Westernisation Of Penang: Will Transparency In Political Funding Reveal It All? – Jason Chin


The issue of political funding has become a hot debate among leaders from both BN and the Opposition coalition. While people may think this issue has been raised to diverge away from 1MDB, there is actually a close link between the two. From the development of things, it is becoming obvious that ultimately the RM 2.6 billion that was supposedly deposited into Datuk Seri Najib’s personal account will be deemed a ‘political donation’ that was used in the last general election. Political donation is not only legal in Malaysia but is legal in most countries of the world like America, India and Britain. This topic is highly debated in most countries across the globe so it is not alien for it to hit Malaysia too.

Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s claim that BN was out-spent in terms of logistics and election machinery in Permatang Pauh 2008 election has definitely raised eyebrows. While Tony Pua and Lim Kit Siang demand revelation of BN’s source of political funding it is rather surprising that they rejected the political funding reform initiative. Is DAP hiding a big secret from Malaysians?

In May this year, the digital world was abuzz with a picture of Lim Guan Eng in Hong Kong beside a car bearing the number plate “PENANG”. DAP immediately responded that the car belonged to a businessman from Penang who was in Hong Kong. However, they did not reveal who is that businessman and what was Guan Eng doing with the businessman’s car? How are they politically linked?

DAP’s failure to address the Kampung Buah Pala issue in Penang is not something Guan Eng will like on his CV as Chief Minister. A businessman name Dato’ Loh Geok Beng has been shown to have very close links to CM Guan Eng. Geok Beng was previously known as Ooi Gan @ Loh Gan and was a fearsome gangster once upon a time. He was instrumental in rallying support for DAP in Penang during the 2008 general elections and was alleged to heavily fund them. Immediately after the 2008 election that saw DAP seize the state of Penang, Guan Eng issued a new land title of Kg Buah Pala to a developer who appointed Loh’s company Wabina as the main contractor for development of the land. Poor residents were forcibly evicted without proper compensation. Kg Buah Pala was a present from Guan Eng to Loh as an appreciation for aid obtained during the 2008 elections. The only explanation that DAP is not in favour for transparent political funding is that they are afraid doors to all their wrong-doings will get exposed.

The entire country is well aware of Penang’s trade relation with Hong Kong. While the growth in trade with Hong Kong yields benefit to the state, I wonder what are the hidden agendas. When the whole world wants to increase trading relationship with India, Guan Eng still insists on increasing bonds with Hong Kong. News portal Foreign Policy, one of the most credible names in international politics and global affairs has argued that Hong Kong is losing its privileged place in global economy. Isn’t it something to ponder why is Guan Eng converging all attention to Hong Kong only?

While DAP reveals statistics to show the economic advancing state of Penang, there is a lot more negativity they try to curtail from the public. Penang is becoming globally known as the Phuket of Malaysia where sexual activities are concerned. Penang even features on Wiki Sex Guide and The International Sex Guide portals for foreigners travelling to Penang. Scroll on Trip Adviser and you can see foreigners posing questions on location of sexual activities in Penang.

Penang also hails the title for largest illegal gambling in the country. It is no surprise why Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi sternly warned about eradicating illegal gambling centres in the country.

How ironic it is that prostitution and illegal gambling mushrooms in Penang while their political ally PAS promotes Islamisation. For those who claim DAP and PAS are no more allies, let me remind you that the head of the opposition coalition Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail still says the bond is not entirely broken yet.

What vested interest does Hong Kong have in Penang? Is the booming industry of prostitution and illegal gambling in Penang has anything to do with businessmen from Hong Kong? Is Lim Guan Eng actually selling Penang to Hong Kongers? A transparency in foreign political donation will definitely aid to answer these questions.

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