Lim Guan Eng

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Yang Amat Berhormat
Lim Guan Eng
MP
林冠英
MALAYSIA GE13 (8678833148).jpg
Lim Guan Eng (2013)
Chief Minister of Penang
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 March 2008
Governor Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas
Preceded by Koh Tsu Koon
Constituency N.23 Air Puteh
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Bagan
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 March 2008
Preceded by Lim Hock Seng
Majority 22,070 (2008)
34,159 (2013)
Member of the Penang State Assembly
for Air Puteh
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 March 2008
Preceded by Lye Siew Weng
Majority 4,061 (2008)
7,744 (2013)
5th Secretary-General of Democratic Action Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
2004
Preceded by Kerk Kim Hock
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kota Melaka
In office
1986–1999
Preceded by Lim Kit Siang
Succeeded by Kerk Kim Hock
Majority 17,606 (1986)
14,468 (1990)
4,639 (1995)
Personal details
Born (1960-12-08) 8 December 1960 (age 53)
Johor Bahru, Malaya
Nationality Malaysian
Political party Democratic Action PartyPakatan Rakyat
Spouse(s) Betty Chew Gek Cheng
Children 4
Parents Lim Kit Siang
Neo Yoke Tee
Residence Melaka, Penang
Alma mater Monash University
Occupation Banker, politician, civil servant
Website limguaneng.com
cm.penang.gov.my
Lim Guan Eng
Chinese 林冠英

Lim Guan Eng (born 8 December 1960) is the fourth Chief Minister of the State of Penang and the current Secretary-General of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP). He is the son of Lim Kit Siang, Leader of the Opposition in the Dewan Rakyat from 1973 to 1999 and 2004 to 2008.

He is married to Betty Chew Gek Cheng, a member of the DAP and a state assemblywoman in Malacca.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Lim is married to Betty Chew Gek Cheng (周玉清), who is also the State Assemblywoman for Kota Laksamana in Melaka. She is the first serving assemblywoman to be married to a Chief Minister. They have four children.

Early education[edit]

Lim Guan Eng attended La Salle Primary English School in Petaling Jaya, and later the Batu Pahat Montfort Primary English School. For his secondary education, he attended Batu Pahat High School and Malacca High School. He graduated from Monash University, Australia with a Bachelor's of Economics and was a qualified professional accountant by 1983. He also served as the president of MUISS (Monash University International Student Society) during his university years.

Political career[edit]

Prior to his political career, Lim was a senior executive at a bank.[2] He was first elected as a member of parliament for Kota Melaka in 1986, after defeating Soh Chin Aun with a majority of 17,606 votes. He was re-elected in the subsequent 1990 and 1995 general elections, albeit with reduced majority votes. He thus became the first person to be elected for three consecutive terms in Kota Melaka. He was also the first Malacca High School alumnus to achieve this.

In October 1987, he was detained under the Internal Security Act in Operation Lalang, along with another 106 politicians and activists. He was released after 12 months on April 1989.[3] He was the first to be detained and last to be released on this Operation Lalang.

After joining the DAP, he was appointed as the DAP Socialist Youth chairman in 1989 and was formally elected to that post in 1992. In 1995, he was elected as the DAP Deputy Secretary-General. He was later elected as the party Secretary-General in 2004, and has held that position since.

Jailed under Sedition Act[edit]

Lim was arrested by the Malaysian police in 1994, following his criticism of the government's failure to bring then-Chief Minister of Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik's statutory rape case to trial when the Attorney General had decided not to press charges. Lim was charged under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for causing 'disaffection with the administration of justice in Malaysia'. He was also charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for 'maliciously printing' a pamphlet containing allegedly 'false information' which supposedly described the alleged rape victim as an 'imprisoned victim' because she was initially detained by Malaysian police without parental consent for 10 days. During the judicial procedure, Lim was quoted as saying:

After a series of appeals, Lim was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He was, however, released after 12 months on 25 August 1999. Due to his incarceration, he was disallowed from standing for election to public office for a period of 5 years, and he was therefore ineligible to contest in the 2004 Malaysian General Election.

