The prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor’s aide Rizal Mansor believes that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s wife, Betty Chew, rejected a proposal to be appointed into the committee of the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce due to “criticism”.
Rizal said this in his response to Damansara Utama assemblyperson Yeo Bee Yin who said Rosmah should emulate Chew who had rejected the offer and should thus step down as Permata patron.
However, despite Chew having rejected the position, Rizal said it was “not wrong” to believe that Chew did so after criticism and wide coverage by the media.
“Want to deny Chew’s interests in PCCC? Just take a look at her pictures on the organisation’s website,” said Rizal.
Whether Chew had accepted or rejected the offer was not the main issue, he added.
“The main issue raised then was Chew’s status as the wife of the Penang chief minister and that PCCC is an organisation involving trade.
“This has to do with conflict of interest, Chew was seen as being closer to business people. If she had spent more time engaging in social and welfare causes, maybe this issue would not crop up.
Rizal also “thanked” Yeo for making way for him to raise the issue involving Lim’s bungalow which was purchased below market price.
“With your integrity and efficiency when it comes to the Permata patron, I hope you will show the same spirit about the bungalow issue which is related to Lim’s relationship with (businesswoman) Phang Li Khoon.
“I just want you to confirm whether Chew was ever the director of a company- Excel Property Management and Consultancy Sdn Bhd - together with Phang and her siblings,” asked Rizal.
Pointing out how Excel Property’s nature of business as “property management and consultancy services”, Rizal pointed to the conflict of interest between Chew’s position in a property management company when her husband is the chief minister.
“Is it because you (Yeo) want to safeguard your position in DAP that you are willing to be hypocritical and would keep quiet in this matter?” queried Rizal.
Rizal last Saturday claimed Chew's role in PCCC was similar to Rosmah's in the controversial Prime Minister's Department programme for children, Permata, which has come under scrutiny for a failure to reveal its books.
Yeo and Rizal have engaged in a public verbal spat over Rosmah's role as patron of the government-funded Permata.
Yeo has been questioning the need for the government programme, which she said should be handled by the relevant ministries in charge of children or education, instead of being placed under the Prime Minister's Department and having a patron.- Mkini