GEORGE TOWN: A storm is brewing in Penang following the appointment of DAP Seremban MP Anthony Loke as a director of Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) to replace Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng of PKR.
Loke, who is DAP organising secretary, confirmed his appointment and said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had invited him to join PHC.
Many public leaders, however, are wondering about Lim’s move to bring in someone from out of state.
Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhammad Farid Saad said there were 10 MPs and 29 assemblymen from Pakatan Harapan in Penang.
“You mean to tell me none of them are capable of representing the public interest in Penang Hill?
“Lim has offended Penangites because the representatives our people picked are shelved in favour of someone from Seremban,” said Muhammad Farid, who was the Umno representative who had pushed for the motion on land reclamation that Cheah abstained from voting on during the state assembly meeting last November.
State MCA deputy chief Tan Teik Cheng was livid over the appointment.
“What possible advantage can Loke have over a Penangite when it comes to looking after Penang Hill?
“Lim is a Johorean who grew up in Malacca. State DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow is from Kuala Lumpur.
“And now they favour a public representative chosen by people in Seremban to help manage our hill. This is ridiculous,” he said.
When contacted, Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu said: “The appointment is the chief minister’s prerogative. Right or wrong, it is for the people to judge.”
Loke said the post was as a non-executive director and did not include a salary.
“I will not get any allowances, but I will help contribute to Penang’s tourism industry.
“I am DAP spokesman for tourism and cultural matters in Parliament and I have also fought for the interest of Penang’s tourism in Parliament
“I think these are the reasons why I have been appointed,” he said yesterday when contacted.