Important and Urgent to Check the Arrogance of the Penang Government

Heng demands answers from our leaders, and urges us to do more to check the arrogance of the Penang Government.

He reminds the new administration that they were voted into power not so much because they are good, but simply because BN was horrible.

Over to you PH…


Important and Urgent to Check the Arrogance of the Penang Government

October 2017, Penang landslide in Tanjung Bungah. Credit Malaysian Insight

Heng: On October 21 last year, 11 people were killed in a landslide in Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

Penang landslide at Bukit Kukus, October 2018

Almost to the day this year, a landslide at the construction site along Jalan Paya Terubong, Penang buried up to 13 people underneath.

The second tragedy occurred in spite of repeated warnings by environment groups to the state government to stop such projects.

Imagine if these two tragedies were to happen on the watch of a Barisan Nasional (BN) government, what would the great Lim Kit Siang and the honourable Lim Guan Eng be doing? 

It is not difficult to imagine that they would be screaming at the top of their voices, raising a series of questions not only in the state assembly.  They would press for explanation in the federal parliament.  As a matter of habit, they would demand setting up a Royal Commission of Inquiry; they would like to look into issues of negligence and possibility of corruption, and so on.

It is important for Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders to bear in mind that they are voted into power not because they are so wonderful. The simple fact is this: they are chosen because BN is just too horrible. 

A weakness in Malaysian politics is that discontent with BN, PAS and PH has not been strong enough to evolve into an organised force to function as check and balance to the PH government. 

Penang has a high percentage of middle class, many of them very well educated and with experiences in various professions.  It is incumbent for the politically conscious among them to form a third force to play the role of a meaningful opposition to check the arrogance of the Penang state government.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor)


Note: Guest Contributor, Michael Heng is an idealist, an internationalist, who believes that all of us are children of God.”

Rebuilding Malaysia


  • Darren Yeoh says:

    there are many more mega environmental destructive projects going on here in Penang.

    Here is my friend comment on current scenerio in Penang & seek your support on their petitions: –

    Kawan2 sekalian, demi kepentingan generasi Pulau Pinang dan masa depan, kami merayu kepada kerajaan Pulau Pinang”Batalkan Projek RM8,000,000,000 Lebuhraya PIL1 & RM6,300,000,000 Lebuhraya Zenith!”. Kami nak pengangkutan awam modern macam Autonomous Rail-raid Transit (ART), kami tak nak LRT, jimatlah untuk elakan banjir demi masa depan. Jangan robohkan kampung2 kami !


    #LovePenang #SavePenang
    – Keep Penang beautiful without pollution & negative environmental impact.
    Many thanks. Appreciated, indeed! #SOS#

  • Tan wah Piow says:

    Hi Michael,

    I feel you are using this lack of response to the landslide to illustrate a few generic points:

    1. Lack of organised force to function as check and balance to the PH government.

    2. a third force

    3. the arrogance of the Penang state government.

    The 13 deaths deserve a public awakening, and a political and professional response to stop such common disaster.

    A Grenfel Type inquiry as in the London fire disaster last year could potentially be useful to the whole country to raise future building and construction standards, and planning controls.

    Of all places in Malaysia, Penang probably has the highest concentration of intelligent critics, NGOs, NGIs and campaigners per capita. If Penang can’t, no where else could do a better job then just having a media grabbing flash crowd for photo opportunity. So why did it not happen?

    This may be a more appropriate, and useful focus to understand the weaknesses of the local response, and the missed opportunity. This is a doable community organising project, and a nationally important one too.

    The ‘third force’ and ‘check and balance’ are separate Big Issues, while the 13 Deaths at one Landslide is a Stand Alone matter which is an important enough issue to be examined on its own merits without contaminating it with other political agendas.

    “Local government arrogance, and Lim Guan Engism” is a specific matter which need not crowd the discussion on either the Landslide Issue or the Big Issues.

    If the article is effective, it should instigate some penangnites to start organising. After all, the purpose of understanding history is to change the world.

    Wah Piow

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