As a democracy country, there are many politicians in Malaysia. Based on the Oxford English Dictionary, politician means that a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office. Besides, due to the Macmillan Dictionary, it is defined that politician is someone who has a job in politics and especially a member of parliament. Other than that, politician is a leader engaged in civil administration and always active in party politics.
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For those who are interested to become a politician or a political leader, he or she is involved in influencing public policy and decision making. This may be included people who hold decision making positions in government, and people who seek to those positions. However, politics is not limited to governance through public office. Political offices may also be held in corporations, and other entities that are governed by self-defined political processes. This can be known as freedom fighters.
In order to become a politician in Malaysia, the individuals must be very active in political area. They are politically active especially in party politics. They must be a person who is holding or seeking political office whether elected or appointed, whether professionally or otherwise. Besides, the positions range is from local offices to executive, legislative and judicial offices of state and national governments. Some law enforcement officers, such as sheriffs are considered to be politicians also.
There are many roles that need to be carried up as a politician. It is a common error to assume that the politician’s role is to create jobs, encourage economic activity, enhance the welfare and well-being of his subjects, preserve the territorial integrity of his country, and fulfill a host of other functions.
However, in truth, the politician has a single and exclusive role which is to get re-elected. His primary responsibility is to his party and its members. His relationship is with his real constituency, the party’s rank and file. So, we can simplify that a politician is just like the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and he needs to answer to the corporation’s major shareholders.
Lastly, a politician must manage to persuade people that everything will just go on getting better. As a general rule, politicians cannot lie. They can just say the real thing to the society. All politicians know that they will never get elected if they did not tell out the truth and try to lie to the society. No opposition politician will make strong statements pointing out structural difficulties or impending disaster because one day they hope to be in power and so they will do nothing that might frighten the electorate. So, a politician must be a very sincere person and he or she must stand towards the justice.
One of the respected and honorable politician in Malaysia is Lim Guan Eng. Lim Guan Eng is a Chinese man who was born on 8 December 1960. The place of birth of Lim Guan Eng is in Johor Bahru. Lim Guan Eng is a Chinese name and Lim is the family name. The father of Lim Guan Eng is Lim Kit Siang who was also involved in politic before this. Lim Kit Siang, father of Lim Guan Eng is a prominent leader of the Democratic Action Party. This is a democratic socialist opposition party in Malaysia. Lim Kit Siang had become the leader of the opposition party in the Dewan Rakyat from 1973 to 1999 and 2004 to 2008.
Besides, Lim Guan Eng is married to Betty Chew Gek Cheng. Betty Chew Gek Cheng is one of the Malaysian Chinese politicians. She is coming from the Democratic Action Party which is also known as (DAP). In the year of 2005, Betty Chew Gek Cheng became the chief of the DAP Malacca women’s wing. Other than that, she is also represents the constituency of Kota Laksamana in the State Assembly of Malacca.  Lim Guan Eng and Betty Chew Gek Cheng have a total of four children. They have three sons and a daughter only.
In addition, Lim Guan Eng himself is a Member of Parliament for Bagan, State Assembly man for Air Puteh. He is the 4th Chief Minister of the State of Penang. He is also the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP). DAP completed a clean sweep of all 19 Penang state seats it contested in the 12th Malaysian General Election.
Moreover, there is also the early education of Lim Guan Eng. First and foremost, Lim Guan Eng attended to the La Salle Primary English School which is situated in Petaling Jaya. After that, he also continued for his study at Montfort Primary English School which is situated at Batu Pahat. Next, as for his secondary education, he went to the High School which is also situated in Batu Pahat. Later, he went to the Malacca High School to further his study.
As for his university’s life, he was study at Monash University which is one of the famous universities in Australia. The course that he was taking during that time was the Bachelor of Economics. Finally, Lim Guan Eng managed to graduate from Monash University, Australia. He was successfully became a qualified professional accountant in the year of 1983. Other than that, he was also the president of (MUISS) which is known as Monash University International Student Society.
Furthermore, there was also the early career of Lim Guan Eng. Before participating himself into the political area, Lim Guan Eng was a Bank Senior executive. He was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka in the year of 1986 by defeating the former Malaysian football captain, Soh Chin Aun with a majority of 17,606 votes.
In October of the year 1987, Lim Guan Eng was detained in “Operation Lalang” under the inhumane Internal Security Act also known as ISA for almost 18 months. He was released after 18 months on April 1989.
After joining in the Democratic Action Party, his political life becomes more active. As a proof to show that he began to active in the political area, he was appointed as the DAP Socialist Youth Chairman in the year of 1989. Then, he was elected to that post in the year of 1992.
