Statement by the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Prof P.Ramasamy, on 3 February 2010 in Georgetown:
The Penang State EXCO had on its own initiative discussed over the previous 18 months,discussed the issue of the state government giving allocations to Penang Pakatan Rakyat MPs for small development projects. However this proposal was opposed by the previous State Financial Officer and State Secretary. The State Legal Advisor had also expressed similar sentiments. There were also concerns expressed that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission would use this issue to harrass the PR state government and its representatives.
Finally to accomodate the objections, the Penang state EXCO decided to channel the allocations to the respective State Assemblymen. For the Balik Pulau Parliamentary constituency, the development funds in the state constituencies are handled by Penang State Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain. So far no DAP or PKR MPs had asked for yearly constituency allocation from the Penang state government, including Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Bing. Tan had never raised the issue of getting yearly constituency allocations for small development projects with the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. In fact Lim had expressed his discomfort that Tan met Lim is to discuss about matters that do not conform with the Penang PR core governing principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency(CAT). To date, Tan Tee Beng has still not responded to YB Jeff Ooi and YB Ng Wei Aik challenge to come clean on Tan’s attempted intervention in the rental of a Penang Development Corporation(PDC) shophouse in Chow Thye Road to his uncle.
But we are aware that Tan Tee Beng is unhappy with the constituency allocations in Nibong Tebal because of his inability to get along with the two Assemblymen in his area, Sungai Bakap ADUN YB Maktar Shapee who is also the PKR Nibong Tebal Division chief and DAPJawi ADUN Tan Beng Huat. In fact Tan Tee Beng had several times publicly criticised both YB Maktar and Tan Beng Huat in the press.
The real problem is Tan Tee Beng’s pettiness that has damaged his relationship with his two Assemblymen. Further, if Tan Tee Beng had got what he wanted from the Penang Chief Minister, would he have openly criticised the Penang CM and would the CAT governance has won praise for Penang from Transparency International? Further CAT governance has allowed the state government to turn a projected budget deficit of RM 35 million in 2008 to a record surplus of RM 88 million.
The Penang CM has said that he is willing to lose friends and risk them becoming foes if this is the price to pay to enforce CAT governance in Penang. Unfortunately, Tan Tee Beng has become one of the many foes not only of Penang Chief Minister but also of CAT governance.