Guan Eng apologises to those left out by state govt

01 Apr 2018 / 15:30 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has apologised to any individuals or groups that the DAP-led state government had inadvertently left out in its quest to develop Penang since gaining power in 2013.
"We are not tokongs (deities) here, we are not God. We are humans and we may have made mistakes. But let me rest assure everyone that we will always be willing to listen to the people. DAP shall not run away. We are for the people," Lim said during the launching of the Bukit Bendera DAP election operations centre today.
Lim's use of the word "tokongs" left the audience in stitches, and it even prompted the DAP secretary-general to pause and laugh aloud too.
"Why are you laughing this way … Jeff?" Lim asked, apparently referring to Penang DAP committee member Jeffrey Chew, who served as his personal officer during his first tenure as chief minister.
Chew was seated in the front row alongside state DAP leaders during the lauch.
Lim was often accused by his political opponents of being dictatorial when leading Penang; to which he said the state needs a strong leader.
On a serious note, Lim touched on the achievements recorded by the state government since 2013. He said Penang had ranked first in socio-economic development, including having the second most foreign direct investments and being recognised as one of the cleanest cities in the Asean region.
Lim said that the state has managed to record surpluses in its budget since 2013 simply because it had reduced public wastage and corruption.
"Penang has shown that there is a way to live without the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and it is by reducing wastage and fighting corruption."
If Penang can do it, Lim said he was certain that on the national scale, it can be done – the withdrawal of the GST.
"We have a model through Penang that we can utilise throughout the country."
Another element which Lim touted was the 4Ps approach in nation building.
"The state engages the public, private, people and professionals whenever it wants to develop things; from the digital library to better public transport and recycling. The four P's have allowed the state to record robust growth."
Earlier, Penang DAP chairmain Chow Kon Yeow said that the coming general election was simply a fight between Barisan Nasional and the Opposition umbrella of Pakatan Harapan.
"You are either with us or against us. There is no room for third parties here," he said.
Chow said that DAP was bracing to be inundated with slander and lies during the campaigning, but he stressed that it will not waver from its principles, especially in view that the country must change to meet people's high expectations.

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