(Bernama) - The DAP-led Penang Government has come under fire for removing banners depicting Pime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak extending Chinese New Year (CNY) greetings to the people.
Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen (picture) said it was also unbecoming of the state government as feedback received had also indicated that some people had stepped on the banners bearing the prime minister's image, after they were pulled down.
With guns blazing, the tourism minister minced no words when she said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should apologise for the disrespectful behavior towards a prime minister of Malaysia.
"He (Lim) must remember (Najib) is the prime minister of Malaysia, including Penang. Stepping on the prime minister's face is tantamount to stepping on Malaysia's face.
"If a banner (bearing the image of the prime minister) is torn down, it means turning down Malaysia," she said. Dr Ng was asked to comment on the Seberang Prai Municipal Council's action of removing the banners, as those who had put them up had reportedly not applied for a permit.
She was speaking to reporters after attending a 'My Beautiful Malaysia' programme, together with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, at Dataran Taman Negara in Teluk Bahang here today.
She said, the federal government was always there to help develop Penang for the good of its people, despite the state not being administered by the Barisan Nasional.
"Don't be too political. Somethings you cannot politicise if it is for the good of the Penang people. Be a responsible government and serve the people well. If the federal government wants to help, let it be," she reasoned.
Dr Ng hoped the people of Penang understood and felt the federal government's sincerity at prospering the state as some RM140 million was given in the past to boost its tourism industry.
Meanwhile, she said the tourism ministry would work together with tour guide institutes to enable trained guides who had completed 75 per cent of the course to work as temporary guides during the CNY festive season from Feb 1 to Feb 28.
She said, 25 tour agencies were reported to be in need of an additional 450 tour guides to meet the influx of tourists from China and Taiwan, especially during the CNY festive season.
As motivation, Dr Ng said, a tour guide stood to earn RM440 each for the first and second day of CNY -- double what was normally earned by a guide.