GEORGE TOWN: Permatang Pauh member of parliament Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail should not stay silent on the illegal factory issue in Kampung Sungai Lembu.
In questioning her “disappearing act”, Penang Gerakan vice-chairman Oh Tong Keong said the PKR lawmaker and party president has not even issued any statement since the issue surfaced last month.
He also expressed sympathy with Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin who has been seen standing alone without support from her party comrades including Dr Wan Azizah.
Norlela has been raising the issue in and out of the state assembly seating following complaints from villagers there that the sawdust factory was emitting smoke that was endangering lives, with some having died of cancer.
“The only person who has shown support for Norlela is DAP’s Teh Yee Cheu. Where are the rest of her PKR comrades especially her MP Wan Azizah?
“Are they afraid of expressing support for her out of fear for DAP?” asked Oh.
Teh, who is Tanjung Bungah state assemblyman has been known to champion environment issues and is seen to be vocal about it, at time speaking out against the state government.
On Monday, Norlela turned to social media Facebook to voice her grouses that she was fighting a lonely battle, even being called names after villagers in Kampung Sungai Lembu voiced their frustrations to her.
She claimed that despite numerous reports on the matter, the illegal factory was only slapped with a compound and fined RM1,000 by the court.
The villagers had purportedly claimed that she had not been doing her job as they wanted to know why the factory was not shut down and was allowed to keep operating despite numerous deaths caused by cancer.
Oh described the situation as odd where Norlela has not been receiving support from her own comrades who had chosen to keep mum on the issue.
“Instead Gerakan is the one showing support for her and our chairman Teng Chang Yeow has praised her fearless ways in handling the issue,” he told a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Jalan Macalister here today.
Oh also described Dr Wan Azizah’s silence as being highly irresponsible as the people of Permatang Pauh had voted for her but she had not even shown concern for them by turning up.
“It’s not a small issue but this is an issue involving lives but she is just plain ignoring it,” Oh claimed. – MO