GEORGE TOWN (April 25, 2008): Opalyn Mok
The Penang government has formed a Penang Second Bridge Executive Committee to monitor the progress of the project.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the committee will consist of Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P.Ramasamy and state executive councillors Abdul Malik Kassim, Phee Boon Poh, Chow Kon Yeow, Law Heng Kiang and Lim Hock Seng.
"The committee will monitor and look into land matters related to the bridge project and help resolve problems arising that could slow down the project," he said.
Lim said the committee's task is to ensure that the project is completed in the shortest possible time at the lowest cost so as not to burden the people.
He also voiced his unhappiness over the federal government's apparent "cold shoulder" by not keeping the state government informed on the progress of the project.
"We are left in the dark when it comes to the project and we are not even aware of any land acquisition problems (as claimed by the federal government)," he said, adding that "what we know is what we read in the newspapers.
"If there are any land acquisition problems, we were not informed. The federal government should at least keep us informed so that we can look the problems which are under the state's jurisdiction," he said.
Speaking in his post-weekly state executive council meeting media briefing today, Lim also spoke on:
> the setting up of Penang Tourism Council (PTC) directly under the state government is still under consideration because the state will have to appoint people to the PTC carefully due to the sudden sensitivity of who the government appoints to bodies under the state.
> For the 12th Parliament 's maiden session on Monday (April 28), Lim has submitted a question on using Petronas profits to help relieve the burden of the people due to rising costs of living.
> On the monorail, the state feels the federal government may have already selected Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) and hoped the federal government had selected a system which will benefit all and reduce traffic congestion.
> State government also hopes that phase two of the monorail project will include a link between the island and the mainland.
> On Datuk Lee Kah Choon's appointment to the board of directors in Penang Development Corporation and investPenang, Lim reiterated that the appointment was based on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) and that Lee's inexperience in investment should not be brought up as the former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon also had no investment experience previously.
He also stressed that DAP did not ask Lee to join the party as a condition for his appointment.
> On the difference of opinions between him and DAP chairman Karpal Singh (Karpal said Lim should not have appointed Lee), Lim said the party will have a meeting on Sunday (April 27) to talk about the policy on the spirit of good governance.
"We will work towards getting the leadership to agree to adopt the CAT philosophy as the way to good governance. I will talk to MPs and am confident that they will support this decision," he said