Would Tan Ghim Hwa publicly declare war on the three ills of the MPPP – ‘decadence, impotence and ineffi¬ciency’ in his first meeting of the MPPP meeting on Thursday?

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Slang, at the meeting of the DAP Tanjung Parliamentary Liaison Committee meeting held at DAP Penang Hqrs on Tuesday, 3rd March 1992 at 8.30 pm.

Would Tan Ghim Hwa publicly declare war on the three ills of the MPPP – ‘decadence, impotence and ineffi¬ciency’ in his first meeting of the MPPP meeting on Thursday?

The Majilis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) full Council will be meeting for the first time under the chairmanship of the new MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa, on Thursday.

After he was sworn in as MPPP President on February 20, Tan Ghim Hwa said he would spend his first week meeting the MPPP staff and being briefed by the various departments, following which he would prepare a priority list of things he wished to see accomplished in the short and long term.

Tan Ghim Hwa had two weeks to study the problems and prior¬ities of the MPPP, and Penang Island ratepayers expect the new MPPP President at his first MPPP meeting to make public his vision, plans and programmes for providing improved Municipal services and bringing about a better quality of life to the Penang Island.

The first thing the Penang Island ratepayers want to know is whether the Tan Ghim Hwa would regard as his top priority as MPPP President the declaration of war against the three great ills ‘decadence and impotence’ as admitted by the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and ‘ineffiency’ as admitted by the Finance Minis¬ter, Anwar Ibrahim.

The reason why Tan Ghim Hwa was appointed MPPP President was to eliminate the three ills of the MPPP.

It would be a great disappointment and let-down to the ratepayers of Penang Island if after being appointed MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa suddenly discovered that there are no ‘decadence, impo¬tence and inefficiency’ in the MPPP to do battle against.

The people of Penang are entitled to ask as to whether Tan Ghim Hwa is serious about declaring war against the MPPP’s ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’. If so, the people of Penang will expect the new MPPP President to present a Master Plan of action to declare war against these triple ills of MPPP, outlining the MPPP officials or departments suffering from ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’, the plans and programmes to eliminate these three ills in the various MPPP departments, and the time-frame in which these triple MPPP ills would be eliminated.

Immediately after he was sworn in as MPPP President, I had publicly said that Tan Ghim Hwa should be given time to work out a master plan to clean up the ‘decadence and impotence’ and now ‘ineffi¬ciency’
of the MPPP.

If Tan Ghim Hwa has no Master Plan on Thursday to eliminate these triple ills of MPPP, or even worse, he is not prepared even to concede publicly that there is ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ after becoming MPPP President, then the people would have been short¬changed and cheated.

After his appointment as MPPP President, the Penang DAP had made 12 proposals to clean up the ‘decadence, impotence and ineffi¬ciency of the MPPP’.

I am glad that two of these 12 proposals seem to have been accepted.

The two proposals which seem to have been accepted are:

* Tan Ghim Hwa should be a full-time MPPP President; and

* NPPP must operate as art open, accountable, responsible and democratic council, as abandoning its ‘secretive and undemocratic’ meeting closed to the public and the press.

The DAP had decided to force the issue on the MPPP meeting in public by announcing that the DAP MPPP Monitoring Committee will be attending the MPPP meeting on Thursday, and warning that if the DAP-Assemblymen are not allowed to attend the meeting, the DAP will move a motion to dismiss the
24 MPPP Councillors at the next Penang State Assembly.

The DAP issued this warning because Lakhbir Singh had told the press earlier that DAP Assemblymen would continue to be barred from the MPPP meetings, as happened once in 1988.

I will like to take this opportunity to ask Tan Ghim Hwa to give serious consideration to the other eight proposals of the DAP to clean-up the ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ of the MPPP.

1.The identification and armour, cement of the areas of the MPPP’s ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ and a concrete action plan to wipe out such ills;

2. Asking the 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors who were mem¬bers of the previous ‘decadent, impotent, and inefficient’ MPPP to submit their resignations so that the MPPP can start on a new leaf;

3. All MPPP councillors should accept the principle of personal responsibility and accountability for the MPPP’s wrongdoings;

4. The immediate suspension of all MPPP harassment and victimisation of the hawkers on the Penang island;

5. MPPP President should hold regular dialogues with the Penang island hawkers, including dialogues
in Chinese with hawkers who have language problems;

6. Fair and equal treatment to all ratepayers and all areas, regardless of party politics;

7. MPPP should hold regular meet-the-people sessions to hear the problems, complaints and grievances, of the ratepayers;

8. No sale of Municipal land without public notice to avoid unethical practices, conflicts of interest or unsound judgments;

9. MPPP should honour its ‘legal, moral and political’ commitment to rebuild and reinstate the two demolished Thean Teik Estate dwellings as the sewerage construction works had been ‘completed’;

10. The 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors who were in the previ¬ous Council should be collectively surcharged to reimburse the MPPP for the loss of $70,000 suffered by the MPPP for the bad decision
in selling the Mercedes Benz 200 E to the outgoing MPPP President early last year. The MPPP spent $20,000 to spruce up the Mercedes Benz and was sold to the outgoing MPPP President for
$25,000, but within less than a year, the car was resold at a price in the region of $95,000!