Unlike the current chief minister, Koh did not threaten the media and had taken all criticisms in his stride, says state BN chief Teng Chang Yeow.
State BN chief Teng Chang Yeow said that during his 18 years as chief minister (1990 – 2008), Senator Koh was far more tolerant towards media criticisms than his successor, Lim.
He said Koh, now a federal minister, had never banned any media or journalist, or rapped them for being critical of his state administration.
“But current Chief Minister Lim is a stark contrast,” said Teng after chairing a state BN meeting here today.
He said Lim has banned media and certain journalists, ticked off reporters who are critical of him, threatened to take legal action and has even sued the media.
Recently Lim threatened to sue any media that dared to print prevailing allegations about his private life.
Local senior journalists can confirm that Lim frequently complained to respective media editorial desks over critical articles against him.
They can also testify that during media conferences, Lim has many a time, declined to answer questions from journalists or media he considered as “unfriendly” to him.
Teng said Lim should walk his talk on press freedom, rather than putting up stage performances to convince voters that he was a press-friendly liberal-minded leader.
He said Gerakan president Koh was whacked from all sides, at times with unfair criticisms.
But he said Koh tolerated them all and had never lost his temper or showed his dislike against a particular media or journalist during press conferences.
“He never threatened, let alone sue, them… Koh has taken it all in his stride,” said Teng, the Gerakan secretary-general.
Teng said that Lim’s intolerance against media criticisms on the housing woes of the working class in Penang will certainly feature heavily in BN’s election campaign.
BN now has about 40 cyber troopers to engage Pakatan Rakyat counterparts in cyber space.
‘BN has learnt its lesson’
“We will quash their lies against BN and counter-attack them with the truth,” said Tan.
Teng, Tan and state Umno deputy chairman Musa Sheikh Fadzir also expressed satisfaction with the performance of BN as a constructive opposition in Penang.
“I think we have performed well. We have learnt our lessons in 2008 and now are looking forward to doing better,” said Teng.
Musa said BN has performed well as the state opposition to check and balance Lim’s administration, highlighting many public issues such as the sPICE project, Bayan Mutiara land sales and affordable housing.
He said people have now taken notice of BN’s improving performance and the shortcomings of the Pakatan state government.
“There is an increase in people’s support for BN now,” he told FMT.
Tan said BN’s 11 assemblymen from Umno and the state leadership have come out from the “ruling party mentality” and grown as a strong opposition outfit in the past four years.
“Of course, there is still room for improvement. We are learning and improving. We have consolidated and strengthened our position and ready to take on Pakatan in the polls.
“We will give Pakatan a run for its money,” said Tan.