Story by Chan Lilian
Pix by MPPP Photographer
ONCE upon a time, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad labelled Penang as “Pulau Pinang Darul Sampah” due to its filthy state.
Newspaper records also show that as recently as 2006, just before the Pakatan Rakyat took over the administration of the state, the island still had its perennial dirty image.
However, as described by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at the swearing-in ceremony of the new batch of Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) councillors, Penang had overcome this image.
Penang is now truly the Pearl of the Orient which shines.
Heading to becoming the Penang City Council with a vision to be an international city, Lim expounded to the newly-elected councillors their responsibilities in achieving the vision.
Lim also reminded them that it is a full-time job and they are expected to serve the people.
The allowances for the councillors had been increased in recent years. “Your job is to support the assemblymembers in their tasks. Integrity is a priority. With your allocations, spend wisely for the rakyat. Don’t spend for the sake of spending and anyone who cannot account for the spending will be sacked,” he warned.
Meanwhile, exco member for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Chow Kon Yeow gave a gentle reminder.
“Leadership and ownership are very important. If you can engage the people, things will be done. Focus also on the smaller issues as these can give big results. Know your people, work for them. Work together with the people to transform the city,” he said. MPPP also extended the service of retired secretary Ang Aing Thye and soon to retire MPPP chief Datuk Patahiyah Ismail for another one year.
“Both Ang and Patahiyah have done a great job for the council. With Penang soon to become a city, we shall have to continue to rely on them during this transition of MPPP to become MBPP (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang or Penang City Council),” he said.
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