PETALING JAYA: MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun chided the Penang Deputy Chief Minister and two executive councillors for failing to deliver their winding-up speeches at the recent Penang state assembly sitting.
Chew, who is also Penang MCA State Liaison Committee chairman, said that for Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon and the excos Dr Afif Bahardin and Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim to be abroad during the winding-up session on May 23 was irresponsible.
“Not only did they fail to live up to their voters’ trust, their non-attendance affected the normal process of state assembly questions,” Chew said in a statement yesterday.
She said it was more surprising that the three had their absence approved by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
As a result of their absence, she said, the views and questions put forward by backbenchers for the people could not be addressed or answered.
“Not only is this contempt of public opinion, it shows a lack of respect by the state assembly to live up to the mandate entrusted by voters,” said Chew.
Mohd Rashid is chairman of the Industrial Development, International Trade, Cooperatives and Entrepreneur Development and Community Relations Committee while Dr Afif is Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman.
Abdul Malik is the Religious Affairs, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman.
On Friday, Lim had said that he felt uneasy over the absence of the three.
“I will advise exco members not to travel overseas during state assembly sittings in future,” he said, adding that the three were on official trips.
Lim had also admitted to approving the trips but had said that he was unaware the date of the travel clashed with that of the assembly sitting.
Chew said Lim’s excuses were not acceptable because he would have been aware of the date of the assembly sitting which was already known about three and a half months ago and which had been approved and gazetted by the Penang exco.
“Guan Eng must have his Deputy Chief Minister and the two excos apologise to Penangites,” she said.
Mohd Rashid had rushed through his winding-up speech in eight minutes during a sitting the night before May 23.
Abdul Malik and Dr Afif had not been present the next day to answer questions or deliver their winding-up speeches, which had to be read out by fellow exco members Chong Eng and Jagdeep Singh.