Besides, he was then re-elected in the subsequent year of 1990 and 1995 for general elections as MP for Kota Melaka for the second and third term, albeit with reduced majority votes. He thus became the first person to be elected for three consecutive terms in Kota Melaka. Other than that, he was also the first Malacca High School alumnus to achieve this. In the year 1995 also, he was elected as the DAP Deputy Secretary-General. Unfortunately, Lim Guan Eng was charged under the Sedition Act during this year also.
After 12 months, Lim Guan Eng was released which is on 25 August 1999 due to his good behavior. Due to his incarceration, he was barred from standing for election for a period of five years. Therefore, he was ineligible to contest in the 2004 General Election. So in the year of 2004, he became the Secretary-General of the party in May.
In 8 March 2008, Lim Guan Eng again contested in the Bagan parliamentary seat and Air Putih state seat in the General Election. Finally, he won the Bagan seat, defeated Song Choy Leng (BN) with a majority of 22,070 votes, and the Air Putih seat beating Tan Yoke Cheng (BN) with a 4,061 vote margin. Besides, during 11 March 2008, he also sworn in as the Chief Minister of Penang and initiated a system of governance which is based on the principles of ‘Competency, Accountability and Transparency’ and with a soul as one that adopts an ethical and moral leadership that professes and gives faith, hope and love.
Problems and obstacles faced by Lim Guan Eng
Based on the whole political career stated above, Lim Guan Eng had faced some problems and obstructs in the year of 1994. He was arrested by the Malaysian police in 1994. This is because of his criticism on the government’s handling of allegations of statutory rape in one of his constituents by former Chief Minister of the state of Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik. Consequently, while the Attorney General decided not to press charges on Rahim Thamby Chik, Lim Guan Eng was charged under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948 and also under Section 8A (1). The victim who was actually a Malay girl was initially detained by Malaysian police without parental consent for 10 days.
With the verdict on the trial of Malaysian parliamentarian Lim Guan Eng due to be delivered shortly, Amnesty International reiterates its concern that Lim Guan Eng could face up to six years in jail and be disqualified from Parliament. Amnesty International considers that the charges against Lim Guan Eng were politically motivated, designed to intimidate dissenting voices and to limit debate on an issue of genuine public concern. Amnesty International believes that if convicted, he would be a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for the peaceful expression of his political views.
Lim Guan Eng was charged in 1995 under the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act. His trial opened in January 1996 and concluded on 28 February 1997 at the Malacca High Court. The judge who was Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah was expected to deliver his judgment on 28 April 1997.
Due to the happening of this incident, Lim Guan Eng was barred from standing for election for a period of five years. Base on the rule, members of parliament who are jailed for a year, or who are fined more than RM2000 (approximately US$780), will automatically forfeit their parliamentary seats. In addition, Amnesty International concern that Lim Guan Eng could be imprisoned. Besides, the organization is also concerned that if he is convicted, his constituents will be denied their elected representative simply because he spoke out on their behalf.
Malaysian police arrested and charged Lim Guan Eng after he had publicly criticized the government’s handling of allegations of statutory rape against the former Chief Minister of Malacca, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik in the year 1994. In January 1995, Lim Guan Eng also stated that “double standards” were being applied in the statutory rape case. Attorney General Mohtar Abdullah had decided not to prosecute Rahim Tamby Chik, while the underaged alleged victim, a fifteen-year old Muslim school girl was placed under “protective custody”.
On 28 February 1995, Lim Guan Eng was accused under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act of prompting “disaffection with the administration of justice in Malaysia”. If he found guilty, he need to face up to three years in jail and a RM5000 (approximately US$1,960) fine or both. In addition, on 17 March 1995, Lim Guan Eng was charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act for “maliciously printing” a pamphlet containing allegedly “false information” specifically because he had used the term “imprisoned victim” in reference to the alleged rape victim. This charge carries a jail term of three years, a fine not exceeding RM20000 (approximately US$7,894) or both.
Following the Federal Court’s ruling, Judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah ruled that the prosecution had in fact proved both charges against Lim Guan Eng “beyond reasonable doubt” and that the defense had a case to answer. Regarding Lim Guan Eng’s allegedly seditious verbal statements, the judge ruled that the report of a single junior police officer which was unsupported by an audio recording, constituted sufficient evidence to proceed.
Besides, regarding the charges of printing “false information”, the judge ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt evidence and suggesting that the phrase “imprisoned victim” was false. This was apparently ignoring assertions that the statutory rape victim had been detained by police for ten days without parental consent.
