Let Padang Kota be a contest of ideas, ideals, principles and policies

Yesterday I accepted the challenge of BN Penang Chair Teng Chang Yeow to contest against me in the coming general elections. Padang Kota should be the site for battle as this is Teng’s home ground and he was the ADUN for Padang Kota for 3 terms. Even though Teng lost narrowly at the 2008 general elections to Penang DAP Chair Chow Kon Yeow, Teng had said that “leaders should climb up from the same place where they have fallen”.

As Teng has publicly declared his confidence and not afraid of a face-off against me, I am willing to go to his home ground of Padang Kota. Let us make this contest in Padang Kota not a battle of who can tell better lies and issue violent threats, but an honourable contest of ideas, ideals, principles and people-centric policies to decide whether it is PR or BN has a better vision for the future of Penang.

DAP and PR will stand on our record card and performance over the last 5 years against the previous performance of BN and its unfulfilled promises. PR offers a vision of a united, multi-racial society that respects diversity, basic human rights and a civil society. BN is still relying on its previous racist and extremist platform especially on UMNO and Perkasa supporters that preaches the language of lies, hate and violence.

PR believes in sharing our wealth with the people equitable and not with cronies. For that reason Penang created history by launching the RM20 million Agenda Ekonomi Saksama(AES) to be the first state in Malaysia to wipe out poverty by ensuring that every poor household in Penang has a minimum income of RM770 a month. Any family earning less than RM770, the state government will top up the difference every month until it reaches RM770.

PR believes in giving equal opportunities to all our children and not just the children of ex-Prime Ministers who can become one of the richest man in Malaysia. Which democracy in the world has a child of the Prime Minister become one of the wealthiest man in the country, when it is not inherited wealth?

Over the last 5 years, PR has proven that a clean government can perform better than a corrupt government. Through our CAT governance of competency, accountability and transparency, Penang has recorded budget surpluses, reduced our state government debts by 95% and rescued Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai from bankruptcy when RM230 million was wasted away. PR’s investment record over the last five years from 2008-2012 of RM36.1 billion far outshines the previous 5 years’ performance of BN of RM18.7 billion from 2003-2007!

Most important of all, PR keeps our promises and admits mistakes that were made honestly. In contrast BN still refuses to account for their unfulfilled promise made in 2006 of building a monorail or apologise for failing to do so. Instead this monorail promise is recycled again for the coming general elections.

The next general elections is about what type of future of Penang do we want our young to live in. PR believes in a Penang that is cleaner, greener, safer and healthier. Let the people in Padang Kota and Penang decide whether PR has the policies and the courage to prepare the future for our young and the young for the future.

Penang Chief Minister
Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town on Friday, 29th March 2013