Internal bickering[edit]

In 2005, Lim suffered a surprise defeat in his campaign for re-election to the Melaka DAP committee when he and his wife came in last and second-last (respectively). However, as Lim remained Secretary-General of the party, he was automatically included among the committee under the party constitution. His wife on the other hand, was not included in the committee even though she remained the chief of the state's DAP women's wing. [1] Teresa Kok, a DAP Member of Parliament, suggested there was a conspiracy behind the entire event. [1] Nevertheless, Lim garnered the second highest number of votes (620)[4] at the party's 15th National Congress on 23 August 2008.

Chief Minister of Penang[edit]

In the 2008 Malaysian general election, the coalition of DAP-PKR-PAS later known as the Pakatan Rakyat won 29 out of 40 state seats contested in Penang, in which DAP was the largest winning component party with 19 seats, PKR 9 seats, and PAS 1,[5] thus defeating the former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional for the authority to rule Penang for the next five years. Even though Lim is not a Penangite, he was nominated to be the next Chief Minister (CM) of Penang, replacing the former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon of Gerakan. Other senior DAP leaders of Penang such as Lim Hock Seng, Phee Boon Poh, and Chow Kon Yeow were bypassed and were instead appointed as excos. In the 2013 Malaysian general election, Pakatan Rakyat garnered a larger majority of 30 out of 40 state seats in Penang.[6]

Lim arrives to give support for Anwar Ibrahim during the nomination day for Permatang Pauh by-election in 2008.

Governance[edit]

As the new Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng announced an amnesty on all summonses issued by the Penang Municipal Council and Seberang Perai Municipal Council involving vendors' licences and parking offences issued before March 2008. On 14 March, a mob composed mostly of Umno members and supporters took to the streets illegally after Friday prayers to protest his statements on the NEP. No arrests were made but two men were taken in for questioning. Various BN-backed groups and NGOs continued to protest and lodge police reports as a form of continued harassment.[7]

On 19 March 2008, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the state exco had approved an open tender system for projects exceeding RM 50,000. For projects between RM20,000 and RM50,000, a balloting system will be introduced and a two-week objection period would be given for both the open tender and balloting systems.[8]

During Lim's tenure as Chief Minister, Penang was ranked top among the list of investments in Malaysia, attracting RM12.2 billion worth of total capital investments as of 2010, which accounts for 25% of total investments in Malaysia. This is also a 465% increase compared to the total investment of RM2.17 billion as of 2009. Consequently in 2011, Penang was the top in manufacturing investments in Malaysia for the second consecutive year, with RM9.1 billion in total. In a new indicator of total investment however, which comprises manufacturing, services and private sectors, Penang ranked second in Malaysia after Sarawak in total investments, with the total amount of RM14.038 billion. This was due to not having much primary sector investments.[9][10][11] Consequently, the public debt in Penang has decreased by 95% from RM630 million in 2008 to RM30 million at the end of 2011.[12]

On 28 April 2011, Lim signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China, witnessed by the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on the proposal of the construction of three road and tunnel projects in Penang island, including a 6.5 km undersea tunnel, a third link between the island and Butterworth on the mainland. According to Lim, this would ease traffic congestion in the area and to improve the links between the island and the mainland.[13]

On 25 July 2014, the Penang state government under Lim unveiled the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan which comprises an integrated transportation network connecting both Penang Island and Seberang Perai. The master plan aims to achieve a well-defined and fully connected road network and dispersal system as well as a well-integrated and sustainable public transport system, which combines buses, trams, MRT and water taxis. The entire project is expected to start in 2015 and complete in 2030.[14]

Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT)[edit]

