Chang told to retract ‘tokong’ remark

GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn has been issued a 48-hour deadline to retract his alleged defamatory remarks made yesterday against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Or else, DAP’s Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer warns the Gerakan leader will have to face legal action.

He was referring to Chang stringing criticisms against alleged Lim’s pro-developer policies.

Speaking at the Gerakan state delegates conference, Chang labelled Lim as the infallible “tokong” or deity who does not do wrong despite abundance of evidence to prove his wrongdoing.

Chang added that since the DAP took power in Penang in the 2008 general election, Lim had emerged as the most popular politician among developers.

He said this was so because Lim’s policies only served the developers as well as the rich and connected while neglecting the poor and that, Lim was in a way a dictator as he makes decision without consulting his executive councillors, state development committee (SPC) and local government.

Rayer, also DAP’s state committee member and legal advisor, was particularly irked by Chang’s criticisms that Lim’s policies only served the developers as well as the rich and connected while neglecting the poor.

“This is not true. It’s defamatory in nature. We are giving 48 hours to the Gerakan president to retract his statement. He should be a gentleman to retract it.

“Or else we file a legal action on behalf of the Chief Minister. I can’t sit back and let the Chief Minister to be attacked.

“By attacking the Chief Minister, Chang is taking on the whole state government,” Rayer told a press conference at his service centre here today.

In turn, he questioned Chang to state his party’s respond and proposal on the RM31 billion new Bumiputera economic agenda unveiled by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in Shah Alam on Saturday Sept 14.

If it was true that Najib and Barisan Nasional walked their talk on much-lauded 1Malaysia concept, Rayer said there should not any race-based affirmative economic action plan.

“There should not be a policy just favouring only one race. What’s Gerakan stand on it?” asked Rayer.

Gerakan had failed

On the imminent legal action on Chang if he failed to withdraw remarks, Rayer said he would act on the advice of Lim and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh.

Rayer said Chang cannot simply make statements attacking Lim merely to impress Gerakan delegates, stressing that such remarks should be based on facts.

He said the DAP would respond in appropriate ways, via press statements and legal actions, against any malicious attacks on the party and leaders.

He said that Lim Guan Eng was the Chief Minister for all Penangites irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

He claimed that if not for Lim, the residents of the demolished Kampung Buah Pala would not have secured double-storey terrace homes each worth RM850,000 now.

He chided Chang of suffering from amnesia for forgetting that ex-Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon was the previous puppet Chief Minister who sold out the Kampung Buah Pala folks during the Umno-dominated era of his state government.

Rayer said he had personal experience of the Kampung Buah Pala fiasco which took place in his own constituency.

He said Lim was risking to be sued by the developer for contemplating to cancel the Oasis development project to replace the village, which was once commonly known as Tamil High Chaparral among locals.

Rayer claimed Koh would not have taken such risk.

He also recalled that the local council had recently issued a stop work order and charged a company, owned by a wealthy Tan Sri, for illegal earth clearance in Bukit Relau, which borders his constituency.

He also cited the Pakatan Rakyat state government cash gifts to people proved that Lim had carried out welfare programmes for the poor.

Among the programmes were annual RM200 to new borns, RM100 for pupils in Standards One and Four, and Forms One and Four, RM1,000 for first year undergraduates in local universities, and one-off RM1,000 funeral expenses and yearly RM100 for senior citizens.

“Who says the Chief Minister only favours the rich and well connected?” he asked.

Rayer also claimed that Lim’s tunnel project was a long term plan to reduce traffic congestion without using state funds.





Follow @partigerakan