By Ti Lian Ker
Ever since the controversy over Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s purchase of a bungalow below market price erupted earlier this year, there have been calls by several quarters for him to step down as Penang chief minister until investigations come to a close.
These calls were not just to demand that he walk the talk when it came to Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in good governance, a motto the DAP has been espousing since it took over Penang’s administration.
These calls were made in view of the fact that the Opposition would demand the same, ad nauseam I might add, of Barisan Nasional leaders caught in similar situations.
Unsurprisingly, these calls fell on deaf ears.
Instead, DAP’s Tony Pua had in March declared, as reported in Malaysiakini, that there was no need for Lim to go on leave over the controversy, until charges were brought against him.
Pua was quoted as saying: “No… (only) when charged, then (the person) should take time off.”
Pua’s remarks at that time were fair. But now that Lim has been charged, the DAP has sung a different tune.
The excuse given for him to not step down, after such calls again arose, was amusing: political persecution.
As if this somehow negated the seriousness of the charge and therefore justified Lim’s decision to cling on to his chief ministership.
Imagine if BN leaders had cited the same excuse in a similar case: we would be ridiculed and accused of being dishonourable, not to mention the incident being brought up at the next general election, if not in a Chinese New Year video.
DAP’s shifting of the goal post reveals two things:
First, they are not as principled as they claim to be, and this is something voters should take into account the next time they go to the polls. If they can shift goal posts now, there is a chance they would do so again in future.
Second, it shows that for all this while, when they chastised the BN or the government, they did it merely for the sake of criticising. They, in my opinion, never believed in constructive criticism, which generally is meant to improve oneself.
For if they did, they would heed their own advice.
Ti Lian Ker is a member of the MCA central committee and chairman of the religious harmony bureau.
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