That Penang Starwalk Event can be held yearly proves the Star lied that the Penang State Government does not allow usage of the word Penang

I regret that the Star refuses to print what I said and continues to lie by reporting that all events that just uses the word “Penang” must be approved by the Penang state government. That even though the Penang Starwalk event is not approved by the state government, can be held yearly in Penang without any interference but with full state support since 2008 proves the Star lied that the Penang state government does not allow usage of the word Penang.

This is a clear attempt to distract attention from the unhappiness of Hindus over the organisation of “Penang Run” held on Thaipusam Day on 27th January in USM, which involves Federal government agencies such as Jabatan Belia dan Sukan Pulau Pinang, USM and Gerakan leaders. The state government had received many complaints from Hindus, unhappy at the state government for organising the “Penang Run” event on Thaipusam Day. This prompted the state government to explain that even though the words “Penang Run” was used, it had nothing to do with the state government as no approval was given to use the words “Penang Run”.

No state approval is needed if any organisation uses the words “Penang Hokkien Run”, “Penang Malay Run”, “Penang Cancer Run” or even “Penang Starwalk” because the public knows who the organisers are and it is not a Penang state government event. But confusion can arise when the word “Penang” alone is used as in “Penang Run” for this Thaipusam Day event, when Hindus wrongly blamed the state government for organising it and not respecting this religious occasion. Gerakan and BN should explain why they chose to organise it on Thaipusam Day.

Proper use of the word Penang(alone) on events is necessary to avoid any abuse of the word Penang to drag in the state government. For events like this “Penang Run” which is used without the state government permission, the state or local government like MPPP or MPSP will not give any co-operation or relevant approvals. There is nothing the state government can do if the organisers like those in “Penang Run” insist on using the word “Penang” alone, but they have to assume full responsibility.

I regret that this explanation relating to proper description of events organised, have been extended by irresponsible parties to state that words like Penang food, Penang Hokkien mee, Penang carnival or maps can not be used and are banned by the Penang state government. Such a portrayal is both dishonest and ridiculous.

With the general election season, I call on Malaysians who value truthful reporting to be extremely sceptical about reports on DAP leaders by the BN owned media that indulges in baseless personal attacks. Yesterday the UMNO-owned New Straits Times reported that Irene Chang, the wife of Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng, had issued a statement attacking me for not helping her husband financially to cope with Wong’s illness.

Wong is seeking treatment for cancer in Singapore. Wong and Irene had ferociously denied the New Straits Times report as lies as she had never made such remarks. As expected New Straits Times did not show any remorse by neither withdrawing nor apologising for making such vicious personal lies against me.

I have been reluctant to engage with New Straits Times due to their persistent lies against me. I hope that I need not exercise the same caution towards MCA-owned Star following their insistence to distort what I said. If over a simple matter like the proper use of the word “Penang” can be turned into a big issue of something out of nothing, I fear worse lies by Star on weightier matters and of national importance.

Penang Chief Minister
Media statement (2) by Lim Guan Eng in George Town on Wednesday, 23rd January 2013