Born in 8 December 1960, Lim Guan Eng, Member of Parliament for Bagan, State Assemblyman for Air Puteh.
He is the 4th Chief Minister of the State of Penang, he is also the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP).
DAP completed a clean sweep of all 19 Penang state seats it contested in the 12th Malaysian General Election. He is married to Betty Chew Gek Cheng, State Assemblyperson for Kota Laksamana. They have four children.
Lim Guan Eng attended the La Salle Primary English School in Petaling Jaya and later the Batu Pahat Montfort Primary English School. For secondary education, he went to Batu Pahat High School and Malacca High School. He graduated from Monash University, Australia in Bachelor of Economics and was a qualified professional accountant by 1983. He was the president of MUISS (Monash University International Student Society).
Prior to joining politics he was a bank senior executive. In 1986, he was elected as MP for Kota Melaka, by defeating former Malaysian football captain Soh Chin Aun with a majority of 17,606 votes.
In October 1987 , he was detained in ‘Operation Lalang’ under the inhumane Internal Security Act(ISA) , he was released after 18 months on April 1989.
His political life becomes more active since then. He was elected as DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) chairman 1989 and 1992. He was re-elected as MP for Kota Melaka for a second and third term in 1990 and 1995 respectively. In 1995, he became DAP Deputy Secretary-General.
Lim was arrested by Malaysian police in 1994, following his criticism of the government’s handling of allegations of statutory rape of one of his constituents by former Chief Minister of the state of Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik. Consequently, while the Attorney General decided not to charge Rahim Thamby Chik, Lim was charged under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for causing ‘disaffection with the administration of justice in Malaysia’. Lim was also charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for ‘maliciously’ printing a pamphlet containing allegedly ‘false information’ because he had described the alleged rape victim as an ‘imprisoned victim’ because she was initially detained by Malaysian police without parental consent for 10 days.
After a series of appeals, Lim was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He was, however, released after 12 months on August 25, 1999. Due to his incarceration he was disallowed from standing for election to public office for a period of 5 years, and he was therefore ineligible to contest in the 2004 Malaysian General Election.
In May 2004, Lim Guan Eng was elected as Secretary-General of DAP.
On 8 March 2008, Lim contested in the Bagan parliamentary seat and Air Putih state seat in the 2008 General Election. He won the Bagan seat, defeated Song Choy Leng (BN) with a majority of 22,070 votes, and the Air Puteh seat beating Tan Yoke Cheng (BN) with a 4,061 vote margin.
Lim garnered the second highest number of votes (620) from delegates at the party’s 15th National Congress on August 23rd, 2008. The result was a vindication of his leadership in leading DAP to its biggest electoral win in the 12th general election on March 8th, 2008.
He has sworn in as the Chief Minister of Penang on March 11, 2008. Since then, he has been initiating the system of governance based on the principles of ‘Competency, Accountability and Transparency’(CAT) and with a soul as one that adopts an ethical and moral leadership that professes and gives faith, hope and love.
Moving Penang forward
Since becoming the 4th Chief Minister of Penang in 2008, Mr. Lim has put clean leadership and good governance at the core of his administrations. Based on the Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) governance, Penang has managed to arrest the previous gradual decline and is back on track as the leading state in Malaysia. In transforming Penang into an international and intelligent city, Mr. Lim vigorously adheres to CAT governance and ensures that the best person is chosen for the right job regardless of race, religion or gender.
Under Mr. Lim’s leadership of not only doing things right but doing the right thing, Penang’s success stories continue to grow across the board. From the economic perspective, the Penang State Government through strong emphasis on CAT, was able to achieve surpluses every year since 2008, reduced state debt by 95% and increased state assets by 50%.
Penang also became the No. #1 state in Malaysia in attracting investments and FDI in 2010 and 2011 as well as becoming the first state in Malaysian history to wipe out poverty in 2013. In its quest to be the first green state in Malaysia, the State Government is the first in Malaysia to launch green initiatives such as ‘no free plastic bags’ at supermarkets and banning of polystyrene boxes.
This has led Penang to record the highest recycling rate in the country at 32% which is higher than the targeted national recycling rate of 20% by 2020. Penang is on target to achieve a recycling rate of 50% as well as reduce the generation of waste per capita by 50% by 2020.
Further, ‘No Car Sundays’ and the creation of over 200km of bicycle lanes will help Penang become the first bicycle state in Malaysia.
Keeping Penang safe is another paramount concern for Mr. Lim’s administration. To ensure that one can easily walk on the streets and back alleys in Penang, the Penang State Government has installed CCTVs and better street lights, promote community policing and strengthen co-operation with police. It is thus unsurprising that Penang has recorded the highest drop in crime index for 5 consecutive years.
The Penang State Government is tremendously proud to have George Town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Against the setting of Penang’s rich historical tapestry, the State is now a focal point for creative energy and artistic talents. The State is fast becoming a dynamic cultural capital with progressive advances in art, heritage and music. Not only does Penang boast of 2 symphony orchestras, the annual George Town Heritage Festival is a celebrated month-long event hinged as an artistic platform built on pillars of freedom of expression and full creative license for performers and artists.
Penang may have derived its roots from colonial days but today, the State breathes modernity in every facet of life. A combination of sustainable development, vibrant cultural and arts landscape, valued heritage, clean environment and healthy lifestyle gives Penang a renewed vigour to be the city everyone wants to live in. Penang welcomes everyone and prepares to win the future by investing in people.