Who’s Against Privatisation Of Penang Port?
THE Penang DAP’s attempt to capitalise on the privatisation of Penang Port by trying to rile the people into `saving the port from falling into the hands of outsiders` seems to have blown up right in the faces of party leaders – especially Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
The privatisation issue was supposed to be a `God-sent` for Lim to exploit and he had galvanised all the state leaders and grassroots members to harp on how the federal was taking away from Penangites what was rightly theirs.
An all out campaign to stir up peoples’ sentiments about the issue had been planned, with briefing sessions held for DAP members and propaganda leaflets all set to be distributed.
However, Lim’s strategy has suddenly been derailed – no thanks to how the issue was handled by Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek during his recent debate with the DAP secretary-general.
Dr Chua had put Lim to shame when he outlined how the privatisation would actually benefit Penang before chastising the latter for his lack of knowledge on how the port was actually performing below par compared to other ports in the country.
Lim was left speechless and he could not even rebut a single fact or figure provided by Dr Chua about the port during the debate.
Having lost the argument with Dr Chua, Lim tried another strategy by calling all the port stakeholders for a meeting for their views on the privatisation.
However, the truth is now emerging that the stakeholders were called for the roundtable discussions on false pretences and not everyone claimed by Lim to be present at the meeting was actually there. [This include representatives from Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI)]
It has also been revealed that those invited were told that the meeting was to discuss Penang’s future with nothing specific mentioned about the privatisation issue.
Allegations have also emerged that the Chief Minister’s office lied when it issued a statement declaring that stakeholders who attended the roundtable discussion with Lim had unanimously rejected the privatisation of the Penang Port.
Lim’s statement on the so-called declaration was issued on July 11 and widely reported by pro-DAP websites and also picked up by other media agencies.
One of the the reports include the following : http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/business-news/216742-stakeholders-reject-privatisation.html
Lim had then claimed that those who met him had unanimously passed five resolutions to reject the privatisation of the port to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary’s Seaport Terminal Sdn Bhd.
The statement from Lim’s office claimed that the Malay, Indian, Chinese Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI), Frepenca (the Free Industrial Zone, Penang, Companies’ Association), logistics providers, freight forwarders, importers and exporters, shipping companies and agents as well as stevedores and port employees had rejected the port privatisation plan which they say would reduce the 220-year-old port to feeder status.
However, North Malaysia Shipping Agents Association (NMSAA) representatives who attended the roundtable discussion have given a different picture of what actually transpired at the meeting.
NMSAA president Datuk Khoo Kay Huat and vice-president Ong Chiang Kheng recently clarified that the association had never been against the privatisation of Penang Port, as alleged by Lim.
Khoo said the association, which represented 65 shipping agents in Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Perak, did not want to be dragged into Lim’s political games against the privatisation.
Khoo claimed the so-called resolutions were drafted by Lim’s office without consultation with the stakeholders.
“Lim’s statement appeared as if there was a consensus among all stakeholders about the resolutions, but frankly that was not thecase.”
Literally caught with his pants down lying, Lim is still trying to justify the statement from his office by maintaining that all those present at the meeting had indeed opposed the privatisation of the port.
To back his claims, Lim played a video clip of the night’s proceedings, where there was a footage which showed a group of stakeholders posing with him for photos after the meeting.
The clip included shots of Ong posing for pictures and shaking hands with Lim.
Lim must think that the people are fools when he uses clips of the port stakeholders shaking hands and posing for pictures with him to prove that they agree with his stand to oppose the privatisation of the port.
Having mastered the art of `Tai Chi` (shifting blame to others), it looks like Lim is now resorting to outright lies to stir hatred among the people against anything the federal government does.
By: Hush Hush/ The Mole