Finally, after a series of appeals, Lim Guan Eng was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment. However, he was released after 12 months on August 25 in the year of 1999. During the judicial procedure, Lim Guan Eng said that “If I fail and have to go to jail, I have no regrets. I have no regrets of going down fighting for the principles of truth and justice and pursuit of human rights, especially women’s rights. There can be no women’s rights if women rape victims are considered equally responsible, and even detained, whilst the accused remain free.”  Lim Guan Eng is such a good politician that stands on behalf of justice.
Contributions of Lim Guan Eng in Penang
As a politician, Lim Guan Eng does play his roles and manage to carry on all his responsibility towards the society. He had contributed so many things that are benefit to our society. In Malaysian general election at the year of 2008, the coalition of DAP-PKR-PAS later known as the Pakatan Rakyat had won 29 out of 40 state seats contested, in which DAP is the largest winning party with 19 seats, PKR 9 seats, and PAS 1. Thus, it defeated the former ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional for the authority to rule Penang for the next five years. However, Lim Guan Eng is not a resident in Penang. So, as the Secretary-General of DAP, he was nominated to be the next Chief Minister (CM) of Penang and replacing the long serving former Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon. Senior DAP leaders of Penang such as Lim Hock Seng, Phee Boon Poh, and Chow Kon Yeow were bypassed and were instead appointed as excos.
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As the new Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng announced an amnesty on all summonses issued by the Penang Municipal Council and Seberang Perai Municipal Council which involving vendors’ licenses and parking offences issued before March 2008. On March 14, a rowdy group comprising mostly Umno members and supporters took to the streets illegally after Friday prayers to protest his statements on the NEP. No arrests were made but two men were taken in for questioning. Various BN-backed groups and NGOs continued to make different sorts of protest and lodge police reports as a form of continued harassment. 
Besides, in year 2008 on March 19, Lim Guan Eng announced that the state exco had approved an open tender system for projects exceeding RM50,000. For projects between RM20,000 and RM50,000, a balloting system will be introduced. Furthermore, a two-week objection period would be given for both the open tender and balloting systems. This is a stark contrast to BN government’s usual way of directly awarding lucrative contracts to companies without any form of open tendering, mostly to shell companies created by connected personnel or BN politicians. For example, there is a major project which is the Penang International Convention Centre (PICC) was nearly launched without open tender. As of 2010, Penang remains the only state in Malaysia that practices a blanket open tendering system. 
During his tenure as Chief Minister in Penang, it has ranked top among the list of investments in Malaysia which attracting RM12.2 billion worth of total capital investments in 2010. This is also a 465% increase compared to the total investment of RM2.17 billion as of 2009. Consequently in 2011, Penang became top in manufacturing investment in Malaysia for the second consecutive year, with RM9.1 billion in total. In a new measurement indicator of total investment however, which comprises manufacturing, services and private sectors, Penang ranked second in Malaysia after Sarawak in total investments, with the total amount of RM14.038 billion, this was due to not having much primary sector investments.  Consequently, the public debt in Penang has decreased by 95% from RM630 million in 2008 to RM30 million at the end of 2011. 
On April 28, 2011, Lim signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China. This is witnessed by Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao and Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak on the proposal of the construction of three road and tunnel projects in Penang island. This had including a 6.5 km undersea tunnel, a third link between the island and Butterworth on the mainland. The purpose for Lim Guan Eng to do so is because this will manage to ease the traffic congestion in the area and to improve the links between the island and the mainland. 
Moreover, Lim Guan Eng has launched the concept of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in his governance. This slogan is to make sure that the state government can achieve an efficient, responsible and clean government. Other than that, the emphasis of the slogan aims to allow people in Penang in order to share the state government’s prosperity when the slogan is achieved. Besides, CAT also comprises positive work ethics and inculcates a team spirit based on performance. This slogan is eventually achieved when the state government enjoys record budget surpluses in successfully attracting up to RM 12.2 billion of total capital investments and practicing an open tender system.  The reform of the government with its new policies has ended the cronyism and corruption that led to major deficits under the previous regime according to the report in international weekly newsmagazine-The Economist. 
As a result, the Auditor-General praise the Penang state government as the best financially managed state in Malaysia each year from 2008 until 2010. According to the AG report, the consolidated fund has increased by 2.7%, from RM1101.89mil in 2009 to RM1,131.17mil in 2010. Likewise, the consolidated revenue fund has surged by 6.2% from RM538.95mil in 2009 to RM572.49mil in 2010. 
Other than that, there is one program in the Penang state government which is named by Cleaner, Greener Penang. This program is launched by Lim Guan Eng in the year of 2010. The purpose of this program is to transform Penang into the environmentally friendliest and most livable city in Malaysia through education, enforcement and appreciation. This is to restore the current living environment into a cleaner and more sustainable city, which in turn improving the quality of life. 
