ALSO BY

CM Lim injects new vigour into Penang

Former political detainee Lim Guan Eng wasted no time leaving his mark on Penang after the brash opposition politician won power in the northern state in 2008 elections.

NONEHe quickly balanced the books of the former British colonial outpost, which were stained red after a half-century under the control of Malaysia's authoritarian ruling coalition.

He has virtually eliminated its debt, launched a campaign to halt official corruption, and has, by most accounts, injected new vigour and efficiency into the government of the important economic hub.

Today, Penang - a colourful mix of colonial architecture, pre-war Chinese shophouses, tropical beaches and high-tech factories - is on the up, as property values soar and foreign investment rolls in...