by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, 27th February 1992:
Tan Ghim Hwa should not make his first big blunder by listening to Lakhbir Singh and disallow the press and public from attending MPPP meetings
The new MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa, should not make his first big blunder in his new post by listening to the MPPP Secretary, Lakhbir Singh and disallow DAP Assemblymen, the press and the public from attending the MPPP meetings.
Lakhbir Singh is well known for his opposition to allow the press and the public from attending the MPPP meeting, but this is understandable because Lakhbir Singh has got used to the undemocratic and secretive way of operations of the MPPP, which not only violated the spirit and substance of the Local Government Act, but has resulted in the MPPP becoming ‘decadent and impotent’ (to use the words of the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik).
Tan Ghim Hwa should be mindful of his special mission as MPPP President, and the first step to clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP is to open up the MPPP meetings to the public ad press to show that the new MPPP has nothing to hide from the ratepayers of the Penang Island.
The 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors who were also in the previous Councils will not be comfortable with the MPPP meeting in public, as they had also got used to operating in secret, without the glare of public scrutiny and accountability. This is why the DAP had demanded that these 20 former MPPP Councillors should be asked to resign, because they are the ones who must bear the greatest responsibility for the ‘decadence and impotence’ of the MPPP.
The DAP MPPP Monitoring Committee has written to Tan Ghim Hwa stating its attention to attend and observe the next MPPP meeting, which I understand is next Thursday. I hope Tan Ghim Hwa can rise to the occasion to end the previous era of ‘secretive’ and undemocratic MPPP meetings, so as to observe both the spirit and letter of the Local Government Act which wants local government councils to be more responsible and accountable to the ratepayers.