There are basically four objectives of Cleaner, Greener Penang. The first objective is to improve the quality of life and create a greener public realm. This is to create a sustainable and inclusive community in order to achieve a better living environment. The second objective is to raise awareness and education. This is to encourage the spirit of volunteerism and to forge a committed leadership, strong partnership active community involvement, desire for quality and innovation. The third objective is to carry out policy mapping and institutional Improvements. Lastly, the last objective is to to get the basics right. This is to have effective policies and department process maps to tackle the cleanliness issues and to raise awareness to provide a better living environment for the communities.
There are also many reasons for the program of Cleaner, Greener Penang. The first reason is to envision a better living environment. Next, this program is to reposition Penang as a sustainable city. The other reason is to revitalize the urban space and streetscape. Finally, it is an initiative that brings change to the way of Penang residents’ lifestyle and to be the “Habitat of Choice”, My Penang My Pride.
Due to the program of Cleaner, Greener Penang, Lim Guan Eng enforced the ban on free plastic bags throughout the state on January 1 in the year of 2010. In order to ensure of the renewal of business licenses, retail stores, food outlets and hawker stalls state-wide are required to adhere to the rulings which is the ban of free plastic bags. The proceedings from the sale of plastic bags went to the “Partners against Poverty” Special Fund to assist the state’s hardcore poor. This initiative was the first of its kind in Malaysia. 
In the other hand, on December 11 of the year 2011, Lim Guan Eng initiated the Car Free Day which would be held every Sunday at particular stretches of roads in the interior city of George Town, Penang. All motorized vehicles are prohibited from entering these areas on that day, which are part of his efforts transform Penang into a sustainable city and fight climate change. 
In addition, the state government is also considering a proposal to set up bicycle lanes around Penang Island, which is mainly along coastal areas and Seberang Perai, which is scheduled to complete by 2020. Lim Guan Eng wanted to promote Penang as the first state that practice cycling as a healthy form of activity and reduce dependency on motorized vehicles. 
Another contribution that had been done by Lim Guan Eng to the Penang residents is the welfare aids and program. These record budget surpluses are directed towards social benefits such as financial aid to the hardcore poor, cash handouts to the elderly as anti-corruption dividend, upgrading of public housing, free Wi-Fi internet services at selected hot spots and free bus services within the city and between Penang island and Seberang Perai for workers.  Social welfare aid of RM100 is awarded annually to senior citizens, single mothers, disabled individuals, new-born babies and school-going pupils in Primary 1 to 4 as well as Form 1 to 4. 
Besides, Lim Guan Eng had launched a program due to the bus service in Penang on March 1 in the year of 2011. The main purpose of this bus service is to increase the usage of public transport. In the other hand, this bus service can reduce traffic congestion during peak hours on the Penang Bridge and therefore ease the financial burden of the factory workers. One of the example is the Bridge Express Shuttle Transit which is also known as (BEST) is a free-of-charge park and ride shuttle bus services which ferries commuters across the Penang Bridge from Seberang Jaya to Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.
Other than that, there is also a SMART Centre in Penang which is an initiative set up by the Penang state government. In June 2009, during the Penang Outlook Forum, Lim Guan Eng also launched a think tank invest in Penang. The intention of this SMART Centre is to provide market intelligence, business advisory, information and resources and training services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Penang. In assisting these SMEs, it focuses on promotion of local sourcing, investments and networking by providing various programs such as business matching, seminars and talks. 
Under Pakatan Rakyat’s Agenda Economic Social (AES) or also called as Social Economic Agenda, The Penang state government is aiming to be the first state in Malaysia to eradicate poverty by ensuring every household in Penang has an income of at least RM770 per month. In Peninsular Malaysia, the poverty line is RM763 per month for every family. However, those families with less than RM770 monthly income will have the difference topped up by the state government every month. In other words, a family with RM600 monthly income will receive RM170 monthly under this program. 
Controversy in His Political Life
On September 20, 2011, Australia Broadcasting Corporation had conducted an interview with Lim Guan Eng. However, the Malaysian news agency, Bernama reported that he had criticized over disparaging remarks about security of the state of Johor.  During his speech, he said that “You don’t have to worry about your safety when you come to Penang. In Johor, if you are a Singaporean, you are likely to get kidnapped.” Lim Guan Eng insisted he never mentioned Johor during his interview. Wong Kim Fei, who is a press secretary of Lim Guan Eng had wrote a letter to Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Yoo Soo Heong, saying that the article that had published was “false, untrue and a pack of lies”. Instead, he said Lim Guan Eng had merely discussed the Malaysia Solution deal with Australia, the government’s pledge to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Penang issues. Besides, he demanded that Bernama retract their story and issue a formal apology or face a lawsuit.  He also hopes that they will continue to uphold professional journalistic standards of integrity and truthfulness by doing so again. Opinion is free but facts are sacred. After that, Lim Guan Eng has apologized to the Sultan of Johor and his subjects over the alleged disparaging remarks he made about Johor in Singapore. It is because the recording of his remark was revealed by the government controlled television channel, TV3, showing clear evidence of his proclaiming that Singaporeans who are in Johor are “likely to be kidnapped”.
