Sdr Chow Kon Yeow shared his thoughts in Kwong Wah Yit Poh:
Recently I was reminded that my identity now is Penang Chief Minister more than Chow Kon Yeow. Whenever there is a decision to be made by me, it will become a decision of the State government.
Often I find that I am expected to make a final decision in a meeting after a matter has been deliberated. Others may make various suggestions or recommendations but it is the Chief Minister who has to call .the shot.
Similarly whenever I am in a public realm or attending a function, I find that the Chief Minister’s identity has almost completely overwhelmed my personal identity.
It is like Chow Kon Yeow does not matter anymore. It is the Penang Chief Minister that people are concerned about.
Probably due to this perception, public figures can easily fall victim to the illusion that one is being worshipped because of the power and position he or she has.
You will be given special treatment and attention simply because you are a position in high office. When you speak, people will listen and you feel you are at the top of the world.
When you are in such a position for a long time, the question is who is the real you?
How do I manage this issue? I think I have shared my thoughts on this issue many times. Keep the balance right, you will not be Penang Chief Minister forever but you will forever be Chow Kon Yeow.
It is too simplistic to compartmentise yourself according to public expectation. After so many years in this “business”, many public figures have perfected the art of fitting themselves according to the ocassions.
I hope to be Chow Kon Yeow, the Penang Chief Minister as ultimately it is you and your inner characters that will determine how well you do your job.
However the insight and experience that you gained from being a public servant would hopefully make you a better and empathatic person.
I believe my personal characters and convictions have very much influence on how I carried myself in the current position, low-profiled, well-rooted and realistic.
I am comforted by the fact that behind the scene many are supporting me in prayers and sharing their expertise with me to enable me to perform better as Chief Minister. They see me as Chow Kon Yeow first but also wanted me to do well as Chief Minister.
I can also seek support and understanding from my wife, children and family members and closed friends who accept me for who I am, Chow Kon Yeow who is given the responsibility as a Chief Minister.