GEORGE TOWN: MCA is not interested in saving Penang from being turned into a federal territory (FT) but only wants to safeguard its own ministerial perks and privileges, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim said MCA’s view that he was overreacting to the Penang FT idea mooted by a federal minister was understandable as MCA did not dare speak out against their higher-ups in Barisan Nasional (BN).
Today, Senator Chew Mei Fun, who is women, family and community development deputy minister and MCA vice-president, said it was unlikely that Penang would become an FT and that the state government’s “I love Penang” campaign was an “overreaction”.
“This is the problem with MCA. They never look at national issues seriously because they are so ignorant,” Lim said at a press conference in Komtar.
“They are only serious when it comes to their ministerial perks and privileges. When it comes to the interests of the people, there is nothing. By right, Chew should support the campaign.
“They are like the proverbial three monkeys — speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil.”
Lim launched the “I love Penang” campaign in reaction to a suggestion by FT Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that Penang be placed under federal rule. Tengku Adnan had said this in a recent radio interview.
Besides Penang, Tengku Adnan also suggested that Langkawi, parts of Malacca and Tioman Island be turned into FTs. He said this would ensure more funds for development and proper housing for all regardless of race.
Lim said Chew’s statement on the issue was superficial and that she did not understand the threat posed to Penang which could lose its governor and state legislature if turned into an FT.
Lim said it was likely Chew did not want to upset Tengku Adnan, who is higher up in the pecking order in BN. Tengku Adnan is BN and Umno secretary-general, he said.
“Instead of criticising Tengku Adnan, she is defending him. She is working hand in hand with Umno and she does not have the interests of Penangites at heart.
“Ordinary Penangites will feel threatened if Penang is turned into an FT. This is the problem with MCA; they never look at national issues seriously because they are so ignorant.
“So there is no point in addressing what Chew said because she has no relevance to the people of Penang.
Lim said Chew was replaced as state MCA chairperson and “she went back to wherever she came from”.
When asked about similar comments made by Penang Gerakan’s Oh Tong Keong regarding the “I love Penang” campaign, Lim said: “I will respond to what ministers say. If it’s Chew or Tengku Adnan, I will answer.” -FMT