CM’s political secretary ticked off

  • Nation
  • Friday, 23 May 2003

At the Penang State Assembly

TENG Chang Yeow (BN – Padang Kota), who is also the Chief Minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s political secretary, was ticked off by the Opposition at the State Assembly for his views which appeared critical of some aspects of state affairs. 

Teng had earlier lamented about bureaucratic red tape in the heritage conservation policy, weaknesses in the state tourism products and called for the non-interference of politicians in the local government administration when Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman (PAS – Permatang Pasir) interjected: “Your views don’t seem to be in line with that of the government’s when you are the political secretary to the CM and the person closest to him.” 

Teng admitted that the government system had its weaknesses but added the Barisan Nasional government allowed the expression of differing opinions but with an acceptable level of decorum. 

“We don’t have a gag order like PAS where its members in the Terengganu state assembly would only glorify the PAS government and never talk about its weaknesses,” he said. 

State Opposition leader Abdul Rahman Abdul Kadir (Keadilan – Penanti) challenged Teng’s claims of freedom of expression by hinting at a so-called “Barisan casualty” seated behind his row as a “living proof.”  

Taking the cue, backbencher Lim Boo Chang (BN – Datuk Keramat) stood up and bowed while his neighbour Tan Cheng Liang (BN –Jawi) looked on in amusement. 

Both Lim and Tan were suspended indefinitely by the MCA since Dec 16 last year for abstaining from voting against a DAP motion calling for the postponement of the Penang Outer Ring Road project.  

In their supplementary questions on Tuesday, the two had quizzed Dr Koh over his “intentions” in getting the Barisan supreme council to take disciplinary action against them. 

Tan said the disciplinary action was not initiated by MCA but by Dr Koh who was the first to report them to the council.  

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