Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang at the opening of Kampong Kolam DAP Branch Annual General Meeting held at branch premises at Seang Teik Road on Tuesday, 16th March, 1992 at 8 pm.
DAP calls on the Penang Chief Minister, Dr., Koh Tsu Koon, to declare the Penang State Government’s stand on the four-minute MPPP meeting scandal.
DAP calls on the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, to declare the Penang State Government’s stand on the four-minute Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) meeting scandal.
The people should be told as to whether the Penang State Exco had discussed the four-minute MPPP meeting scandal, and whether the Chief Minister had summoned the new MPPPP President Tan Ghim Hwa, to explain the reason for the most disgraceful first MPPP full Council meeting which he chaired since his new appointment.
The Penang Chief Minister should be aware that the State Government must finally bear responsibility
for the ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ of the MPPP, as it is the State Government which appointed the MPPP Councillors and the President.
Can Dr. Koh Tsu Koon explain why he reappointed 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors, when they have become so ingrained in the culture of being ‘blind, deaf and dumb’, and who never speak up at full MPPP Council meetings?
After the DAP had exposed the four-minute MPPP meeting scandal last week, one veteran MPPP Councillor said that there is nothing to be surprised by the four-minute MPPP full Council meeting last Thursday, as generally MPPP full Council meetings only last from ten to 20 minutes to give formal approval to the decisions taken by the various sub-committees.
Going by the disclosure of this ‘heavy-weight’ MPPP Councillor, who had publicly admitted that he is ‘not capable of greatness’, one would have thought that the 600,000 people of Penang Municipality should send bouquets and cables of congratulations to the new MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa, for his extraordinary efficiency in completing the MPPP full Council meeting in four minutes when it used to take ten to twenty minutes in the past!
However, if the MPPP full Council is only a ‘rubber-stamp’ to give formal approval to the decisions taken by the various sub¬committees, why must the MPPP full Council meet once a forthnight. It could meet once in three months or even six months, as it takes only a few minutes for all the 24 MPPP Councillors to shout a loud and collective ‘yes’.
This will also save money for the Penang Island Municipality, for every time the full MPPP Council meets, whether for ten minutes or four minutes, three or five hours, the same meeting allowances have
to be paid to the MPPP Councillors.
Did the MPPP Sub-Committees review the scandal of the $70,000 lost by the ratepayers because of sale of Mercedes Bens 200 E to former MPPP President?
This MPPP Councillor wants the people to believe that everything about the MPPP had been discussed
at the various sub¬committees. Who is he bluffing?
In any event, can Tan Ghim Hwa or any MPPP Councillor state whether the MPPP Sub-Committees
had reviewed the scandal of the $70,000 lost by the ratepayers as a result Of the MPPP’s ‘golden hand-shake’ for the outgoing MPPP President in early 1991?
The MPPP spent $20000 to spruce up the Mercedes Benz 200 E before it was sold to the outgoing MPPP President for $25,000. Within less than a year, this Mercedes Benz was resold at a price in the region of about $95,000 – causing the Penang Island ratepayers to lose $70,000.
From this scandal, it is clear that the MPPP Councillors are very reckless in spending the ratepayers’ money and when there is deficit, impose new rates on the long-suffering people on the Penang island.
As the 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors were in last year’s MPPP Council which made this bad decision, they should be surcharged to compensate the MPPP for the $70,000 loss suffered by the MPPP. This will be a very salutary lesson and example for all MPPP Council¬lors that they must individually bear responsibility for any financial losses which would not have been incurred by the MPPP if they had been more responsible.
Was this scandal of the Mercedes Benz ‘hand –shake’ ever-discussed and reviewed by the MPPP Sub-Committees, and if so, can the MPPP give the details?
It is understandable why the press and public are prohibited from attending MPPP sub-committee meetings, for nobody will know what they do or do not do in these committees at all!