Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Peril of Governing

Yes, I have criticised a PR government in Penang. It might have ruffled some feathers. But, who said criticism is mainly reserved for the BN? This is the peril of being in government. Any political party wishes to govern must be willing to subject itself to public scrutiny.

Not all criticisms are destructive if taken in a positive light. Yes, the DAP did not have 51 years. Some said it should be given at least 10 years to prove its worth to restore the damage done by BN. Can anyone point out which damage needs another 10 years to fix?

The fact is any political party would welcome a longer period to stay in power. Our concern is not to ensure how long a party should stay in power but how well it is able to govern. Without a serious re-look at Penang's economic model, transportation system, public security, flood mitigation system and others, can we possibly last another 10 years and still boast of being a truly international city?

Any administration if does not get its bearing right during the first 12 months will lose its focus. That is why Obama was grilled barely two days after his unofficial victory for his decision on some appointments. If we want this government to last and to become an enduring model of good governance, it is our duty to ensure it stays on track.

Many of you claim that this government lacks experience and it is too early to judge its performance. My earlier article was not meant to measure its performance but to act as a sounding board to help the government reconsider some of its decisions. The fact that his team lacks experience makes it even more pertinent for us to keep them on their toes.

I criticize because I want the DAP to do well. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has set the ground work for his CAT government. By promoting competency, accountability and transparency, it is time for him to look at other socio-economic issues. I know and appreciate his sincerity. He told me he wanted to ensure Penang succeed at the very beginning of his administration.

It is this commitment of his that I told him I will act as both his critic and friend to ensure he delivers what he has promised.

Those of you who tried to link me to my ex-Sedar days and resort to personal attacks have missed the point. You have missed by a great length. A society which cannot tolerate and debate issues are bound to be bankrupt of ideas.

What is so different between you and several UMNO lackeys who occasionally post disgusting personal and racist comments on my blog?

If Guan Eng tells me personally that he does not appreciate my comments, I will stop discussing his government. The loss is not mine.

The fact he and his supporters like you will have to live with is the DAP does not have 10 years.

I want to see him be given more time. Not by going out of the way to justify his inadequacies but by giving him a hard time to perform his optimal best. Moreover, giving him my full support and help when needed like helping to promote Penang's heritage and cultural diversity.

If you abhor BN rule, then say and do something constructive.


Anonymous said...

Dear Khoo,
We agree and support you on your constructive criticism of the Penang gomen.

Feedback enables the captain of the boat to change course to prevent any major accident from happening.

The captain should welcome such feedback and not just have a one-sided perspective. If they ignore feedback from the ground, they are no different from UMNO /BN. In time, they too will be kicked out if they don't deliver what they preach.

Chng Meng Kung said...

Hi Kay Peng,

Well said and I agreed with you. Very often our best friends are also our worst enemies for they lead you astray by providing you the answers and comments you want to hear.

Conversely, an enemy or a well-intentioned will keep you on your toes and their actions will keep you focused and at your best. What we don't need are sycophants, trumpeteers and people who have honey on their lips and devil in their hearts.

Keep on providing LGE with feedback, good or otherwise. All vessels big or small need a compass; more so in the case of DAP Penang which is sailing in ocean waters for the first time.

Best wishes to you and DAP Penang.

zozdaniel said...

Mr KKP, I fully support your views and frankness in providing diverse views on progressive governance.

The often arrogant and fascist stance of the long standing Federal tyrants, blindly aped and pacified by the lackeys have deeply scarred our thoughts and belittled our mother nature intelligence. We cannot afford the return of these shameless lackeys and it is right that the current Penang administration are constantly reminded and awaken in fulfilling the expectations of the people.

The next General Election may be held in April 2009, when Najib wish to justify his mandate, and image building should have already started by now.

Remember, the public demand bold and fast action in evaluating Competency.

Anonymous said...

I would like to highlight that the damage done on the cleanliness of Penang may take more than 10 years to fix!!

Let's bring back the beauty and glory of The Pearl of Orient.

Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with Kay Peng that if any government or management of an organization is unable to take criticism will not be able to do well as there is no one to play the role of devil advocate. We (Penangites) and also th present state government should infact appreciate there is someone out there who is willing to contribute his/her ideas/comments for the betterment of the state.

KongKor said...

I completely agree with you Mr. Khoo. As responsible citizen, we should continue to provide constructive criticisms provided that the othe party is willing to listen and work harder for the people. It does not matter whether it is PR or BN government.

Engaging and constant dialogue with the people is the key factor for any government of the day to succeed, make no mistake.

As a Penangite, I am quite pleased with YB Lim Guan Eng and team so far despite some minor setback, an eye opener for the people and a welcome change.

clearwater said...

LGE and his men must succeed in transforming Penang as an example to all Malaysians as to what caring and responsive leadership can achieve. That is the best answer to BN racial politics. An honest mistake does not break a man, it only spurs him to try harder. I do not think your comments were ill intentioned, and I do not think LGE will take offense even if some supporters may be miffed. I want to thank you for your straight talk, it is a breath of fresh air.

Teh said...

Good evening KKP,

I am Penang born. Even though I spend more years in PJ than in Penang, there is still that fond attachment to this island where I was born, educated and got my first job.

Thus, I really want to see Penang returned to its previous state of glory where Penangites are known for their resourcefulness, intellect, industriousness and friendliness. In the past, it is one of the most successful Malaysian state.

However over the years, all these eroded away thanks to BN.

Now that it is under the leadership of LGE, I must say I have high expectations for him and his team to turn thing around for the better. The old BN ways of wastefulness must not be repeated.

So I expect that every plan that LGE and team have for Penang must be well-thought with regards to the benefits it could bring for the people and the state and the mode of implementation must be immaculate and impecable. There should only be slim margin for errors.

All in all I must say that LGE and team had faired quite well but there is always room for improvement.

KPP, I agree with you on your previous posting that immediate attention is needed with regards to cleanliness, public safety and economy. The first 2 factors would enhance tourism now that Penang is heritage status and investors. Once in place, tourism and investment revenue will naturally follow.

It is people like you with straight talk that a good government needs but apple polishers. Give credit where credit is due and constructive critism for improvement. I am sure LGE is wise enough not to take offence or ignore sincere feedbacks.

Anonymous said...

The best is yet to come. So what if 2009 will be a general election? I think Mongolian story continues and no doubt, the police folks who are in the docks didn't do it without any orders for nothing...

Bow said...

It is the duty of every citizen to criticize elected government's flaw policy, and he does has that rights in Malaysia. Whether officials willing to listen and change is another matter.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is time the Pakatan government gets its act together and focus on how it intends to take the state forward in the wake of the "unfriendly" attitude of the federal government and the previous state administration.

Whilst it is not entirely wrong to bring up issues of wrong doings of their predecessors, it is more important to chart the way forward.

Granted the present administration has a handicap due to its lack of experience and leaders of high capability and calibre running the state government.

However, when it comes to the crunch, particularly with the bleak economic outlook ahead, the people of Penang will soon lose patience and confidence if the state government cannot do what is expected of it to bring us forward.

So, in a nutshell, the Pakatan government should now focus on how to take us forward rather spend too much time looking back (unless, of course, this involves gross misdeeds) and pointing fingers.


Bow said...

To be an effective and responsible government, LGE shouldn't see constructive criticism negatively, instead he should look into the validity of it and ready to change state policy for the betterment of average Penagites's livelihood.

Ti Lian Ker said...

Well done....straight talking...we need one has a monopoly of right or wrong...we just have to expose the wrongs and help make more rights