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Buletin Mutiara - Nov #1 MIX version

Buletin Mutiara - Nov #1 MIX version

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Published by Chan Lilian
Penang State publication in three languages - Chinese, Tamil, English
Penang State publication in three languages - Chinese, Tamil, English

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Published by: Chan Lilian on Nov 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Competency Accountability 
November 1 - 15, 2012
 Edisi Bahasa Inggeris, Tamil dan Cina
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng together with his deputies, DCM1 Datuk Mansor Othmanand DCM2 Prof. Dr. P. Ramasamy lighting the oil lamp at the Penang state Deepavaliopen house at the Esplanade on Nov 11 while their wives look on.
THE budget for Penang tabledat the recent state assembly sit-ting aims to wipe out poverty.Called the Pakatan Rakyat’s“Agenda Ekonomi Saksama”(AES) or Equitable EconomicAgenda, it is a bold step takenby the PR state leaders.The state assembly,which adjourned onNov 8, approved abudget of RM1.133billion for 2013.Chief Minister LimGuan Eng said: “TheAES will ensure that allhouseholds have a min-imum monthly incomeof RM770.”Penang became the
rst state in Malaysia to wipe out
hardcore poverty (householdswith monthly income of less thanRM400) in 2009 and had in-tended to wipe out poverty by2015.Poverty is defined by theFederal government as house-holds receiving income of lessthan RM720 per month. How-ever this RM720 poverty line istoo low and outdated.This is why the Penang stategovernment has chosen the latestsurvey done by a local univer-sity of RM 763 monthly incomeas the poverty line indicator inPeninsular Malaysia.Lim explained: “To wipe outpoverty, all families must receivea minimum monthly incomeabove RM763. Forthis reason, thePenang state gov-
ernment has xed
RM770 as the min-imum monthly in-come for all fami-lies in Penang.“Penang’s tar-geted zero povertyby 2015 has beenbrought forward bytwo years to 2013 due to the
good nancial performance of 
the state administration in 2011.”The 2011 Auditor-General’s
Report had conrmed that Pen
-ang had reduced debts by 95 percent and recorded the highestbudget surplus ever in Penang’shistory of RM138 million, a 312per cent increase from 2010’sbudget surplus of RM33 million.Penang had managed to re-cord a budget surplus every year
No morepoor by2013
since 2008 despite projecting a
budget decit every year due to
CAT governance of competency,accountability and transparency.“CAT governance focuses oncutting down cost and maximis-
ing revenues without sacricing
quality through open competitivetenders, compliance with rule of law, choosing the competent orright person for the right job aswell as adopting rigorous audit-ing and internal control mecha-nisms,” Lim told a large crowdat the Penang Deepavali OpenHouse at the Esplanade on Nov11.“As a result of CAT govern-ance, the Penang state govern-ment is able to achieve our targetof wiping out poverty by ensur-ing a minimum monthly house-hold income of RM 770.”In other words, any familiesreceiving less than RM770 permonth after all other forms of aid,will be “topped-up” by the Pen-ang state government to RM770per month.In other words if a family re-
ceives only RM500 after all nan
-cial assistance, this family willreceive an extra RM270 monthlyto top up to RM770 per month.This exercise, to begin by Jan1, will see the end of poverty inPenang by the end of 2013.At least RM20 million hasbeen allocated for this historicpoverty eradication initiative.During the Penang state as-sembly sitting, Lim had urgedall the Barisan Nasional as-semblymembers to help thestate government by providinginformation on poor familiesin their respective constituen-cies to exco member PheeBoon Poh who co-ordinates theprogramme to eradicate pov-erty.
 A beaming Chow presenting his book to Arif Shah, featuringthe latter in one of the pages.Halim with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, DCM I Datuk Mansor Othman, exco members andassemblymembers cutting a cake to mark the end of the assembly sitting and in appreciationof the exco members and all assemblymembers for the period 2008-2012.
Story and pix by
Chan Lilian
DESPITE being on opposite sides of the political divide,both Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah and Penang state excomember Chow Kon Yeow projected a picture of oldfriends when Chow presented Arif Shah with a copy of 
his book ‘Reections on 308 Political Tsuna
-mi’.While Chow is in the Pakatan Rakyat StateGovernment, Arif Shah is in the opposition asthe Barisan Nasional assemblymember forSeberang Jaya.However, the white-haired and jovial Arif 
Shah, who speaks uent Hokkien and Man
-darin, had been in the Penang state assemblytogether with Chow for many years now.Though they may have argued and debatedin their positions as opposing assemblymem-bers, Chow has featured an interview with Arif Shah inhis recently published book.Previously, Chow was in the opposition as a DAPassemblymember while Arif Shah was on the ruling side.
It was a reversal of roles for them after the March2008 political tsunami which brought the DAP into
government as a member of the PakatanRakyat.
Chow, who was rst elected as an assem
blymember in 1990, recently wrote a poign
-ant piece on how his late mother, Chong Sam
Mooi, 87, had inuenced his political career.He wrote: “Many siblings
told me I was mother’s favoritechild. She had not been toschool but she taught all thechildren good values to face
life‘s challenges. Most of us are
imbued with noble Chinese
virtues of lial piety, honesty,
modesty, sincerity and trust-worthiness. All of us becamegood citizens of the country, I
suppose. Mother must have had
the shock of her life when I joined the opposi-tion party. However, she decided to let me seek a career in
