Media Statement by Nicholas Theng (MBPP Councillor and Chief of DAPSY Jelutong), dated 18th May 2021:
MCA is constantly spreading lies! Stop politicising public health and safety for political mileage!
I’m writing this statement in response to a video by MCA Penang regarding the new chicken guidelines and chicken distribution centre. MCA is lying to Penangnites and should stop politicising a public health policy for political mileage!
1) In the video, MCA lied openly by stating that chicken sellers can only purchase their chickens from private companies that are selected by MBPP, thus creating a monopoly. This is a lie that MBPP and the State Government has addressed over and over again. The chicken sellers are free to purchase from any supplier they want. MBPP has never forced the chicken sellers to buy from anyone.
2) MCA has also lied by saying that MBPP has not had any meetings with the stakeholders or responded to their memorandum that they submitted. MBPP had meetings with all chicken sellers in all markets since September 2020. There was also a meeting between Datuk Bandar and the representatives of Gabungan Peniaga-Peniaga Ayam Pulau Pinang on the 4th of February 2021. It is ridiculous for MCA to accuse MBPP of not meeting any stakeholders.
3) MCA has alleged that there was no open tender for the building of the chicken distribution centre. This is again a lie that MBPP has released many statements to clarify over and over again. The chicken distribution centre was awarded through MBPP’s open tender process. It was done twice, once in 2018 and another in 2019. Both tenders were publicized through MBPP’s e-perolehan website and newspapers.
4) Markets in advanced countries are moving towards this direction of providing more hygienic markets for the public, this is even more urgent in light of Covid-19.
5) MBPP is helping the chicken sellers to adhere to these requirements by providing RM1,000 rebate in terms of rental and licensing fees to subsidise for the purchase of the chillers. Moreover, all the renovation costs to accommodate the chillers are borne by MBPP.
6) The policy to stop slaughtering of chickens and ducks in markets is not new. It was introduced in 1991, 2006 and again in 2014. MBSP had banned the slaughtering in markets since 1991. In 2014, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government issued a nationwide order to all local councils to ban slaughtering in markets. MCA was in the Federal Government at the time.
All of these issues have been answered again and again by MBPP and the State Government in past press conferences and statements, yet MCA continues to politicise and spread false news about it to confuse Penangnites. It is despicable for MCA to use cheap political tactics on a public health policy for political mileage. Instead, they should work together with the State Government to see how we can further help keep Penang safe and healthy, especially so in light of Covid-19.