Jahara making way for young leaders

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 11 Nov 2017

Locking horns: Jahara debating Lim in this screenshot from an assembly sitting last year.

GEORGE TOWN: The current Penang assembly sitting may be the last for Datuk Jahara Hamid, who is the first female Opposition Leader in Penang.

The 65-year-old five-term Telok Air Tawar assemblyman from Barisan Nasional has repeatedly locked horns with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and other state exco members over a number of issues.

“After 23 years as assemblyman, I am ready to make way for young blood in the coming general election. We have been grooming the next echelon of leaders who are ready to take over,” she told The Star on the sidelines of the state legislative assembly sitting yesterday.

As a backbencher during her first term in 1995, she went on to become the state exco member for Youth, Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Comm­ittee from 1999 to 2008.

She won her seat despite Barisan Nasional losing the state administration to Pakatan Rakyat (now Pakatan Harapan) in 2008.

She was appointed the state Opposition Leader in 2013.

“We are human beings and we can’t be perfect all the time. But the DAP-led administration seems to be defensive all the time and cannot accept constructive criticism.

“Just take the recent landslide at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah. The state government was on the defensive by saying the incident was a worksite accident.

“If you have already made up your mind, what’s the point of calling for the state-level Commission of Inquiry?

“Before the outcome of the inquiry is revealed, the contractor and consultant have already been blacklisted,” she said.

Jahara said it was time for her to spend more time with her family.

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