'NST report on the Penang Paradigm inaccurate'

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I wish to set the record straight on what was reported in the New Straits Times on Feb 22, 2013 under the misleading heading, 'Penang Paradigm is nothing new'. The author misquotes me and takes me substantially out of context. Furthermore juxtaposing what I said, with Teng Chang Yeow's statement that the Penang state government's vision is just two words, ‘Penang Paradigm', makes me seem like a bed-fellow with the Barisan Nasional.

Last week, the author of the article asked me about the Penang Blueprint and the Penang Paradigm. I told her that the blueprint which sets out the development agenda and priorities for the state, has been completed a couple of years ago, but was since shelved to accommodate the federal's government request to work together for a greater Penang development plan.

Since nothing came out of it - and we heard on Feb 23, 2013 at the official launching of the Penang Paradigm, that the Penang state government waited in vain for a year for a response from the federal government about its progress - the state government had decided to launch its own development agenda this time, the Penang Paradigm.

It is not totally new in the sense that it builds upon the basics of the earlier Penang Blueprint. It is new in another sense that it is more comprehensive, analytical, and even more participatory. A series of workshops with stakeholders, including civil society, was held over a couple of weeks to solicit input for the formulation of the Penang Paradigm.

In addition, with the official launch of its website today, the public has been encouraged to provide further feedback and input to make the document an even better one.

This is a far cry from the policies and methods of the Barisan Nasional.

To put me together with Teng Chang Yeow, and to publish the article just one day before the official launch of the Penang Paradigm seems mischievous at best, and malicious at worst. I call upon the New Straits Times to correct the misreporting and to exercise more professionalism in future.

DR LIM MAH HUI is an MPPP councillor and a member of the board of directors of the Penang Institute.


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