Poetic justice for Guan Eng

By Jeswant Kaur, FMT

The recently released Auditor-General’s Report comes as poetic justice for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in particular and Barisan Nasional’s nemesis, Pakatan Rakyat in general. The report is full of praises as to how the state has successfully improved its financial position.

According to the report, Penang last year improved its financial position over 2009.

“The audit analysis found that consolidated funds of 2010 had improved compared to previous years and is at the highest level compared to the previous five years,” the report stated.

Lim took over the state’s top post in 2008 after DAP, a member of the Pakatan coalition, nudged Gerakan out in the 12th general election and took charge of Penang.

In the three years, despite all brickbats from his BN counterparts, Lim remains steadfastly focused on improving the state’s performance. The result? Words of praise by the auditor-general.

Still, like all hardworking people, Lim faced and continues to experience stinging criticism from Umno and BN which have left no stone unturned in belittling and condemning his efforts in transforming Penang for the better.

With the latest Auditor-General’s Report validating Penang’s achievements, the state under Lim’s leadership promises hope, of ensuring that Penangites continue to enjoy progress.

As far as the report goes, Penang has “passed” with flying colours. The state has been lauded where implementation of projects is concerned. The report has hailed the state’s performance as “very good”, with 99% of the 9,003 projects successfully carried out.

The Auditor-General’s Report adds: “The state is recommended to make sure revenue collected is put into the correct account and continue its efforts to increase revenue and maintain its prudent spending to ensure a better financial position.”

It urges the state to continue with its efforts to collect arrears in student loan repayment, rental of properties, land tax and other taxes. These arrears totalled RM78.78 million at the end of 2010.

On development under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the AG rates the state’s performance as satisfactory, with Penang spending 77.8% of the allocated RM1.01 billion.

BN green with envy

There is no denying that the thumbs-up given by the Auditor-General’s Report to Penang has caused the federal government under the aegis of the BN coalition to turn green with envy.

While the Lim administration has received straight “As” for its good management of the state, it is otherwise for three companies owned by Johor which performed badly.

The Auditor-General’s Report said the three companies – YWJ Citra Holdings Sdn Bhd, Johor Skills Development Centre Sdn Bhd and Kumpulan Pendidikan YPJ Sdn Bhd – were found to be unsatisfactorily managed with two companies facing losses.

It will do BN good to buck up and emulate Penang in delivering nothing but the best to the rakyat, instead of resorting to gutter politics, using the dirtiest means possible to force their opponents out.

For Lim, in the 36 months that DAP has been helming Penang, much trial and tribulations have come his way, both professionally and personally.

Personal attacks on Lim came about when pro-Umno blogs had a fortnight ago accused his 16-year-old son of outraging the modesty of a female classmate which resulted in him being transferred to another school.

The bloggers also claimed that Lim had paid the girl’s family RM200,000 to keep the issue under wraps. The accusations, however, turned out to be baseless after the girl was found to be a 21-year- old chess champion from Hong Kong named Anya Corke who has since issued a statement denying the incident.