BUKIT MERTAJAM: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today expressed regret that some people had criticised him for making a call to the deputy prime minister requesting for urgent aid at the height of the floods that overwhelmed the island last November.
Lim said he did not understand why asking the federal government for assistance to get the help of the armed forces was wrong.
“I regret that some quarters are still criticising me over the phone call to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at 3.30am, for him to instruct the armed forces to come and help during the floods.
“It (the criticism) does not make sense at all. Maybe those who are crazy enough to want to be with Barisan Nasional (BN) will make such a statement.
“This is about helping the rakyat. If such an incident recurs, I will do the same thing again. I will ask for help to save the rakyat, whether it is from the deputy prime minister or the prime minister,” he said, adding that he was willing to be criticised for it.
Lim was speaking in a press conference at the Seberang Perai Municipal Council’s headquarters in Bandar Perda today.
When asked on who had criticised him, Lim said “you know who lah. From blue to green”.
He appeared to be referring to a remark made by Prime Minister Najib Razak at the Umno general assembly last year, when the latter said that Lim was close to tears when begging for flood aid from the federal government.
The New Straits Times had also reported yesterday that Penang PAS commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff had said that Lim should look at his own party before insulting others.
Fauzi was responding to Lim’s remark that former PAS MP Mahfuz Omar made the right decision to leave PAS as the Islamist party was “so lost in its cause, it was praised by Umno”.
He said Lim should reflect back on himself when he contacted Zahid last November for help during a major flood incident in the state.
“As I recall, he was holding back tears pleading to Zahid for help that day? When Zahid came by, he even hugged him, as if showing off how good their relationship was.
“Look at yourself first before calling others ‘sesat’ . We lost nothing with Mahfuz Omar’s (Pokok Sena MP) decision to leave the party,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.