by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, 19th February 1992:
Call on the 20 MPPP Councillors who had served previously to tender their resignations to coincide with the swearing-in of Tan Ghim Hwa as MPPP President so that the MPPP can start off on a new slate to clean up its ‘decadence and impotence’
Tomorrow, Tan Ghim Hwa would be sworn in as the new MPPP President. DAP calls on the 20 MPPP Councillors who had been reappointed from the previous MPPP to tender their resignations to coincide with the swearing-in so that the MPPP can start off on a completely new slate to clean up its ‘decadence and impotence’.
Let it not be forgotten that the one and only one reason why Tan Ghim Hwa has been appointed MPPP President is because of the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP which was publicly admitted by the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr, Lim Keng Yaik, last December.
Keng Yaik came to Penang twice to publicly pressurise the Penang State Government and the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, to appoint a Gerakan nominee to head the MPPP on the ground that this is the only way to clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ in the MPPP.
As 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors reappointed this year were former MPPP Councillors, nobody expect them to admit or contribute to the cleaning-up of the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP, as this will tantamount to their confessing their incompetence and uselessness.
If these 20 MPPP Councillors do not resign to allow the MPPP to start off on a completely new leaf, the chances of Tan Ghim Hwa making any headway to clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP are not optimistic at all.
This is because these 20 MPPP Councillors will be able to use their overwhelming majority in the MPPP Council to stonewall all clean-up actions, and even get the MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa, to announce after one or two months that there is no basis in the allegations of ‘decadence and impotence’ in the MPPP, or that the problem is not so serious after all.
If this should happen, it will be the greatest let-down to the 600,000 people on the Penang Island.
I hope Tan Ghim Hwa will not disappoint the people, for after the announcement of his appointment, he had said that he is prepared to wield the ‘big axe’ to clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ in the MPPP.
MPPP must bear the greatest responsibility for Dr. Mahathir’s declaring Penang as the ‘dirtiest place in the country’
This ‘big axe’ must fall on all sections of the MPPP if it is to be totally overhauled and its ‘decadence and impotence’ wiped out, and the first place for the ‘big axe’ to fall is the MPPP Council itself on the 20 MPPP Councillors who must therefore accept responsibility and blame for the MPPP ‘decadence and impotence’. If these 20 MPPP Councillors are not prepared to resign voluntarily, then they should be directed to submit their resignation letters!
A year ago, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, declared Penang Island as the “dirtiest place in the country”.
In democratic countries where there is a high sense of public responsibility and accountability, the entire MPPP Council would have resigned, admitting its failure to keep Penang clean and beautiful and for turning the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ into the ‘Rubbish Din of the Orient’. This is because the MPPP, as the local government, must bear the greatest responsibility for Dr. Mahathir’s strictures on the Penang city.
This never took place. Instead the MPPP and the State Government launched a campaign to blame everyone, the people and in particular the hawkers, except for themselves.
In December, when the Gerakan President denounced the MPPP Council as ‘decadent and impotent’, the MPPP Councillors were not moved or bothered, as they were more interested in getting re-nominated – 20 out of the 24 did!
Eighth DAP proposal for the clean-up of the MPPP ‘decadence and impotence’
This bring me to the eighth DAP proposal for a clean-up of the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPP: the principle of account-ability and responsibility by ever MPPP Councillor and officer.
It is most disgraceful and dishonourable, for instance, that nobody in the MPPP is prepared to accept responsibility for Penang being named the ‘dirtiest place in the country’ or the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP, while every MPPP Councillor was more interested in being re-appointed!
Tan Ghim Hwa should declare at his swearing-in tomorrow that he accepts this principle of accountability and responsibility, and that he would accept personal responsibility if he could not clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP.
Tan Ghim Hwa should make public an action programme and time frame to clean up the MPPP ‘decadence and impotence’ – the areas in the MPPP which have become ‘decadence impotence’ and which should be cleaned up, and the time-table he has set for himself, whether three months, six months or one year.
This principle of responsibility and accountability must apply to all MPPP Councillors, and this is why DAP is seriously making the proposal that all the 20 MPPP Councillors who had served preciously, and therefore identified with Penang becoming the ‘dirtiest place in the country’ as well as the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP, should tender their resignations.
I am not suggesting that Tan Ghim Hwa must not sleep and must work 24-hours a day as MPPP President
I wish to clarify what I said yesterday that Tan Ghim Hwa must be a full-time President and “even being prepared to be on the job 24 hours day”, before it is distorted and twisted.
I am not suggesting that Tan Ghim Hwa must not sleep and must work 24-hours a day as MPPP President. This would be ridiculous.
What I said was that in assuming the post of MPPP President, particularly with the special assignment to clean up its ‘decadence and impotence’, Tan Ghim Hwa must give his single-minded devotion and commitment to this task, both in time and energy. He must talk, think, breathe, eat, drink, even dream about how to clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP, and have no time for anything else.
In crisis situations, as for instance, during the unprecedented island-wide floods last year, the MPPP President must be on top of his job 24-hours a day, if need be, to mobilise the entire resources and machinery of the MPPP to bring relief to the people on the island.