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Penang Chief Minister drives into a storm

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PETALING JAYA: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s purchase of a new Mercedes-Benz S300L official car was criticised by Barisan Nasional politicians and even DAP’s Pakatan Rakyat partners.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan accused Lim of being “hypocritical”.

“He accuses the Federal Government of being spendthrift. But look at him now. Cakap tak serupa bikin (he doesn’t walk the talk),” he said yesterday.

He was commenting on Lim’s official car, which the Penang government had acquired yesterday at a special discount.

Abdul Rahman said that Lim had gone against “everything that he was talking about Barisan Nasional leaders”.

“He is just satisfying his ego by purchasing the car. This shows that he is a forked tongue leader,” he added.

MIC youth chief C. Sivarraajh said that it was not right for Lim to get a new car when he has been preaching to the Federal Government about cost-cutting.

“There is nothing wrong in him wanting to get a new car. But when Pakatan Rakyat has been talking about cost-cutting and being frugal, it does not seem right,” he said.

PKR and PAS questioned whether the purchase was necessary in light of the rising cost of living faced by the people.

“I have no problem if they bought the car at a cheaper price.

“But, if the old vehicles can still be used, why the need to change?” PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said although Lim is entitled to the car as a chief minister, it has always been Pakatan’s principle to spend prudently.

“If there’s a need for a new car, then (the price) is reasonable. But is it necessary?

“He needs to clarify himself, otherwise we will be seen behaving like Barisan people,” she said.

Meanwhile, netizens were divided over the purchase.

Facebook user Thirumaran Velaithum said Lim deserved the car in view of the sacrifices he has made over the years.

“Let the man drive a good car at least,” he added.

Steve Chow said it did not matter what car Lim was in. What was more important was the way he runs Penang.

Napsiah Wan Salleh said politicians must exercise discretion not to flaunt power or wealth because they are spending the taxpayer’s money.


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