Penangites and Visitors Having a Good Time
Translation: Jeff Ooi sarcastically said Khoo Kay Peng has tried every
tricks and even to the extent of launching offensive criticism, just to secure
funding from the state government for his Penang Cultural Festival.
At the recently concluded New Vision for Penang's conference, which I was a panel speaker, a number of DAP senior leaders approached me about the article and told me that they accepted majority of my views.
Most importantly, my intention was sincere. Like many Penangites, I abhor the state UMNO's leadership. I look forward to a new transformational leadership. I want a people oriented and responsible government.
However, this new leadership cannot be yet another mirror image of the old. UMNO's intolerance of criticism is a classic cause of the coalition's failure. To be fair, many of the CM personal assistants and DAP state leaders were very supportive and helpful to us.
I have referred Jeff Ooi's statement to a number of them and they were equally surprised by what he has said.
Those who had attended our event knew that the entire Penang Cultural Fest was well supported by the private sector and fellow Penangites. The organisers had wanted to inspire Penangites that they do not have to depend on the government to celebrate their own diversity and rich heritage.
Only days ago I met Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Komtar Pacific launch and we spoke briefly on the initiative to make next year's Penang Cultural Fest a truly regional event. He enthusiastically gave his approval.
Since Jeff Ooi is the chief of staff, I am surprised that he made such a malicious claim that I was pushing the state government to fund my event. It is obvious that the state government did not give us such financial backing and we did not push for it. We were thankful and happy when state leaders came with their family to participate in our programmes. Chow Kon Yeow and family came to our Korean Orchestra, CM's family was at the Penang Island Jazz Festival.
Did we look unhappy? Was the Penang Cultural Fest disrupted or affected?
I have said earlier that Jeff will be judged by his statement. It is odd as a chief of staff he was not in the loop. Perhaps he was too busy doing self-promotion. I was spot on that the Chief Minister needs a real chief of staff.
Guan Eng needs someone more sensible and responsible with his words and action. Jeff Ooi was quick to praise a failed event but was even quicker to maliciously put down a successful one. He was at one of our events.
I am giving him 72 hours to retract his allegation. With a member like Jeff, DAP does not need other talents.
An editor of Malaysiakini.com just called me. I have asked him to do 3 things:
- I was disappointed his writer did not ask for my response before publishing Jeff's interview. He should publish my response by Monday.
- Contact the Chief Minister office to seek clarification on the matter
- Ask Jeff to provide a solid evidence on his allegation about me or retract his allegation
If Jeff can't take the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen. He did nothing for Penang Cultural Fest, got a free dinner cum entertainment and tossed us shit. Jeff's allegation is an insult to all our partners, sponsors, performers, state leaders who have helped and encouraged us and fellow Penangites.