KUALA LUMPUR – October 24, 2017: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been lambasted at his official Facebook page for attempting to blame the federal Government over last week’s killer landslide at Tanjung Bungah.
Annoyed with what they perceived to be Lim’s tacit blame game, critics insisted that the landslide which killed 11 people on Saturday was a result of Lim’s poor governance.
The incident, described by Lim as a worksite accident, happened at a construction site of a 50-storey apartment project next to a hill slope.
It was later revealed that the project was not approved by the Department of Environment (DoE) but last night, Lim had at Facebook suggested that the incident may have happened because of a nearby blasting quarry located a few hundred meters away.
The project was approved by state departments despite the DoE’s objection because according to Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, federal agencies have no power to enforce regulations against state authorities over land matters.
Lim, also a DAP secretary-general, pointed out that the operation of the quarry was approved by the DoE which is under the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment.
However, Lim’s contention was heavily objected to by many who wrote their thoughts at the comment section of his Facebook post.
“That’s enough! Stop blaming others and take up the responsibility for this tragedy. Be a role model for us instead of a shameless, despicable politician. You have lost my respect,” wrote Ong Yan Zhi.
“The project should not have been approved in the first place! The hill should be preserved. Are you happy now that lives were lost?” wrote Pearl Long.
“I am shocked that you (Lim) already call this tragedy a worksite accident despite the fact that authorities are still investigating. A responsible leader would not immediately look for excuses. It is clear now that you are a true blue politician,” wrote Calvin Sankaran.
“Enough with the excuses Lim Guan Eng. Penangites are aware of the real situation on the ground. There are way too many development in Penang. Our hills have been badly deforested to the point that you can see the damage all the way from the Penang bridge,” wrote Crono William.
“Penang people voted for DAP because they thought you guys were a better alternative than Barisan Nasional. Your attitude right now is absolutely disappointing,” wrote Steven Lim.
Some, however, defended Lim, arguing that critics should wait until the authorities finish their investigation.
“You guys criticise him (Lim) like you’re an expert on hill-slopes development. We should, instead let experts carry out the investigation to ascertain the actual cause of the landslide,” Ban Seng Ching retorted.
“There’s a lot of unqualified arm-chair critics here. Let the experts conclude their investigation first so that we can really know who is responsible for causing this mess,” wrote Alvin Wong.