Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today launched seething attacks on Barisan Nasional, claiming that its leaders were lying about his state administration.
Using his annual Merdeka speech, Guan Eng dismissed a claim by Deputy Health Minister and Balik Pulau MP Dr Hilmi Yahaya that the Penang government was planning to build a light rail transit (LRT) system into the George Town heritage enclave.
Dr Hilmi said the project would put the status of George Town’s Unesco World Heritage status at risk.
Dr Hilmi urged that only trams be built in the heritage enclave with the LRT built outside it.
“The truth is that the proposed LRT was to be built outside the heritage enclave with trams proposed inside.
“And yet there is no apology from Dr Hilmi, who continues to perpetuate this blatant lie to run down the image of the state government,” Guan Eng fired a political salvo in his Independence Day speech.
He also highlighted Minister in the Prime Minister Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan “outrageous lies” that the state government had sold RM40 billion worth of government land.
If that is true, said Guan Eng this would have been reflected in the state government financial accounts audited by the Auditor-General (AG).
“In the AG’s annual reports, there is no RM40 billion proceeds from the land sales,” noted Guan Eng, adding that the AG had repeatedly praised Penang as one of the best financially-managed state governments in the country.
Guan Eng also blasted Gerakan for making baseless personal attack against DAP Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim by insinuating that low-cost houses can be obtained from the state government through the payment of bribes.
He said none of those who allegedly paid bribes got any low-cost houses.
“This proves that the state government’s system of allocating low-cost houses is corruption-proof and offered only to those deserving,” claimed Guan Eng, who himself has been embroiled in a bungalow-gate – land rezoning graft scandal.
The DAP secretary-general said Penang would continue to strive to be an entrepreneurial and welfare state to bring both prosperity and progress to all regardless of race, religion, background or political beliefs.
“Only then can Penang be an international and intelligent city that is clean, green, safe and healthy,” said the Johor-born politician who came to Penang via Malacca.
“Penangites must not forget to renew the meaning of Merdeka as a struggle for truth, justice and freedom by rejecting all forms of political dominance that exploits racial and religious hatred.
“We must continue to fight for truth, if we are to preserve our freedom and defend justice. The truth is that Penang has changed for the better as compared to 2008.”