Rename George Town as Limguaneng Town

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There has to be something wrong with the DAP-led state administration in Penang. In May, its official newsletter Buletin Mutiara had glorified Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, publishing 51 photos of the leader across 28 pages, leading to howls of criticism.

As if that embarrassing example of sycophancy wasn’t enough, they have now repeated it: the latest issue of the publicly-funded newsletter has 28 pictures of the chief minister splashed across 28 pages! At least they’ve lowered the ratio to 1 photo per page.

What is it about Guan Eng that he wants to be constantly reassured that he is still in charge? Maybe it is his antidote for the constant squabbles taking place within the DAP.

Take, for instance, the headline that screams out on the front page: “The Hills Are Alive!” Under it a beaming Guan Eng waves from Penang Hill, surrounded by some more happy faces.

This is no doubt the Chief Minister’s attempt at covering up all the recent bad press that hills are being destroyed under his watch.

A recent New Straits Times report showed that the hill behind the wet market at Mount Erskine was “being killed” by rampant development with little or no monitoring of what was going on.

With first-time DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu taking on Guan Eng over the issue, it is clear that even DAP representatives are worried about the anti-DAP sentiment among residents following the long-term damage being done to Penang’s environment.

It is widely recognised that the DAP is not interested in solving the problem – Guan Eng’s administration is seen as just too close to the developers’ lobby to reign in their reckless building plans.

So what does the Chief Minister do? Does he crack down on his favourite developers and put a stop to the destruction of Penang’s environment? No, instead he has a huge photo of himself plastered on the newsletter front page.

Your smiling face will not make the environmental problem go away, Guan Eng.

In subsequent pages, he is seen braving rising waters to visit a flood-hit area in the Datuk Keramat state constituency. He is also pictured attending various functions, to show no doubt how hardworking a leader he is.

This is a sheer waste of taxpayers’ money for one man’s glorification.

Penang’s Barisan Nasional information chief Tan Cheng Liang said the DAP-led state government should consider changing the name of the newsletter to Lim Guan Eng Pau as the Chief Minister seemed to have turned a state publication into a mouthpiece to glorify himself.

Buletin Mutiara editor-in-chief Yap Lee Ying tried to make amends by issuing a public apology over the May newsletter and blaming the 51 photos of Guan Eng on a “technical slip-up.”

What Yap was trying to say was that the 51 photos of Guan Eng got taken by ‘mistake’, they found themselves on the pages of the newsletter by ‘mistake’, and then somehow some editor put captions on each photo by ‘mistake’, and then the newsletter got published, again by ‘mistake.’ That is some technical slip-up!

Wonder what excuse Yap will offer now for the 28 photos in the latest newsletter. That his computer has a virus?

Perhaps Guan Eng should just drop the pretence. He should have banners and photos of himself placed wherever he looks, so that he can feel in command.

Why stop there? He could just rename George Town as Limguaneng Town. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but the long-suffering residents will just have to get used to it.

At least papa Lim Kit Siang would be proud of his son. -thechoice