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Malaysia: Lim Guan Eng Sworn In As Penang’s Fourth CM

PENANG, MALAYSIA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was sworn in as Penang’s fourth Chief Minister before the Governor, Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, Tuesday (11 Mar). Earlier, he received the appointment letter from Abdul Rahman, witnessed by State Secretary Datuk Jamaluddin Hassan, Sin Chew Daily reports.

This is the first of the three state governments won by the alternative coalition comprising DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and PAS to be sworn in. The other two states are Perak and Selangor. The new coalition won 29 of the 40 state seats in Penang at the polls last Saturday (8 Mar). DAP won 19 seats, PKR nine and PAS one to form the state government.

Lim garnered 6,601 votes to win the state seat of Air Putih by beating MCA’s Tan Yoke Cheng with a majority of 4,061 votes. Lim also won the Penang parliamentary seat of Bagan with 33,748 votes beating Song Choy Leng by a majority of 22,070 votes.

This is the first time a DAP-led government has taken control over the state. Penang last fell to Gerakan, which was then in the opposition, in 1969. Subsequently, Gerakan joined the Barisan. At last week’s polls, Gerakan was completely wiped out.

The swearing in ceremony took place at the governor’s residence “Seri Mutiara”. Lim was accompanied by his wife, Betty Chew, who is also assemblywoman for the Kota Laksamana state seat in Melaka.

Present were outgoing chief minister and acting Gerakan president, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP, PKR and PAS assemblymen. Also present at the ceremony was Lim’s father Kit Siang, who is the party adviser.

Lim is reported as saying that among the first thing that his administration would do is to introduce a Freedom of Information Act and to try to get all public office bearers to publicly declare their personal assets.

Other changes include restoring local council elections and introducing open tenders for all government procurement. He also waived all summonses issued by the local councils against hawkers and parking offenders.

Lim, 48, is an accountancy and economics graduate from Australia's Monash University. He worked as a bank officer for two years before winning the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat in 1986 when he was only 26.

In March 1999, the Johor-born has to vacate the Kota Melaka seat after he was jailed for a year for offences under the Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. Following his conviction, Lim Guan Eng was barred from active politics for five years till Aug 2004. (MySinchew)

MySinchew 2008.03.11


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