PETALING JAYA: Dr P. Ramasamy has questioned whether the recent Penang Forum dialogue on the environment was truly informative.
The Penang Deputy Chief Minister II said that the behaviour of certain participants showed they were more interested in bashing the state government instead of discussing floods and hill development.
"The dialogue organised by Penang Forum, a loose coalition of civil society groups, in Penang yesterday (Oct 29) on floods and hill developments could be hardly described as informative," he said in a statement on his official Facebook page on Monday.
Dr Ramasamy said that while elected representatives were invited, only one DAP member, four PKR members and a few Umno members showed up.
He added that although a few professionals gave their assessment about the causes of floods and landslides, Dr Ramasamy said their voices were drowned out by critics of the Penang government.
Dr Ramasamy said the Umno reps there became the "natural champions" of the Penang Forum after they promised to take up the issues in next month's state assembly sitting.
He said many elected representatives could not turn up due to their tight work schedule, and added that the Penang Forum arranged the meeting without consulting members of the state government.
"They were ridiculed for not turning up, and one participant even raised his voice saying that they were busy attending Deepavali open houses," he said.
He said the Penang government was open to criticism about its policies in relation to flood mitigation and hillside developments, but not to suggestions that the state government be replaced.