Penang Island City (MBPP) councillor Lim Mah Hui should not try to gain sympathy by saying he could lose his post for speaking out against the state's Transport Master Plan (TMP), said his colleague Ong Ah Teong.
Ong said Mah Hui had never raised the issue of TMP's impact on George Town's heritage in MPBB meetings.
Nor had Mah Hui provided such information in “black and white” to the National Heritage Department, added Ong (photo, left).
The National Heritage Department together with state agency George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) oversee the protection of the heritage areas.
“We, as councillors, never heard him say these things in his adjournment speech at the MBPP full council meeting held every month,” Ong told Malaysiakini.
“He has a good platform to talk about these issues, especially when he is the councillor and also a member of the Penang Transport Council.”
Mah Hui also holds a director post in the state’s think-tank Penang Institute.
Ong added that Mah Hui had been absent at yesterday’s urgent MBPP Budget Meeting – another platform where he could raise his concerns.
“Don’t use sympathy to threaten (us by saying) you may lose your position as a councillor,” Ong told Mah Hui.
Ong was referring to Mah Hui’s remark that he will not stay mute even if Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng sacks him from his state appointed posts.
Mah Hui (photo) had dared his colleagues in the MBPP to speak up, saying that as councillors, their voice is more important than their qualifications or party affiliation.
Letter to Unesco
Mah Hui was labelled a “back-stabber” after he sent a letter to Unesco, on behalf of NGO Penang Forum, asking the world body to send a mission to assess the impact of the TMP on George Town's heritage.
State leaders complained that the letter was sent to the Unesco World Heritage Center in Paris without the prior knowledge of the state government, National Heritage Department or GTWHI.
This is despite Mah Hui having access to the authorities, they said.
“I humbly ask if he is sincere in fighting for heritage issue, please show us the letter that he sent to Unesco, disclose it and let the public judge,” said Ong, a DAP-appointed councillor.
“I respect Mah Hui but the move by Penang Forum can jeopardise many especially traders living in the area. What is his motive? Motive is very important.
“We councillors know how to use our positions to voice our concerns through the right channel, so we hope Mah Hui also know how to use his position to speak up.”