Lim's obsession in potraying BN or Gerakan as evil has resulted in hatred being dished out at anyone who may possess a differing opinion or approach towards Pakatan.
And, Penang Gerakan is blaming it squarely on the divisive policies and the style-over-substance of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Other administrative members are also at fault for keeping mum whenever Lim attacks critics because they are afraid of antagonising him, state Gerakan chairman Dr Teng Hock Nan charged.
Admittedly, a degree of polarisation did exist prior to Pakatan Rakyat’s takover of the Penang government in 2008, but the situation has worsen since, he further claimed.
Teng alleged that Lim’s extolling of a policy where “attack is the best form of defence” may have left Barisan Nasional on the backfoot but at the same time, it polarised the communities here.
This level where people of different ethnicity are suspicious of each other, the lack of harmony between the various income-level groups, the subdued participation of non governmental organisations (NGOs) in community service and the hatred towards certain groups who are potrayed as elitist, have resulted in an unfriendly climate of co-existence in society here, Teng said.
NGOs with impartiality as their driving force are refraining from lashing out against the state government nowadays because they are afraid of been branded as “Umno agents”, Teng said.
“Everywhere I go, every coffee shop I patronise, I get such a feedback. It is disappointing as politics should be about unity and nation building. It should not be about splitting the state.”
Lim’s obsession in potraying BN or Gerakan as evil, has resulted in hatred being dished out at anyone who may possess a differing opinion or approach towards Pakatan, Teng said in a recent interview.
Daily doses of hatred
This is unhealthy in a state where the race demographics are almost equal in numbers, Teng said.
Unlike other Pakatan-ruled states, in Penang, Lim champions his administration clout by attacking the previous administration whenever his encounters a weakness element in his own government.
“To those overcome by emotions, it is like Barisan did everything wrong for the last four decades. They get blinded because Lim feeds them with daily doses of hatred and at times, outright slander.”
Seasoned politicians and those privy to the information about governance may accept that as Lim just applying strategies to gain political mileage but to the average layman who does not have the
time, nor the capacity to understand it, they may end up hating anyone who opposes Pakatan.
“This hatred does not only exist when there is campaigning for the general election but it becomes a permanent feature of society,” added Teng.
This would fester those who are disillusioned to embrace an extremist stance and it would become a distraction to anyone who is in government, regardless if they are with BN or Pakatan, Teng said.
In a democratic setting, Lim must understand that he is bound to invite critics and the onus is on him to prove them wrong by advocating key performance indicators and physical proof that his
administration is on the right track, Teng said.
However, whenever a differing voice is seen or read, Lim proceeds to attack them promptly without at least, studying whether the points raised have validity, he added.
DAP fearing Gerakan
A Gerakan division leader here who preferred not to be named, said DAP is worried about Gerakan as the latter has strong roots in Penang, having formed the government prior to 2008.
“Lim can instill a perception that Umno is a villain of everything. He does not regard MCA or MIC as formidable but Gerakan can be a thorn in his side eventually,” the leader said.
“I think DAP is now worried about Gerakan. The tables have turned. They have all to lose in the next election while Gerakan already has nothing. This is why Lim is constantly on the offensive.”
If DAP does not win convincingly here in the next election, the Pakatan alliance may end up squabbling among themselves, he claimed.