The Penang state government, led by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, has launched the concept of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in governance. The slogan propelled the state government to achieve efficient, responsible and clean governance. Another emphasis of the slogan aims to allow people in Penang to share the state government's prosperity when the slogan's goals are achieved.[15] It also aims to turn Penang into a cleaner, greener and safer state. CAT also includes positive work ethics and team spirit based on performance. The slogan was eventually achieved when the state government enjoyed record budget surpluses by successfully attracting up to RM 12.2 billion of total capital investments and through the practice of an open tender system.[16] According to the international weekly newsmagazine The Economist, the reform of the government with its new policies has ended the cronyism and corruption that that led to major deficits under the previous regime.[17]

As a result, the Penang state government has received praise from the Auditor-General as the best financially managed state in Malaysia consecutively from 2008 to 2010. According to the AG report, the consolidated fund has increased by 2.7%, from RM1,101.89mil in 2009 to RM1,131.17mil in 2010. Likewise, the consolidated revenue fund has surged by 6.2% from RM538.95mil in 2009 to RM572.49mil in 2010.[18] Aside from that, Penang has also won accolades from Transparency International for implementing open tenders in awarding contracts.[19]

Welfare aid and programs[edit]

These record budget surpluses were directed towards social benefits such as financial aid to the hardcore poor, cash handouts to the elderly as an anti-corruption dividend, the upgrade of public housing, free Wi-Fi internet services at selected hot spots and free bus services within the city and between Penang island and Seberang Perai for workers.[20] Social welfare aid of RM100 is awarded annually to senior citizens, single mothers, disabled individuals, new-born babies and school-going pupils in Primary 1 to 4 as well as Form 1 to 4.[21]

On 1 March, Lim launched the Bridge Express Shuttle Transit (BEST), which is a free-of-charge park and ride shuttle bus service which ferries commuters across the Penang Bridge from Seberang Jaya to Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone. This bus service aims to increase usage of public transport, which in turn will reduce traffic congestion during peak hours on the Penang Bridge and therefore ease the financial burden of factory workers.[22]

SMART Centre Penang is an initiative set up by the Penang state government and think-tank investPenang during the Penang Outlook Forum in June 2009 chaired by Lim. SMART Centre intends to provide market intelligence, business advice, information, resources and training services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Penang. It focuses on the promotion of local sourcing, investments and networking by providing various programmes such as business matching, seminars and talks.[23]

Under Pakatan Rakyat's Agenda Economic Sosial (AES) or Social Economic Agenda, The Penang state government is aiming to be the first state in Malaysia to eradicate poverty by ensuring every household in Penang has an income of at least RM770 per month. The poverty line is RM763 per month for every household/family in Peninsular Malaysia. Those families with less than RM770 monthly income will have the difference topped up by the state government every month. In other words, a family with RM600 monthly income will receive RM170 monthly under this programme.[24]

Aside from that, Penang state government under Lim began annual allocations for Chinese independent high schools and also increased annual allocations for Chinese, Tamil and mission schools in Penang, which are either not funded or partially funded by the Education Ministry in Malaysia.[25][26]

On 7 June 2014, Lim has donated RM20,000 to soup kitchen The Lighthouse in Penang to assist the organisation's efforts in feeding the homeless and poor.[27]

Cleaner, Greener Penang[edit]

Cleaner, Greener Penang is an initiative by the Penang state government launched in 2010 as part of an effort to transform Penang into the most environmentally friendly and liveable city in Malaysia through education, enforcement and appreciation. This is to restore the current living environment into a cleaner and more sustainable city, which in turn will improve the quality of living.[28][29]

The Penang state government, led by Lim, enforced the ban on free plastic bags throughout the state on 1 January 2010, despite an initial lukewarm response from retail outlets. Lim said the move would reduce the state's garbage production and carbon footprint. Retail stores, food outlets and hawker stalls state-wide are required to adhere to the rulings to ensure renewal of business licences. The proceedings from the sale of plastic bags went to the "Partners Against Poverty" Special Fund to assist the state's hardcore poor. This initiative was the first of its kind in Malaysia.[30][31][32]

