Is Guan Eng bullying Pas and PKR assemblymen in Penang? (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/The Mole)
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.
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.
However, rumblings of how Pas and PKR assemblymen have been accorded shabby treatment by Lim are getting louder and those subjected to such disrespect are beginning to demand that their party leaders do something about it.
Word has it that Penang Pas commissioner Salleh Man is among those who are really fed-up with what is going on but he is too powerless to handle the matter on his own.
Salleh's position has been further weakened as even his own party deputy president, Muhammad Sabu is happy to let Lim get his way in everything.
Things almost came to a boil last month when tongues started wagging that Salleh was planning to jump ship or quit his party because of dissatisfaction with the DAP-led government.
There was widespread talk that Salleh felt pressured as Lim had marginalised Pas in making decisions related to Muslim affairs and he was being questioned by members who wished to see the party play a bigger role in the state government.
Salleh, who is Permatang Pasir assemblyman, was later forced to deny the allegations and blamed it on “Umno boys” trying to stir up non-existent issues.
On PKR's side, the disgruntlement over how Lim was bulldozing his way through everything had been raised by Balik Pulau Member of Parliament Yusmadi Yusoff as far back as early last year.
Yusmadi had then complained of how even he was being kept in the dark about all the so-called development projects that had been quietly approved in his constituency by the local authorities.
He had then publicly hit out at Lim by telling the chief minister to shed his `Komtar knows best` mentality in ruling Penang.
However nothing came out of that and PKR assemblymen are beginning to question why their leader has refused to step in and demand that Lim stop his bullying ways.
"It is obvious Anwar does not want to speak up for his own party members as he fears taking on Guan Eng," a PKR grassroots member in Balik Pulau said.
"He knows how easily Guan Eng can get the Chinese to turn against Anwar and this is the last thing the latter needs on his plate now."
Anwar's inaction has also put other Penang PKR leaders like Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mansor Othman and state Religious Affairs executive council member Abdul Malik Kassim in a difficult position.
They have been reduced to nothing more than seat warmers as there is nothing they can do without getting the green light from Lim first.
A clear example is how both of them, along with Salleh, dared not even take on Umno on the Bayan Mutiara land issue that concerned a plot that was supposed to be alienated for the construction of a mosque.
The inner workings of Lim's style of only doing things his way are increasingly being exposed by none other than those within his own administration.
Just recently, a Penang Island Municipal Councillor -- who joined hundreds of residents affected by yet another hillside development -- revealed how even local authorities like the MPPP were being forced to cave in to demands from Lim's office in favour of developers.
The councillor, Dr Lim Mah Hui, alleged that the state government was trying to influence the municipal council to approve projects even though they did not meet specific conditions.
“It seems like the state government is dictating to the MPPP what our local government should do,” he was quoted as saying in local daily, The Star.
The statement has lent credence to accusations that Lim had paved the way for 'mafia developers' to take control of Penang.
Everyone else, from his own DAP assemblymen to those from Pas and PKR along with local authorities like the MPPP and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP), have been forced to bend over backwards and give in to whatever Guan Eng orders.
Hush Hush is our Mole in Penang.