PENANG – MBPP Infrastructure & Traffic Standing Committee Chairman
was kept in the dark too.
Penang Gerakan Youth is shocked to learn that “green bicycle lanes” have been painted, covering up most parts of the pedestrian walkways across Penang, especially in the heritage areas.
Referring to a report in the Malaysian Insider, Penang Gerakan Youth secretary Ooi Zhi Yi said doing so had left no proper walkways for pedestrians whose safety has been jeopardised.
“How can they do such a thing, what more when there is no approval by the state government, including the Penang Island City Council (MBPP),” said Ooi in a statement.
On this issue, MBPP councillor Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik reportedly said that the green bicycle lanes that have been painted on pavements across George Town are “a mistake”.
Muhammad Bakhtiar who is the MBPP infrastructure and traffic standing committee chairman said the matter was not discussed and no decision had been made by the committee, so he did not know why it had already been implemented.
Ooi said Muhammad Bakhtiar’s admission led one to believe that someone in power is using a dictatorial way to get things done first and see whether there are any complaint from the public.
“The power and authority of local councillors also seem to have been curbed as there was no discussion about the introduction of the green bicycle lanes,” Ooi added.
Therefore, Penang Gerakan Youth would like to question the DAP-led State Government whether the city councillors (some of them are representatives from NGOs) are empowered to play their role in governing the local government or are they merely rubber stamps to the DAP leadership?
Ooi recalled a similar case in July 2014 when Dr Lim Mah Hui, also a councillor, had to question at a full council meeting, about the demolishment of the heritage buildings of 218 Macalister Road.
In his speech, Dr Lim asked: “Who gave permission for this
building to be torn down? Why was permission granted for a category 2 building to be torn down?”
Recently, during a public briefing session for the Penang Transport Masterplan at the City Hall, Dr Lim had to ask questions as a member of the audience regarding the issue.
“With these happenings, it seems like the councillors are not involved in the whole process of the local government. They don’t even know what is going on,” said Ooi.
The DAP has always been talking about championing for the third vote and the empowerment of the local government.
“This has clearly shown that they are just hypocrites. The ignorance of the local councillors on local developments has proven that they are not empowered to play their role,” said Ooi.
“When the general elections are around the corner, DAP campaigned for the empowerment of local councillors, but when they are in control of the state, the local councillors are not given any power.”
“Are the councillors mere puppets or rubber stamps to the warlords of DAP?”