GUAN ENG: A Used Car Salesman, A Flip Flop CM, A Chicken, An Ordinary Politician or Are You The Man?

By Penang My Home 

It makes one wonder after all the hype and celebrations when Penang welcomed the sight of a new leader during the March 2008 elections (in fact I was one of those heaving a sigh of relief that at least the signs of change have arrived) are we going to be any better off?

After a year having come and gone, I am slowly seeing signs that Penang's CM Guan Eng is not much different from his predecessor Koh. Yeah sure GE took quite a bit of time to bark and growl at the past State Administration only to realise (which I hope he has) that hey I am not the opposition anymore and stuff like that is not what we the public want. We want our leader to focus on his role towards improving the quality of Penangites, find ways to boost the economy of The State, attract investments, find ways to plug the leaks caused by the past administration (or mis-administration rather).

GE, are you the man?

Since young we have been taught that our word is our bond (unless we have politicians as our parents, then I dare say that ok … they are the exception!) and as we grow up we learn that sometimes we have to be tough to be fair, we have to do what we promised we will, mean what we say and be man enough to admit our mistakes.

We learnt that we have to make tough but necessary actions and then bear the fruits or consequences. We learnt to prioritize things in life. We dont just say something just to show people that we are working hard (that's how the the phrase "actions speak louder than words"). Then as we grow older we learn the qualities of leadership and management and realize that calls have to be made if one needs to ensure the survival or growth of an organization. We learnt that the priorities have to be carried out based on current necessities and not based on other self-preservation motives.

In Malaysia we have been blessed with a strategic location, abundant natural resources and being free from most major natural calamities and yet we see snail-paced growth due to the country's administration and leaders' greed. In Penang we are lucky that this newly-controlled-by-the-opposition State does not carry baggage as heavy as the one befalling Perak. So in other words, Penang is well-placed to show everyone around us that we are an able and mature thinking lot. We need a leader to chart out the plans and growth for the State, bring in investments to boost the general flailing economy, focus on the people. 

GE, are you the man? 

When GE announced his CAT policy, we the public purred and meowed with glee like a pussy cat being promised a can of sardines. But to date we have been observing various worrying signs that have got many on the ground talking (and sadly they are quite correct in their observations on how our leader is going about doing things).

No, dear pussy cats, we are still staring at the can of sardines and we can't even smell the sardines inside the unopened tin yet. Bear in mind that every can of sardines has an expiry date and if we dont get to eat it now because our master still hasn't found a way to open the can … the sardines will eventually turn into rotten fish which is useless when opened. 

Look, I am not saying that GE and his team have done nothing good or nothing right. Sure, they are trying hard to eradicate poverty. Sure, they are trying to clean up the mess here and there … but what I am saying is what has GE done on a MAJOR scale to help the State grow out of the economic doldrums?

Imagine if you look at the things which GE has really done for the State – it started with a small "pop" instead of with a bang when he annnounced the success of securing an FDI to develop a golf course on the mainland (and the timing sucked then too because around then another golf course in the mainland just went bust and belly up … and here we have our CM announcing with pride that a new golf course is going to be built!).

Then came the road signage hoo-hah where something so trivial went into overdrive. Having multi-language road signs or not having multi-language road signs … wow that's such a big deal to the people? In fact, many got so tired of it we can't even be bothered because to everyone, Macalister Road's "char koey teow" will be always called that no matter how many languages you want the road signage to be in. Hmm, actually right now I can't even recall what's the conclusion to all that! If they have agreed to change the road signages, have they truly done that I wonder?

Towards the last quarter of last year, there was another statement saying that the State is going to study a proposal from a foreign company to see the feasibility of the Aerobus project and that the State will give it's findings in 2 months from then so the public will know if it is workable or not. Till now half a year has passed and still not a peep. So GE, is it feasible or not?

Then we had press releases saying that the State of Penang is going to announce a major infrastructure project or something like that in March 2009. Till now anyone know what that is?

Of course, we had our fair share of having our Tourism EXCO grilled for being not-so-fluent in English but who should share the blame? Isn't it the one who picked the "nice and friendly but not so good in English" chap? After all even Mahathir blamed himself for picking Pak Lah as his successor.

Now here comes the interesting part! Suddenly out of the blue GE now wants to build a tiger park! Doesn't he realise that we see tigers in action everyday at the courts, at the State Assembly, in Parliament, etc? We see faces of "smiling tigers" everyday in the press!

Hell, we don't need a tiger park to boost the State's popularity! We need sound policies which are consistent; we need positive action; we need the leaders to take calculated risks to steer his people forward. A tiger park? What is he thinking … to boost employment for jobless zoo keepers and animal trainers? Hmmm, maybe that's the idea because everything is turning literally into a zoo right now.

That's not even mentioning the latest episode involving the selection and announcement of the State's DCM1. Ok, I will announce it; oh no, I will ask Anwar to announce it; oh ok, I will announce it after consulting Anwar; oh let's give Anwar time to decide before I announce it ….

To us the lay people,
…if you say something or paint a rosy picture just to sell someone something which you know you cannot deliver, then you are like a used car salesman.
…if you say that you will do something but don't, you are a like a chicken.
… if you say something and keep on changing your mind, you are a called a flip-flop.
…if you do things for the sake of the party and not the people, you are no different from other ordinary politicians. 

So GE, I hope you are the man to change things but sad to say, to date we are not impressed … you stress about change, so please change (talk alone is cheap), get a grip on things and become the man we hope you can be or you will be changed come the next election (come to think of it this is what we have been telling BN too) so don't put us, your people of Penang in a situation where we have to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. Change yourself so you can change things so we have a clear-cut choice of being loyal to you.

GE, be the man!