On 11 December 2011, Lim initiated the Car Free Day which would be held every Sunday at particular stretches of roads in the interior city of George Town, Penang. All motor vehicles are prohibited from entering these areas on that day, which are part of Lim's efforts to transform Penang into a sustainable city and fight climate change.[33] In addition, the state government is also considering a proposal to set up bicycle lanes around Penang island, mainly along coastal areas and Seberang Perai, scheduled to be completed by 2020.[34] The dedicated bicycle lanes in Penang island will cover a coastal route between Penang Second Bridge to Batu Maung and Teluk Bahang. In Seberang Perai, it will cover a 140 km stretch including state and town roads and is subjected to feedback from the public. Lim wanted to promote Penang as the first state to promote cycling as a healthy activity and reduce dependency on motor vehicles.[35]

On 1 August 2014, the Penang state government implemented a bicycle sharing system in its effort to transform George Town into a greener and more sustainable city. It awarded a RM9.2 million contract to Public Bike Share Sdn. Bhd. to design, install and operate the bicycle sharing system in the city. The system consists of 25 bicycle stations with 1,000 bicycle docks and 500 bicycles throughout George Town. Lim believes that the system will alleviate traffic congestion as well as improve visitors' experience by making places accessible without cars and thus support the state government's initiative in a cleaner, greener, safer and healthier Penang.[36]

Foreign delegations and state visits[edit]

On 6 November 2011, the Penang state government under Lim's leadership managed to strengthen ties and forge friendship with the state of Victoria, Australia when the Governor of Victoria Alex Chernov made an official day-long visit to Penang with the invitation of the state government.[37]

On 15 November 2011 Penang had hosted an official visit by the Governor General of Canada the Right Honourable David Johnston and the ex-Speaker of the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan for 2 days. Penang had managed to forge foreign relations with Canada and Japan, which consequently strengthened trade ties to lure foreign investors to Penang. Johnston's first visit to the state was welcomed by Lim and the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang Abdul Rahman Abbas. They walked around the Penang Heritage Trail together with his delegation.[38][39]

Other foreign delegations who visited Penang include the South Australian Minister of Police and Governor of Bangkok Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

Several investment and business delegations have been led by Lim on state visits to Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Melbourne, Adelaide, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.[40][41] Lim's official visit to Bangkok also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Penang and Bangkok, which enabled Penang to be a fast-growing world-class and international city. Prior to this state visit, Penang was looking to develop its tourism by seeking co-operation with Bangkok. Lim said that the state aspires to be achieve global city status by becoming a major economic hub, a top choice for investors, a desirable place for tourists and a habitat of choice for people who want to earn a sustainable living.[42]

Religious View[edit]

Lim Guan Eng broadcast a Christmas message urging the Federal government to permit Malay-Language Bibles to publish the word ‘Allah’.[43]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Other Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1986 P113 Kota Melaka, Melaka Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 34,573 67.08% Soh Chin Aun (MCA) 16,967 32.92% 52,840 17,606 76.54%
1990 Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 33,993 63.52% Soon Tian Szu (MCA) 19,525 36.48% 54,745 14,468 76.45%
1995 P123 Kota Melaka, Melaka Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 29,293 54.3% Soon Tian Szu (MCA) 24,654 45.7% 56,096 4,639 75.91%
2008 P43 Bagan, Penang Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 33,748 74.24% Song Choy Leng (MCA) 11,678 25.69% 46,227 22,070 77.84%
2013 Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 46,466 77.71% Chua Teik Siang (MCA) 12,307 20.58% Lim Kim Chu (PCM) 328 0.55% 59,796 34,159 87.2%
Penang State Legislative Assembly
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2008 N23 Air Puteh Tan Yoke Cheng (MCA) 2,540 27.74% Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 6,601 72.08% 9,288 4,061 74.58%
2013 Lim Guan Eng (DAP) 9,626 82.32% Tan Ken Keong (MCA) 1,882 16.10% 11,693 7,744 84.7%

