If Barisan Nasional recaptures Penang in the next general election, the chief minister would not be from Umno, said Gerakan state chairman Dr Teng Hock Nan (pic).“This was the assurance given by Umno,” he said, referring to state Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman’s statement that the party wil not stake a claim for the post if BN regains state power.Speaking at a press conference here yesterday, Teng said Umno president Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin have also indicated this.
He rubbished suggestions that Umno would secure the chief minister’s post as a political ploy by the DAP and others to confuse Penang people.
Earlier this month, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said at the party state convention that the BN chief minister would be an ethnic Chinese in line with the coalition’s understanding.
He was responding to a statement by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik that Gerakan and MCA would hand over the chief minister’s post on a silver platter if Umno demanded the post.
Ng was referring to Umno-owned Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia’s article yesterday titled: “Anwar the Renaissance Man, PAS plastik dan P Pinang milik Umno”.
In the article, its writer Zaini Hassan said that the key to BN regaining Penang in the general election is for it to promise to place an Umno member as the next chief minister.
Currently, opposition BN has 11 state representatives, all from Umno, against ruling Pakatan Rakyat’s 39 seats.
Teng said Zaini’s views lacked consistency and were premature, hinting that the sentiments among Penangites, who are pre-dominantly non-Malay Muslims, were very much against BN, especially Umno.
He said BN must first restore public confidence, regain the people’s support and win the election before it can even talk about the chief minister’s post.
He suggested that writers like Zaini should disseminate information on harmonious progress, socio-economic prosperity, dynamic society and political stability that BN had built in Penang for past 54 years.
Teng also hit out at Lim for constant politicking to portray the previous BN administration as a corrupted state government.
Lim’s criticisms of the BN government for the RM230-million loss in the Seberang Perai Municipal Council’s (MPSP) coffers, was to divert attention from other pressing issues such the damaging Penang Hill development project, said Teng.
He added that MPSP money was used for a 10-year period until the 2008 general election to build the council’s new headquarters, district court houses in Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam, mini stadiums in Kepala Batas, various markets and recreational areas, such as Dewan Dato’ Haji Ahmad Badawi in Butterworth.
He said the projects were not one-way expenditure traffic, as the council’s coffers would be replenished by federal grants for the money spent.
He criticised Lim’s shallow and immature thinking for gloating over healthy monetary figures in the state coffers while the people were not benefiting from it.
He said Lim’s government has a lot of money now because it does not carry out any worthy people-oriented projects despite high collection of revenues.
He criticised Lim for bragging about the RM100 handouts to senior citizens as a great achievement.
He also ticked off Lim for thinking like an accountant and running the state government like a company which emphasises only on profits.
“A government is not a company… it should return money.