuously exploiting racial and religious issues to divide
Malaysians to distract attention from their failures of governance or
stopping corruption. After the March 8 general elections, not only was
there no action against mismanagement but there were 3 new scandals.
The three scandals amounting to RM 23.7 billion have deprived much
needed funds for infrastructure works such as drainage to prevent flash
floods of for social programs that uplift living standards and wipe out
poverty in Malaysia includes:
1. Maybank's overpriced RM 10.8 billion
purchase of two distressed foreign banks at twice their present
value - the RM 8 billion acquisition of Bank Internasional Indonesia
(BII) and RM 2.8 billion purchase of a 20% stake in Pakistan’s MBC
2. RM 1.6 billion purchase of 12
Eurocopter's Cougar helicopters without conducting any test flights;
3. RM 11.3 billion for the High Speed
Broadband (HSBP) project without open tender.
Witness the vicious racial attacks by UMNO
against the Penang State government’s decision to put road signs in
other languages IN ADDITION to Bahasa Malaysia in the Georgetown
heritage area. Let no one doubt that DAP respects and upholds Bahasa
Malaysia as the official language and has even amended our party
constitution in 2006 to reflect this official status.
UMNO and BN should open up their eyes and see that big nations such as
China have other languages on their road signs. Even our own
international airport has other languages. Stop behaving like a “katak
di bawah tempurung” as we can not survive and compete internationally as
a closed society.
Why is UMNO making so much noise when Bahasa Malaysia is not replaced in
Penang but fails to act when Science and Mathematics are no longer
taught in Bahasa Malaysia but replaced by English? Such is the hypocrisy
of BN and UMNO. Clearly when Malaysians are united, BN is weak. Only
when Malaysians are divided can BN be strong again.
BN, UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC have no principles apart from clinging and
grabbing power for their own private benefit. Their time is up; their
philosophy done and their experiment is over.
Our time has come to implement our philosophy of good governance that
makes our life rich and society more beautiful. Let us restate our
Vision, Mission Statement and Core Values for Penang:-
Transform Penang into an international city and state that is the
location of choice for investors, destination of choice for tourists and
habitat of choice for Malaysians desiring sustainable living.
Sustainable living simply means that the manner that we use resources
today preserves the resources we’ll need tomorrow.
Establishing a “people-centric” government that practises good
governance through CAT – Competency, Accountability and Transparency
that not only creates prosperity but is shared equitably with the rakyat.
• Competency ensures effective and
efficient delivery which requires us to choose the best so that we
can be on top of the rest;
• Accountability conforms with a healthy democratic culture that
builds participation, consultation and responsibility into the
• Transparency promotes integrity and fights corruption whereby
decision making is done in an open manner subject to public scrutiny
Adopting an ethical and moral leadership that professes and gives faith,
hope and love; where
• the people must have faith that the
government is there to help and not harm them;
• the government must give hope to the young that there is a bright
future with equal opportunities, level playing field and social
• the government must show love for the people based on human
dignity, compassion and a caring society.
Upon taking power we have emphasised that we
will be a people-centric and an investor-friendly government. We have
cancelled parking and hawker summonses, ensure that emergency aid for
disaster relief must be given within 24 hours, stopped BN crony projects
like the Penang Global City Centre, save government expenditures, given
aid to schools and the poor and making wiping out hard-core poverty in
one year what BN can not do in 50 years one of our top priorities.
For investors we have demonstrated that we are committed to efficient
and effective delivery, reduced red tape by allowing industries to
“build first, approve later” and run a clean administration with open
We are committed towards a culture of excellence and fully developing
our human resources to make “Penang Leads” again. At the same time we
have also placed our feet firmly in the future with our Penang free
wireless effort by making Penang the first wifi state in two years with
wireless free and wimax at affordable prices.
Foreign investment has exceeded last year’s levels and apart from the
USD100 million investment in a golf course in Batu Kawan by Koreans, I
will be announcing a new investment on Tuesday by a branded American
company. There can be no greater vote of confidence in the new state
government and Penang’s future than by attracting more foreign
investments in the midst of a global financial crisis.
The task before us is huge. We need to transform Penang economically by
moving up the value chain, mastering new technology and ability to
compete internationally. We need to transform Penang politically where
people have a voice and a share in the economic benefits. We need to
transform Penang ethically to ensure good governance by leaders with
integrity committed to fighting corruption.
We can only succeed if we believe in the people of Penang and the people
of Penang believe in us. Penang’s success in becoming the Silicon Valley
in Malaysia was built on the expertise, energy and entrepreneurship of
it people. A government can only be as good as its people and we trust
the expertise, energy and entrepreneurship of the people of Penang to
help us in this transformation.
DAP and PR Penang state government is focused just not on physical
development but also in values such as freedom, public integrity,
justice, observing human rights and respect for the rule of law. We have
faith that with our CAT governance and our values system will propel us
forward to a better society for all.
Transforming Penang into an international city requires completing the
triple transformation of economy, political and ethics. Let Penang be an
enduring symbol of hope and optimism for the nation – that even during
the bleakest of times, people have faith in the future.
Lim Guan Eng, DAP
Secretary-General & MP for Bagan