On December 14, 2011, Lim Guan Eng has won the defamation suit against Malay daily Utusan Malaysia, which has been ordered by a High Court to pay RM200,000 in damages for publishing a defamatory article about Lim Guan Eng and a cost of RM25,000 to him. Justice Varghese George Varughese, in allowing the defamation suit by Lim Guan Eng against the Malay daily, said he had examined the seven paragraphs containing the defamatory words and found that they were malicious, had intention to mislead readers and was written in bad faith. The article is entitled “Kebiadapan Guan Eng” (Guan Eng’s Arrogance) which had defamed his political career and subsequently picturing him and Democratic Action Party (DAP) as anti-Malay and anti-Muslim. The paper’s publication company, Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd, in its statement of defence, stated that the article was published in response to Lim Guan Eng’s verbal attack against the paper during his speech at the Pakatan Rakyat convention in Kepala Batas on 19 December 2010. 
On June 22, 2011, Lim Guan Eng has won the second defamation suit against Utusan Malaysia, which was ordered by the Penang High Court to pay Lim Guan Eng RM200,000 in damages and RM20,000 in costs. Lim Guan Eng had claimed a March 12, 2008 article headlined “Tiada Lagi DEB (No More NEP)” in the Malay-language newspaper which said he would abolish the New Economic Policy was inaccurate. 
Earlier in 2012, Penang state UMNO claimed that the developer of Penang World City in Bayan Mutiara made no provision for mosques, pointing out that the plot has yet to be subdivided. According to Chief Shaik Hussein Mydin, under the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1976, all land must be sub-divided according to an approved project plan before land title can be transferred to the developer. However, he said that the Penang government had failed to observe the rule in the Bayan Mutiara land deal. Lim Guan Eng responded that the developer Ivory Properties Group Bhd (IPGB) will only do the subdivision when it submits development plans for the 41.5-ha real estate to Penang Municipal Council (MPPP).
In his statement, he said that the new plans and subdivision of title has not yet even been submitted, how can Umno claim that the mosque or school land has been sold or disappeared. Umno must remember that there are standard requirements for schools and places of worship including surau or mosque that are compulsory by local government or must be included in any development project. He also stressed that the “people-centric” state government would hold on to its fundamental principles and not let land marked for schools and places of worship to disappear. The DAP secretary-general will take legal action against Umno and Utusan Malaysia for claiming that he had sold off the mosque land, and warned Barisan Nasional (BN) from further stoking religious tension. Lim Guan Eng was willing to retire from politics if critics of the deal could prove that the land sale was not done through an open and competitive tender. 
On 6 December, 2012, Lim Guan Eng wants to prove in court that he is not corrupt and doesn’t take RM 40 million donations. Penang UMNO Youth Chief Shaik Hussein Mydin and Gerakan have claimed that the Chief Minister has personally received money from Kuala Lumpur International Dental Centre (KLIDC) in respect of its proposed private hospital in Penang. His special legal officer Andrew Yong said in a statement that they have made a “baseless claim” against the Chief Minister. Alternatively, they should prove their case in court when Lim Guan Eng sues them for their defamatory statements, which are intended to damage his public image and political career.
Shaik, UMNO Youth nor Gerakan have so far shown any proof to back their baseless allegations that KLIDC offered money to the Chief Minister to help secure the tender award for the 1.1 acre piece of land in Taman Manggis to build a private hospital. In fact, it was Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai himself who announced that KLIDC has finally obtained a license to operate the private hospital in Penang. In other words, are UMNO Youth and Gerakan also implying that Liow Tiong Lai must also have received money from KLIDC? So, there is a conflict occur on their statement. Nevertheless, KLIDC was given no advantage or favors when it won the bid for the Taman Manggis land, which was offered to the public by open competitive tender. KLIDC made the highest bid of RM 232 per square foot, and the highest bid was chosen. 
Changing Penang in a Changing World: Transforming Penang
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was given a speech on foreign news agencies Club in Singapore on August 12, 2011. The first main point about today’s changing wo
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