Penang a free port? Why not now? — Jaleel Hameed
JUNE 29 — Well, well, well. The Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) has launched a signature campaign for a petition to get free-port status and a monorail for the state. Good on them, and bless their souls for thinking about the state, now that it is no longer in their hands.
How come they didn’t think of this when they were in power? Why now? And why a petition? Mr Prime Minister, sir, are you some benevolent patriarch who will consider the request and sagely agree for the good of Penang?
Is your coalition following the Singapore style of politics, sir. You know, only give something when you win the seat or the state but hold back development as a punishment for not winning. That’s how they do it over there, sir.
Because, you see, sir, I think this petition business is all a wayang.
Your Penang BN information chief, Tan Cheng Liang, said yesterday copies of the petition would be distributed to all BN state assemblymen, state assembly co-ordinators, organisations and industries in the state.
“The petition will collect signatures for a month before being forwarded to the federal government for further action. Individuals supporting the petition can sign them at the nearest BN service centres,” he said, in the news article carried by The Malaysian Insider courtesy of Bernama.
Tan also said, sir, the state BN was confident the petition would be positively considered by the people in the state as it involved economic interests, in line with the National Economic Transformation Plan mooted by you.
And then he rapped the action of the state government under the opposition coalition which was against the petition through their blogs, reflecting their worry on BN’s capability in carrying out its proposal.
Let’s look at this logically sir. You have previously said Penang already has five free trade zones and the concept of a free port in the state no longer exists.
So I want to know, sir, if you will stick to that line or waver to consider this “petition” from the Penang BN.
It all looks manufactured, sir. It all looks like a great election ploy to get back the state from Lim Guan Eng and Co.
If you are sincere, sir, and fair to all Malaysians because you are PM for all Malaysians, why don’t you just study the proposal and implement it whether you win the state or not.
You see, sir, Penangites are Malaysians too. They just decided to kick out a government that wasn’t working and put in one that they hope is working. So, if you want the best for them as you do for the rest of 1 Malaysia, just give free-port status and a monorail to them.
As it is, sir, your colleague in the MCA is holding up investments in the state. A few people who want to set up private hospitals have been told a flat “no”. That there are too many hospitals there.
Well, sir. Regulators should just regulate and ensure quality is met. It shouldn’t matter to them if the business fails. That is part of business life, sir.
Show your sincerity, Mr PM. Give Penang its free-port status and a monorail if they want it, no matter if BN wins back the state.
Come on, sir, you can do it.
* Jaleel Hameed reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.