Monday, December 24, 2012

Transforming Penang To A World Class Tourism Hub? – Here we go again, Teng Chang Yeow!

By Choo Sing Chye




The gumption to tell the truth is never a forte of the Barisan Nasional Government.    And these lies had been repetitively bundled into cute little news reports that are ever so willingly published by the subservient BN leaning media as truths.  This is Joseph Goebbels'  doctrine at its best – repeating lies over and over again until it is “transformed” into truths. 


In the desperate “Vote Us Back,” message, the BN pledged that “it would raise Penang’s global image to be, in the eyes of tourists, at par with other world-class cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore and create a business-friendly environment for investors and companies.” (MalaysiaKini)


This “Vote Us Back” message that was launched in the amidst of a huge volume of hot air pathetic yelping of transforming Penang into a Singapore/Hongkong like super tourists hub is a TALL TALE!


The State BN chief, Teng Chang Yeow should have known that Penang BN under Dr Koh Tsu Koon had  said precisely the same TALL TALE  in 1990 and pronounced publicly  that a State Tourism Master Plan was to be drawn up to transform Penang into a top tourist center , rivaling the best in the world. 


Teng Chang Yeow and his cohorts should easily recall  Dr Koh Tsu Koon's 1990 Budget first maiden speech as Chief Minister in the State Assembly.  He  resolved that:  

"Kerajaan Baru akan mengubal pelan Induk Pelancongan untuk menghadapi cabaran-cabaran baru dan untuk meningkatkan lagi kedudukan negeri Pulau Pinang sebagai pusat destinasi pelancongan yang utama di dunia."  


This was said by the brand new Penang BN Chief Minister 22 years ago.  And in mid 1993 the Penang State Government still hadn’t come out with the promised  State Tourism Master Plan.  And worse of all, the affluent Malaysian press did not have the decency to probe the then Penang Chief Minister for the truth!


The Chronicle of statements made by the then BN State Government and its State Tourism Committee Chairman Madam Kee Phaik Cheen. 


On November the 6th 1990 under the headline in the Star,  "Master Plan To Streamline Tourist Trade."  the first public statement made by Madam Kee on the Tourism Master Plan, affirmed that a master plan will be drawn up to streamline tourism development in Penang   towards   the   21st  century.


Six months later, in May 1991 Madam Kee further stated that a foreign PR firm would be drafting a directional paper cum action plan to rejuvenate Penang as   a  major  tourist  destination.


But a mere 3 months later on August the 1st  1991, Madam Kee changed her mind and under the headline in the Star: "Experts Drawing Up New Tourism Plan." stated that a group of locals (now locals) consultants would be drawing up an aggressive action plan to further promote and market Penang in the international tourism market.


Apparently just in a spate of 3 months, the confused Madam Kee changed the team of consultants from a foreign PR firm to a group of local consultants drawing up the same plan.   


Okay before going further, let’s stroll back a little bit just not to be confused. First of all, we know in May 1991, a tourism action plan was supposed to be drafted by a foreign PR firm and in less than 3 months later on August the 1st  the BN government changed to a group of local consultants drawing up same plan. Okay, so far so good.


Now, here’s the gem statement of the Penang BN government.  Call it transformation if you wish, here it is.


A year later, on June the 19th  1992 Madam Kee again announced that the drafting of the Penang Tourism action plan was to be drafted by the Penang State Government.  


Now, instead of being drafted by local consultants, she affirmed that on 11th of November, the same year in the Star, under the headline, "State Government Forms Teams to Draw Up Tourism Action Plan,"   that the working teams involving relevant government agencies, formed by the State Tourism Committee would draw up a comprehensive and aggressive tourism action plan towards the year 2000.


Okay let’s us regress and simplify  this whole episode,  in May 1991, a tourism action plan was supposed to be drafted by a foreign PR firm, but changed in less than 3 months to a group of local consultants.  Fifteen months later, it changed again to the Penang State Tourism Committee, assisted by working teams from relevant government agencies.  Now we are back to an all BN show.


Year 2000 had come and gone-nothing done!  And had the Penang State Tourism Committee been successful in transforming Penang into a World Class Tourism Hub, BN leaning newspapers and electronic media would be reporting this success to the hilt,  but they did not, and remain very silent, in fact too silent.


Lately, the State BN chief, Teng Chang Yeow with its cohorts’ nasty traits of forgetting the past, dive in to announce the “Vote Us Back plan” ahead of the 13th General Election.


In the travesty of logic, the Penang State BN blared out its breast-beating message that,  “Penangites cannot afford to be stagnating. Penang needs another transformation, just like what it had done over 40 years ago.”  (MalaysiaKini)

Yes, Teng Chang Yeow, here we go again!



This article also appears in http://aliran.com/11123.html