This letter was emailed to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on 20 January 2016.
Dear Chief Minister
On 14 January 2016, The Star reported that you were “disappointed that, despite sharing all the information available to us, they still raise the same issue…”
This was in reference to the dialogue you had with the Penang Forum on 11 January 2016.
You further implied, in the same report, that Penang Forum “do not understand and are confused..”
We understand that you made these remarks on your assumption that the Penang Forum had issued a new statement after the dialogue and repeated the same points.
Since your views are now in the public domain, we wish to state categorically that no new statement was issued by Penang Forum after the dialogue. What the press reported were all based on our original statement and Dato Agatha Foo’s paper on Special Projects, which were handed to you and to all those attending the dialogue.
The press were present throughout the dialogue and must have followed your clarifications and the exchanges that took place. If they chose not to report in a comprehensive, balanced manner, surely that is not the doing of Penang Forum.
After the dialogue, I was asked by reporters what I had thought of the meeting. My answer incorporated the following points:
- That the dialogue was excellent, constructive and positive.
- That the CM was willing to spend so much time with a CSO on an issue of concern spoke well of the CM and the state government.
- That the CM was willing to involve two of our members to interact and work together with the state authorities augurs well for the development of Penang.
- That Penang Forum was sincerely grateful to the CM for his willingness to listen to the people and that we looked forward to more such dialogues in the future.
None of the above was reported by the press.
We trust that this clarification clears the air. May we reiterate our thanks to you again and we hope that we will be able to work together in the interest of Penang.
Dato Dr Sharom Ahmat
on behalf of Penang Forum
20 January 2016