I never called NGOs the ‘new opposition’, says Penang CM

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. (Facebook pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today denied calling the state’s NGOs “the new opposition”, describing such reports as an attempt to paint him in a negative light.

In a statement today, he said it was “highly irresponsible” of the media to have twisted his words in such a way.

“[…] We have always welcomed constructive criticism from all the various NGOs in the state… we are still looking forward to cooperating and working with the NGOs in the state, however not at the sake of being blamed for something that we never said.

“We cannot control how news is reported in the media, but it is highly irresponsible to twist my statement and present doubts in an attempt to give a negative perception.

“The Penang government welcomes critical views and constructive opinions but let it be based on actuals facts and data,” he said.

He also provided an extract from his speech at Penang DAP’s ordinary convention on Sunday which read:

“Political scenario in Penang after GE14.

“The opposition was almost wiped out in Penang with Umno retaining two state seats with PAS securing one by default following the disqualification of a PPBM candidate.

“The opposition is still trying to play a more meaningful role in the state assembly and thus far has not been able to dampen our strong performance in the state assembly.

“Other opposition parties are still recovering from their third electoral defeats. Gerakan has since left Barisan Nasional to be on their own and is not expected to pose a serious threat in the short term.

“Other minor opposition parties are still in the doldrums and have not been seen in the public realm since the general election.

“In the meantime, the various component parties are in the process of strengthening their organisations and we expect a more cordial working relationship inside and outside the government.

“However, in recent months, the NGO movements have been vocal and critical about the Penang state government due to the proposed implementation of the Penang Transport Master Plan projects and also two recent incidents of a landslide at project sites which killed 20 construction workers.

“As such, the party is always mindful of our role in government and will perform our best to maintain the support and trust of the people.”