GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today hit out at Umno’s decision to propose a motion to call for his resignation as an insult and abuse of the Penang state assembly if it is meant to take revenge on him.
He said he had no objections to Umno proposing the motion, but that its action appeared to make undue use of the assembly for its own agenda.
“There is no tit-for-tat, no tic-tac-toe at the state assembly. We use the assembly for serious purposes. That is the difference between an elected democracy and a dictatorship.
“We have never used the state legislative assembly for political revenge, for ‘hasad dengki’ (spite and jealousy),” Lim said in a press conference at Komtar here.
He stressed the state government’s proposed motion to condemn Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahya was due to his controversial remarks on child marriages in Parliament recently.
Umno reacted by putting forward its own motion against Lim.
Yesterday, Penang Umno chairman Zainal Abidin Osman claimed Lim was taking revenge on Shabudin by proposing the motion as it was Shabudin who revealed Lim’s purchase of a bungalow at below-market price in Parliament last year.
The revelation led to Lim being charged for corruption at the Penang High Court.
Lim said motions brought up at the assembly ought to be matters that would be beneficial to the people.
He criticised Umno’s reaction to the motion on Shabudin’s remarks as it did not have the people in mind. Lim said to call for his resignation in this manner was a misuse and contempt of the august house, he added.
Lim said the state wanted to protect women’s rights through its motion.
Shabudin was reported to have said on April 4 that it was not wrong for a girl to be married off to her rapist, noting that those aged under 16 must gain permission of their guardian and the shariah court before tying the knot.
Lim said the motion to condemn Shabudin would send a message that Penang was against child marriages and the statements of the Tasek Gelugor MP.
Lim added that if he wanted to take revenge on Shabudin, he would have put forward a motion to censure him on a cheap government land sale brokered by the federal Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda), chaired by Shabudin.
Last April, Lim alleged that a 3.4ha parcel of land belonging to Perda was sold to SYT Prestige Sdn Bhd for RM1.42 million. The land is located at Kampung Tok Keramat near MRSM Transkrian in Nibong Tebal.
Lim said the land was sold at that price on July 28, 2015 although the market value was RM16.6 million. He claimed the land had been acquired by Perda on Feb 27, 1986.
Penang executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin lodged a report on the Perda deal with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in April last year.
According to a state gazette, the land had been earmarked for a “Kg Tok Keramat Housing Scheme”.
It was revealed later that the landowners applied to build 25 shophouses on the said land, but this was rejected by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) last year.
Perda comes directly under the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department.
Shabudin explained that the land was sold off cheap as it was close to a river and prone to soil erosion.
He said a cost-benefit analysis showed it was no longer worthwhile for Perda to pursue its project there as that would incur losses of up to RM10 million.
107 houses stand on the site at present. All have been abandoned for the past 30 years and have to be cleared first to make way for the sale.