14 minutes is an improvement on four minutes, but the MPPP Councillors have not shaken off the ‘culture of the blind, deaf and dumb’

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang, on Friday, March 27, 1992:

14 minutes is an improvement on four minutes, but the MPPP Councillors have not shaken off the ‘culture of the blind, deaf and dumb’

The MPPP full Council meeting of 14 minutes yesterday is an improvement on its four-minute meeting a fortnight earlier on March 12, as the 14-minute MPPP Council meeting is still a scandal but on a smaller scale than the scandal of the four -minute MPPP full Council meeting.

So long as the MPPP full Council could dispose of the problems of 600,000 ratepayers on the Penang Island in a matter of ten, twenty or thirty minutes or even in one hour, then the full MPPP Council had not shaken off the ‘culture of the blind, deaf and dumb’ which had been the great cause of the triple Municipal ills of ‘deca¬dence, impotence and inefficiency’.

Nor could the MPPP full Council, led by the new President Tan Ghim Hwa, convince the 600,000 ratepayers that they are competent, qualified and fit to give them a better quality of life and make urban life and environment in Penang the envy of others in Malaysia or even South East Asia.

Of course, if we go by the logic and argument of the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, the MPPP full Council meeting yes¬terday is a sign of increasing incompetence and inefficiency.

Dr. Koh had defended the scandal of the four-minute MPPP full Council meeting on March 12 claiming that this “reflected the amount of preparation that went before the meeting”.

By Dr. Koh’s logic, the 14-minute MPPP full Council meeting yesterday must reflect less amount of preparation for it than the March 12 meeting which took only four minutes!

Both the four-minute and 14-minute MPPP full Council meeting, will continue to make the MPPP and Penang Island Councillors the laughing stock in Malaysia.

The DAP MPPP Monitoring Committee will continue to expose the lack of seriousness and commitment of the MPPP and we hope the MPPP Councillors will be able to learn at a faster rate with regard to their responsibilities to the ratepayers and to the Penang City and the first lesson they must learn is to shake off the culture of the blind, deaf and dumb and stop holding scandalous 10-minute, 20-minute or 30-minute meetings or for less than an hour.

If the MPPP Councillors have nothing to discuss about the many and complex problems of the 600,000 ratepayers, about traffic, housing, public transport, security, hygiene, cleanliness, higher quality of life and how to make Penang into a model city which is pleasant to work, live and visit, then they should seriously consider whether they should submit their resignations as MPPP Councillors.

Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon appointed the MPPP President and the MPPP Councillors and he must assume responsibility to supervise, monitor and guide them.

In Selangor, the Mentri Besar intervened in the scandal of the Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya (MPPJ) President buying a Mer¬cedes 230 E for his own use when he was not entitled to it. The Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammad Taib, directed the MPPJ to dispose of the car.

Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should be as decisive as the Selangor Mentri Besar and order the 20 of the 24 MPPP Councillors who were in the former Council to reimburse the 600,000 ratepayers for the loss of $70,000 suffered by MPPP with their bad decision to give the former MPPP President a golden hand-shake by selling him a Mercedes Benz 200 E at literally give-away price.