PENANG: New Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has introduced a series of populist decisions from giving a one-time waiver of summonses issued by local councils to the abandoning of New Economic Policy measures by the state administration.
He said the state government also wanted to foster harmonious relations with the Federal Government in all respects and he would seek an appointment with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss moves to address the needs of the people of Penang.
He said this during a press conference after being sworn in as Chief Minister at his new office in Komtar here yesterday.
Lim said the key areas of the new agenda for Penang included the economy, governance and social needs of the people.
He said the agenda for change would “re-establish rule by the rakyat.”
He also said that the Chief Minister, state exco members, speaker and deputy speaker, as well as the heads of the Penang and Seberang Prai municipal councils would be required to publicly declare their personal assets.
On the move to waive summonses issued by the Penang and Seberang Prai Municipal Councils before March 11, Lim said the move was to help reduce the burden faced by the people, especially the poor.
However, further offences of such nature would not be excused, he said.
Lim said he hoped to discuss with Abdullah the possibility of using Petronas’ proceeds to fully fund the construction cost of the Federal Government’s second Penang Bridge project.
He also hoped federal funding to Penang would not be affected by the change of government, adding that the funding was provided for under the Federal Constitution.
“I don't think Abdullah wants to see Penangites suffer just because they exercised their right to vote in the March 8 elections,” he said.
On how he felt being the Chief Minister, Lim replied: “Being a former prisoner, I did not expect to sit on the chief minister's chair. It is really a transformation and quite an experience for me.”