Lim fending off a third force

Ironically fighting on the same issues which Pakatan had campaigned on previously, it is proving to be a challenge for the chief minister in the run up to GE13.

For now, as PCM vice-president Huan Cheng Guan says, the third voice is basking in their role in pointing out shortcomings as they are not beholden to either BN or Pakatan.

Hawkeye, Free Malaysia Today

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been facing a unique challenge to his political might in Penang since the start of this year – and it is not from the Barisan Nasional.

Instead, it is being mounted through the third force representation of Parti Cinta Malaysia, Kita and several Malay-based NGOs who claim to enjoy links with Lim’s ally – PAS.

Initially in 2008, it was BN, who played the opposition role although it was mostly muted as it was still struggling to come to terms with the fact it was no longer the state government.

This was then followed by several state PKR leaders who went rogue, such as former deputy chief minister Mohamed Fairus Khairuddin and ex-Penang PKR chairman Zahrain Mohd Hashim as well as Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng.

Besides dealing with their own internal party squabble, they encountered problems with Lim, portrayed by many within his inner circle as an uncomprising and strong-willed leader.

When the dust had settled, all three had quit PKR to either join BN, Kita or become Independent elected representative.

Lim’s administration was once again besieged, this time, it came from Malay-based NGOs such as Pajim and Perkasa with one, claiming to represent Penang PAS members.

They were the most vocal, ironically fighting for the same issues, which Pakatan had previously campaigned on, such as affordable housing, equality and human rights.

Lately, it is the third voice who raised contentious issues to the point of distracting Lim and his administration, which is gearing up for the next general election.

PCM exposed a land sale involving a DAP state assemblyman, especially when Lim had declared that no Pakatan rep should purchase any land during their tenure of the state.

Lim was forced to come the assemblyman’s defence, saying that he was merely re-acquiring his ancestral land and that the transaction was above board.

Still, eyebrows were raised as the issue had undermined Lim’s oft quoted CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) governance.

Tan had also revealed a car park at the foot of Penang Hill, which was constructed under the Penang Development Corporation’s clout and approved by the Pakatan government in 2008.

The car park was found to be defective and too narrow so much so only Kancil vehicle models could be accommodated. Tan lodge a report with the MACC about possible fraud.

He also raised the issue of whether the last remaining natural green lung, Penang Hill, would be subjected to redevelopment.

Such issues did resonate with the fence-sitters and the social activists, dominant in this highly critical pace of Penang.

Mustapa Amin, a member of an NGO, who specialises in education, said while Pakatan is performing well in Penang, it is prone to committing mistakes due to inexperience.

Mustapa said people would want to give the benefit of doubt to the government, as they need time and opportunity to show their capabilities and their key performance indicators.

“Any new employee undergoes a probationary period. It is the same with Pakatan and their own representatives,” he said.