Press Statement by DAP Penang State Assembly Backbenchers on the 16th of February, 2020 in George Town, Penang:
We the backbenchers of DAP Penang would like to respond to the news report on Malaysiakini titled, “Looks like we have to kick out the YBs before they’ll listen, says activist“(https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/510976).
1) Penang Forum claims to be a voice of Penangites but are an unelected and undemocratic entity. PH’s plans for Penang’s future were offered to Penang voters openly in the last General Elections which was given a mandate. The democratic will of Penangites must be respected as we are now bound to deliver our promises to our voters.
2) Penang Forum claims to be apolitical and a voice of civil society yet a senior member of Penang Forum has been doing speaking engagements with Parti Gerakan Rakyat which is an opposition party which once ruled Penang as part of BN. Another speaker, Zikrullah Ismail is a PAS youth leader from Bayan Baru. With so much political connection and ambition involved, Penang Forum leaders should not continue to hide behind the veil of civil society and join political parties or form a new one. Democracy is open to all, and they can compete for mandates just like everyone else.
3) Invitations to the forum seems to be more of a publicity stunt in order to trap and tarnish the PH Penang State Government. Invitations were sent out last minute and panelists were not balanced out with those who do not agree with their agendas. The forum became nothing short of a opposition political rally.
4) Penang Forum needs to be reminded that although they made it seem that the PH Penang State Government does not care about their grouses, they held their forum at Dewan Sri Pinang which is a government building. This opportunity and platform would have been nearly impossible during the era which BN ruled supreme.
5) The PH Penang State Government has done more engagements with the public on our plans than any previous governments of Penang. Should Penang Forum want to offer any alternative plans, they have to also explain how they intend to boost the Penang economy, increase quality of life and earning power. These are essential items to retain our young talents and ensure Penang has a future.
Finally, the PH Penang State Government’s priority is the success of Penang. Should Penang fail, then all we would be is an exporter of talent. While many have children abroad contributing to the economies of other states and countries, we want them to be able to return and stay. Penang’s story must not end and if Penang Forum only wants to oppose everything that we offer, then the story will definitely be a sad ending.
DAP Penang State Assembly Backbenchers
Teh Lai Heng
ADUN (N.28 KOMTAR)
ADUN (N.9 Bagan Dalam)
Heng Lee Lee
H’ng Mooi Lye
ADUN (N.19 Jawi)
Lee Chun Kit
ADUN (N.25 Pulau Tikus)
Gooi Zi Sen
ADUN (N.27 Pengkalan Kota)
Lim Siew Khim
ADUN (N.30 Sungai Pinang)
Ong Ah Teong
ADUN (N.31 Batu Lancang)
Syerleena Abdul Rashid
ADUN (N.32 Seri Delima)
Joseph Ng Soon Siang
ADUN (N.33 Air Itam)