Sunday, August 27, 2006

PM Unhappy Over Imbalance In Penang's Development. Penang CM's Nightmare Prolonged.

Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon must feel that he is in the midst of a never ending nightmare. Just as he was thinking that the Umno Youth rotation issue was about to blow over, Pak Lah dealt a devastating blow to any optimism he might have been harbouring that the good old days were back again.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi criticised the imbalance in the development of Penang, particularly on the island which is concentrated on certain areas only although Penang is renowned as a "Silicon Island" in the world.

The Prime Minister said several areas on the island were still lagging behind and left out of the mainstream of development, especially areas with Malay majority such as Balik Pulau compared to Georgetown and the northern parts of the island which had long been developed.
He said the state government must give consideration to these areas so that they did not remain undeveloped and neglected like "one's backyard".

"We don't want any area on the island to be `alienated' and undeveloped. Don't let it happen. We don't want these areas to appear like a backyard which is not developed and unhealthy...this can't be allowed to continue." he said.

"There were still many aspects involving the Malays which must be looked into. I will make a visit here (Penang) as Prime Minister to determine measures to be taken to develop the state...whatever criticism, advice and views can be forwarded so that they can be discussed and implemented," he said.

Man, that is some indictment of the Penang state government. If the PM tightens the screw further, then Koh's position as CM becomes shaky and untenable. It's not as if Gerakan is going to be shown the door, but there might be wisdom in seriously thinking of a replacement for Koh from within Gerakan, at least to assuage ruffled Umno feathers.

All said, Koh's future political career looks set to continue in a federal post in Putrajaya. Whether he'll be given a 'respectable' portfolio there or compelled to follow the path of a former MB of Perak who for a time was made to squirm in ignominy as a deputy minister, only time will tell.


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