politics. Most of my siblings followed my father’s footstepsand ended up in the mechanical elds. She rejoiced with mewhen I was rst elected assemblyman in 1990 and shared
my sorrows when I did not manage to get re-elected in 1995.”For veteran politicians like Chow and Arif Shah, theyknow that though they may be foes in the political arena,ultimately the basic human virtues, like how Chow men-tioned, were imbued since childhood and play a moreprominent role in their characters.Political foes can be friends too.
Friends and foes
Story by
Chan Lilian,
Pix by A 
lissala Thian
DATIN Wan Zuraida Amiruddin
and her son, Muhammad Ammar
Abdul Halim, 15, were at the stateassembly dining hall having laksa
and Malay kuih during tea break.
State assembly speaker DatukAbdul Halim Hussain was takinga break after a whole day of thelegislature proceedings.The state assembly convenendfrom Nov 1 to 9.
He told Buletin Mutiara: “Youknow, this is the rst time my wife
is visiting the state assembly al-though I have been here for thepast four and a half years.”Wan Zuraida is youthful-look-ing, usually simple but elegantlydressed for her role as the stateassembly speaker's wife and fullof poise when accompanyingwives of other dignitaries.
Buletin Mutiara asked: “The
speaker has a very taxing schedulethese few days. We can see howthe assemblymembers slug it out,often shouting and hurling loudand harsh comments against eachother while he has to keep the
The man who keepsorder in the house
Halim with his wife, Wan Zuraida and son, Muhammad Ammar, 15 at the Penang state assembly dining room.
house in order. As his wife, how
do you nd his role?”
Wan Zuraida said: “I am veryamazed to see him sitting there soquietly, so calm. I decided tocome to the Dewan today becauseI read about the 'heat' going on andcurious to see for myself howthings are in the Dewan.”Abdul Halim and Wan Zuraida
have ve children aged 18, 15,14, 13 and 11. Wan Zuraida shared
that as a family, Abdul Halim andhis children read a lot and AbdulHalim loves to share with hischildren what he has read and theylove watching movies together.Due to his busy schedules,Abdul Halim tries to bring hischildren along for those eventssuitable for families so that he canspend quality time with his chil-dren.
Buletin Mutiara jokingly
asked, “Is the speaker as calm andquiet at home if the children areas loud as the politicians in the
Wan Zuraida broke into a laughand said, “Oh no....”
AES cameras take centre-stage
Story by
Chan Lilian
THE installation of the AES 1Malaysiacameras continues to be an issue for de-bate at the Penang state assembly.On Nov 9, Chief Minister Lim GuanEng threw a challenge to the UMNO stateassemblymembers and asked if they supported the installationof the 1Malaysia cameras inPenang.He said: “Let’s support thecall for no AES cameras. Someof your UMNO counterpartshad voiced their concerns inthe media. What about you?”The assemblymember forSungai Dua, Datuk JasminMohamed, asked: “I am sur-prised why you are bringing up this issuein the Penang state assembly when youshould bring this up in Parliament.”Lim replied: “I have stated my standin Parliament. However, the Penang stategovernment also has the power to decideon the installation of the AES 1Malaysiacameras in the state.”Lim then asked the assemblymembersfor Seberang Jaya and Telok Bahang tostate their stand.Teluk Bahang assemblymember DatukSeri Hilmi Yahya then asked Lim whatthe state suggested to reduce accidents.Lim said: “There is already a systemin place to reduce accidents.We welcome methods toreduce accidents and we
can ask the trafc police for
their suggestions too. Themain issue here is crony
companies proting from
the rakyat’s hardship bymaking money from everysummons issued.” DatukArif Shah Omar Shah, as-semblymember for Se-berang Jaya, then pointed out to Lim thata media report had said that MCApresident Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek hadcalled for a grace period of three to sixmonths for motorists to learn about theAES.
Lim rebutted: “This conrms what I
had suspected. UMNO and MCA knowthat this AES 1Malaysia camera issuehad caused anger amongst Malaysians.Now, they dare not proceed and want agrace period so that when the generalelection is over, they will instal thecameras. Barisan Nasional is buyingtime. It is all BN’s method of deceivingthe rakyat!”
State assembly proceedings taken from the telecast on television showingHilmi talking to Lim (back facing camera). Photography is prohibited in theassembly.
Story by
Chan Lilian
WHEN the Penang state assemblyconvened on Nov 1, Barisan Na-sional assemblymember for Pena-ga, Datuk Azhar Ibrahim, wassuspended for six months.He is also State Opposition Lead-er.Chief Minister Lim Guan Engtabled the motion for suspension.During the last state assemblysitting in May 8, Azhar had madea statement that the assemblyverbatim record could be manipu-lated.The Rights and PrivilegesCommittee felt that this tarnishedthe august house, the dignity of theassembly, the state legislativespeaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hus-sain and staff of the state legisla-tive.Azhar had been suspendedonce in May 2012 due to his refer-ence to May 13 (1969 racial riot).On another occasion, he hadcreated a stir when Pantai Jerjakstate assemblymember Sim TzeTzin pointed out Azhar had shownhis posterior to him in the stateassembly.Although video recordings hadproven the case, Azhar still in-sisted that he was merely bendingdown to take his bag.
Assembly starts with suspension
State opposition leader, Datuk Azhar Ibrahim from UMNO, Barisan Nasional in the stateassembly before his suspension.Lim (centre) and exco members leaving the state assembly after budget proceedings ended.Reporters waiting for the Penang state assemblymembers toappear after the conclusion of the day’s sitting.

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