Having his way

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Having his way

Having his way

Sunday, April 22, 2012
  • Lim Guan Eng
Bloggers say Guan Eng's "iron-fisted" ways have gone too far. (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: Blogger Shen Yee Aun thinks Pulau Pinang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was behaving like a dictator by threatening to withdraw financial allocations from Chinese schools that subscribed to Malay dailies Utusan Malaysia and Beita Harian. 
In an email to The Mole , Shen Yee Aun linked to a blog post he had published on April 17 in which he said Guan Eng had threatened 86 Chinese schools during an event, saying that as long as the schools’ administrations subscribed to Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian, he would withhold allocations from them.
“Once upon a time they shouted about ‘people power’,” Shen wrote, “and now the people who gave them a base in Pulau Pinang were betrayed by Lim Guan Eng when he himself openly threatened the Chinese schools, saying if they want to keep their allocations they need to abide by conditions set by him.”
The blogger said Lim Guan Eng is the first Chief Minister in Malaysian history to set such conditions, and that the DAP “has grown more arrogant by the day with its iron-fisted political rule”.
“The spirit of democracy has been raped many times over by them. Is this the media freedom that the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat have been screaming about all this time?” he asked.
Shen said the DAP was hypocritic in supporting Dong Zong on one hand, as well as calling for PTPTN to be repealed, while on the other hand delivering a harsh ultimatum to Chinese school administrators, using public money to threaten public education.
“Lim Guan Eng needs to realize that even though he is a Chief Minister who has power in questions of allocating resources, the state’s earnings come from taxes paid by the people and not from the DAP or Lim Guan Eng,” he said.
The blogger also criticized the DAP for issuing gag orders on its members, and said its attitude towards the opposition in Penang “clearly shows the DAP is not sincere in forming a two-party system. They want absolute power,” he said.
Shen was not the only one to criticize Guan Eng’s remarks about Chinese schools. Blogger Stop the Lies also touched on the matter recently. 
“This is a serious remark, coming from the head of the state, and it is no joke or laughing matter to utter those words and then claim either you have been misquoted or that it was made in jest. 
“The threats are uncalled for. It smacks of racism and high handedness. It is unbecoming of a Chief Minister to hurl threats at schools who subscribe to the two newspapers of their choice. .Guan Eng’s threats run contrary to the freedom of speech as advocated by the Opposition,” Stop the Lies wrote in a post on April 13
Even members of other Pakatan Rakyat component parties in Pulau Pinang have begun to express their dissatisfaction over Guan Eng's perceived arrogance.
"As much as the Pakatan Rakyat leadership tries to brush it off, an indisputable fact has emerged of late and it is the reality that Pas and PKR have absolutely zero say in what is happening in Penang," anonymous commentator Hush Hush wrote in an article for The Mole on April 16.
"Events unfolding in the state have reinforced the general perception that PKR and Pas elected representatives in the backyard of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are nothing more than 'Yes Men' and rubber stamps for DAP secretary-general and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

"That Lim has scant regard for all the PKR and Pas assemblymen in his administration is now an open secret," Hush Hush said.
Meanwhile, noting that Guan Eng’s words and actions would strike a chord with not only Chinese but also Malays – since the newspapers in question are Malay-language papers – Shen echoed the concerns of Stop the Lies and asked, “Is this the true implementation of the DAP’s ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ struggle?”
“Is this the real meaning of People Power or is it really Lim Guan Eng and DAP power?” blogger Shen questioned.