Controversy[edit]

On 20 September 2011, Lim Guan Eng participated in an interview conducted by Australia Broadcasting Corporation where he was reported by the Malaysian news agency, Bernama, to have disparaged the security of the state of Johor.[44] Lim Guan Eng insisted he never mentioned Johor, and demanded that Bernama retract their story and issue a formal apology, or face a lawsuit.[45] However, a recording was later revealed by government-controlled television channel, TV3, showing clear evidence of Lim Guan Eng proclaiming that Singaporeans who are in Johor are "likely to be kidnapped". The recording of Lim Guan Eng's remark was made in Singapore. This led Lim Guan Eng to issue a formal apology to the Sultan of Johor.[46]

On 14 December 2011, Lim won a defamation suit against Malay daily Utusan Malaysia, which was ordered by the Penang High Court to pay a total of RM200,000 worth of damages and a cost of RM25,000 to him. Utusan Malaysia had allegedly published a false, malicious and defamatory news article about Lim. Judge Varghese George Varughese found seven paragraphs in Utusan Malaysia's article entitled "Kebiadapan Guan Eng" (Guan Eng's Arrogance) which had defamed his political career, and subsequently pictured him and DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Muslim. Lim was represented by Jagdeep Singh Deo, his lawyer. On January 2011 Lim filed the suit at the Penang High Court. The article which was published on December 2010 accused DAP as a tool for foreign governments to undermine the Malaysian federal government and urged for DAP to be banned. The Malay daily also claimed that Lim was a racist and anti-Malay after the Pakatan Rakyat 2010 Convention. However, judge G.V Varughese said that the article was mere rhetoric and not backed by facts. He added that there was also no verification of information in the article as the writer of the article had said that there was a boycott of Utusan Malaysia and therefore, could not verify the facts.[47]

Earlier in 2012 Penang state UMNO Youth Chief accused the Penang state government for breaking the law in selling the Bayan Mutiara land to developer Ivory Property Group Berhad without subdividing the land. He also claimed that the state government sold the land without open tender and made no provision for mosques. However, Lim Guan Eng showed evidence that it has been sold via open tender and thus explained that the developer would only do the subdividing when it submits development plans for the 41.5-ha real estate project to the Penang Municipal Council. The developer had clarified that land for the mosque and school has been allocated and adhered to the town planning regulation after the new plans and subdivision of title has been submitted.[48][49]

