The MCA is now griping that Lim Guan Eng is sidelining the Penang Chinese community, claiming he has awarded all Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) contracts to Malays, Bumiputeras and Indian Muslims.Penang Wanita MCA chairman Tan Cheng Liang said today this was likely because the chief minister was “currying favour” with the non-Chinese community as the DAP has realised that it could not forever rely on support from the Chinese.
“It is DAP’s foresight that they realise they cannot forever rely on the Chinese to consolidate their political power in the next general election, but I hope that their currying favour among other races is not done at the expense of the Chinese,” she said in a statement here.
As such, Tan said Lim’s anti-Chinese slant would erode the rights of the community, who makes up the majority of Penang’s population.
“Since DAP took over as the Penang state government, not a single Chinese contractor in all the five districts has been awarded contracts for the state’s DID.
“This is proof that despite the support from the Chinese for Lim Guan Eng and DAP, the interests of the Chinese have been threatened after DAP came into power,” she said.
Tan was referring to a statement Lim had purportedly made on Wednesday that the contractors in all five districts in Penang for DID contracts are Malays, Bumiputeras and Indian Muslims, with women accounting for 20 per cent.
Ironically, the Penang administration under Lim’s rule has often been accused by Umno, the MCA’s partner in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) pact, of being racist by allegedly discriminating against the Malay community.
But Tan insisted today that Lim’s failure to award contracts to at least one Chinese contractor proves that he has been ignoring the community’s support for him and his party.
“I am aghast and am unable to comprehend as to why there isn’t a single contract awarded to a Chinese contractor.
“I believe Chinese contractors are aware of the projects and have submitted applications. So has the state deemed their applications incomplete?” she said.
Tan also revisited BN’s playbook for the Sarawak elections in April, pointing out that the DAP’s success in the polls had caused the Chinese to lose their representation in the state government.
“In my opinion, Lim Guan Eng as the chief minister of the state government should be fair to everyone in the awarding of contracts.
“The DAP-led state government should not simply award contracts to Bumiputeras to make themselves look fair, but they should also ensure that the contractors are capable of guaranteeing the successful completion of the project and that there will not be any problems to the infrastructure of the state so as to safeguard the people’s welfare and safety,” she said