On 22 June 2011 Lim won a second defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia, which was ordered by the Penang High Court to pay a total of RM200,000 worth of damages and RM20,000 in costs to the former. The Malay daily had been found guilty by the court of defaming Lim in a published news article headlined "Tiada Lagi DEB" (No More NEP), which said that Lim would abolish the New Economic Policy. Lim claimed that the article was false and inaccurate.[50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lim Guan Eng's biodata from DAP official website". 
  2. ^ "Lim Guan Eng's Biodata". 
  3. ^ "Guan Eng calls for apology on Ops Lalang anniversary - See more at: http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2012/10/28/guan-eng-calls-for-apology-on-ops-lalang-anniversary/#sthash.N8zVTHFh.dpuf". 
  4. ^ "DAP: Father-and-son teams get the votes". 
  5. ^ "Penang State Assembly Election Result". 
  6. ^ "13th Malaysian General Election Results". 
  7. ^ "Guan Eng will look after Malays too". 
  8. ^ "Penang open tender system approved". 
  9. ^ "Penang tops total capital investment list for 2010". 
  10. ^ "Penang Investment Updates". 
  11. ^ "1.6 Million Penangites Deserve Full Credit for the Historic Feat of Penang Being No. 1 in Malaysia in Manufacturing Investment for the 2nd Consecutive Year in 2011.". 
  12. ^ "You too can be like Penang, Guan Eng tells Malaysia". 
  13. ^ "Penang, China ink deal on Butterworth tunnel link". 
  14. ^ "Penang embarks on RM27b transport masterplan with MRT, trams, water cabs". 
  15. ^ "The Penang Career Assistance and Talent Centre". 
  16. ^ "Only 6% of the population yet Penang contributes 36% of Malaysia's FDI in 2010: Penang must not live in the past but learn from the past so that we can save the future for our children". 
  17. ^ "Getting back its mojo". The Economist. 13 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Top of the class: Penang shines in Auditor-General’s Report". 
  19. ^ "Penang State EXCO members publicly declare their assets today". 
  20. ^ "Guan Eng: Open tenders key to Penang's efficiency". 
  21. ^ "You too can be like Penang, Guan Eng tells Malaysia". 
  22. ^ "BEST Bus Penang". 
  23. ^ "SMART Centre". 
  24. ^ "Penang Will See 2013 as Ending Poverty and Continue the Successes of Fighting Corruption So That There Are No 3rd Class Economic Citizens". 
  25. ^ "Penang CM: Purchase of 14 Mercedes was not value for money". 
  26. ^ "Penang State Government will increase annual allocation to Chinese schools & Missionary School from RM 5.8M to RM 6.5M". 
  27. ^ "Penang Chief Minister donates RM20,000 to NGO The Lighthouse". 
  28. ^ "A "Cleaner, Greener Penang" Through Education, Enforcement and Appreciation To Make Penang The Most Environmentally Sound And Livable City in Malaysia". 
  29. ^ "Cleaner, Greener Penang". 
  30. ^ "No plastic bags in Penang from January". 
  31. ^ "Launching of Everyday is No Free Plastic Bags Day". 
  32. ^ "Penang: Say no to plastic bags". 
  33. ^ "The young and old roll down the street like kings at launch of Car Free Day". 
  34. ^ "Penang mulls bicycle lanes on island". 
  35. ^ "Cycle lanes mooted for mainland". 
  36. ^ "Penang kicks off ambitious transport revolution with RM9.2m bike-sharing system". 
  37. ^ "CM: We want Aussies to rediscover Penang". 
  38. ^ "Canadian and Japanese VIPs visiting Penang today". 
  39. ^ "Canadian Governor -General in Penang". 
  40. ^ "Guan Eng on Business Trip to Abu Dhabi & Dubai". 
  41. ^ "Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng will lead a investment delegation to Tokyo, Japan". 
  42. ^ "Penang and Bangkok seal a friendly deal". 
  43. ^ "Exclusively Islamic? Malaysian Christians call for using the word ‘Allah’ in their Bible". 
  44. ^ "Chief Minister criticised over disparaging remarks about Johor". 
  45. ^ "Guan Eng threatens to sue Bernama over Johor remarks". 
  46. ^ "Guan Eng apologises to Johor Sultan". 
  47. ^ "Guan Eng wins suit against Utusan". 
  48. ^ "Guan Eng denies selling off Bayan Mutiara mosque land". 
  49. ^ "Spat continues over Bayan Mutiara". 
  50. ^ "Guan Eng Wins Second Defamation Suit Against Utusan". 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a"Guan Eng and wife voted out of Malacca DAP committee".
  2. ^ – Beh "Mr and Mrs Lim's defeat a 'conspiracy'".
  3. ^"Lim Guan Eng Reassures Penang".

Citations[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Koh Tsu Koon
Chief Minister of Penang
2008 – Present
Incumbent
Parliament of Malaysia
Preceded by
Lim Kit Siang
Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka
1986–1999
Succeeded by
Kerk Kim Hock
Preceded by
Lim Hock Seng
Member of Parliament for Bagan
2008 – Present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Lye Siew Weng
Member of Penang State Assembly for Air Puteh
2008 – Present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kerk Kim Hock
5th Secretary-General of DAP
2004 – Present
Incumbent