MBPP tow trucks: Let the people judge what the truth is

MBPP Councillor Dr Lim Mah Hui has denied accusations that he was lying about the number of illegally parked cars towed away by council enforcement teams. He has released statements in Malay, English and Chinese, which can be found below:

On 12 March 2016, Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng issued a highly defamatory public statement accusing me of being a “hero with lies”. In that statement, I was accused of “lying” no fewer than seven times.

Prior to this unfortunate episode, I had enjoyed an amicable and respectful working relationship with the chief minister despite being his severe public critic. And I thank him for that.

All my criticisms were focused on his policies and based on factual analysis. I have never made any personal attack or rude remarks against him. Trained as a social scientist rather than a diplomat, my criticisms may have been too direct and blunt and may have hurt his feelings. For this, I offer my apologies.

Cars towed per month

The controversy arose because I said the Penang’s City Council enforcement staff towed only one or two cars a month, whereas the mayor said 500-600 cars were towed a month. How to reconcile these different sets of numbers?

If the chief minister, the mayor and the councillors would only care to study the video clip of my exchange with the chief Minister on 29 February 2016 during an amicable dialogue of Penang Forum with the chief minister and in the presence of the press, they will realise that I stated the following:

(1) When the council enforcement units initially started towing (ie over four years ago), they were towing only one or two cars a month with one tow truck. This is verified by the data provided by the Council and reported in Kwong Wah press (see below);

MBPP clamping and towing 2011

(2) I then continued to say that over the years there was some improvement and currently with five tow trucks, each team tows an average of 2.5 cars per day. (If you multiply this number by 5 trucks by 2 shifts per day, for an average of 25 days per month, you get 625 cars towed per month.) This corroborates with the mayor’s statement that the Council is towing about 500 to 600 cars per month.

Hence, if only the mayor and the chief minister, with access to such data, had performed this elementary calculation or asked me to clarify, they would have understood I was not lying. Instead the mayor publicly “rapped” me, and the chief minister resorted to maligning and defaming me.

The chief minister occupies the highest position in the state, and the mayor the highest post in the city. Both are highly respected public figures who should have done a proper investigation before jumping to wrong conclusions as their public statements carry much weight. Invariably, their public statements have caused many negative public comments against me.

Taking charge of towing function

Around 2012/2013, the chief minister asked me to take charge of the towing function. I had given the same answer to the chief minister then as I did on 29 February, 2016.

I cannot assume full charge of the job, as the role of a councillor is to give counsel and to make decisions to be implemented by council staff. A councillor’s role is legislative while that of council staff is executive and administrative.

This basic and fundamental distinction seems to escape the chief minister and the councillors who continue to demand that I take on an executive and administrative function.

Efficiency of tow trucks

Despite the fact that I am not a civil servant, I agreed to help the council staff improve the traffic enforcement performance and, in fact, created the management information reporting system for them.

For over three years, I worked with and regularly met with council secretary Ir Ang Aing Thye, the director of the enforcement department and his staff to review and monitor the performance of the towing and clamping unit.

The records of this unit bring into question the efficiency of the tow truck teams. Each team towed an average of between 1.5 and 3.1 cars per day in 2015.

(See Table 2 which is a detailed explanation of the figures of 500-600 cars per month provided by the mayor to the press.)

tow truck statistics

A tow truck team working a 7-hour shift should really be able to tow at least 4-6 cars, unless we believe there are not enough illegally parked cars in Penang blocking traffic.

The objective of towing is not to collect revenue but to instil respect for and obedience to laws so that roads can be cleared for smoother traffic. Poor enforcement is the top complaint of the public.

Let the public judge whether this is an acceptable level of efficiency. The public should write in to demand more transparency and accountability with key performance indicators in place to enable public evaluation of both the state and council’s performance.

Errant officers

The issue of errant officers going AWOL (absent without official leave), was discussed on more than one occasion in the regular meetings that I attended chaired by the council secretary, based on the reports submitted by the enforcement unit. These records are official and can be verified.

To quell the public’s enquiry as to whether I lied, I ask the council to make these records transparent and public in accordance with CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) principles.

The chief minister also accused me of “stooping so low as to justify his (ie, Mah Hui’s) motive to sack MBPP enforcement staff”.

At no point in the video clip did I mention the word “sack”. All I said was that no disciplinary action was taken. It was the chief minister who said he would sack any errant staff, which was echoed by the mayor in her press conference on 12 March.

Response of councillors

The public criticism of me by the 12 councillors, mainly from the DAP, is unwarranted.

Despite my open letter to the chief minister stating that I will provide my side of the story when I return from overseas and my advice to them to study the video clip before jumping to conclusions, it appears they did not do their homework. The same accusations that my remarks were inaccurate and untrue were echoed.

Comparison to Barisan Nasional

It would seem that whoever criticises the current state government is somehow tarred with the BN brush. I have been likened to BN politicians “whose specialty is lying” (quoting the chief minister).

In an earlier press conference on 13 December 2015, the chief minister accused Penang Forum of falling into the Barisan Nasional “misinformation trap” over the state government’s approval of special projects on sensitive hill land.

Penang Forum subsequently showed that the information came from YB Chow Kon Yeow’s answer to an Adun’s query in the November 2015 sitting of the State Assembly. Clearly, a more mature and even-handed approach to critique is needed.

For reasons one can only guess, the chief minister chose a particular line of action that has damaged my reputation, as evidenced in the many negative remarks on social media as well as from my fellow councillors.

These accusations went against the very principles of CAT that the state government claims to espouse. Instead we see incompetence in accountability and a flagrant injustice to me personally and as an MBPP councillor.

I ask the parties, including councillors, who have maligned me with their accusations, to offer their public apologies without any prejudice to my rights to legal recourse.

Dr Lim Mah Hui,
MBPP councillor
21 March 2016.


Biarlah rakyat pertimbangkan apa yang benar

Pada 12 Mach 2016, Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang YAB Lim Guan Eng mengeluarkan satu kenyataan umum yang sungguh menyelar, dan menuduh saya sebagai “wira pembohongan”. Dalam kenyataan itu saya dituduh sebagai pembohong tidak kurang dari tujuh kali.

Sebelum episod malang ini, hubungan kerja saya dengan Ketua Menteri adalah mesra dan saling menghormati walau pun saya adalah kritik utama terhadap beberapa dasar beliau. Atas sikap murni beliau saya ucapkan terima kasih. Semua kritikan saya adalah atas dasar dasar selapas saya buat analisa. Saya tidak pernah mengkritik beliau secara pribadi atau bersikap biadap terhadap beliau. Pendidikan dan latihan saya adalah sebagai seorang ahli sains kemasyarakatan dan bukan sebagai seorang diplomat. Maka kritikan saya mungkin tulus dan tajam dan mungkin meyentuh perasaan beliau. Jika ini berlaku,saya mohon maaf

Isu jumlah kereta yang ditarik setiap bulan

Kontrovesi yang timbul ialah saya telah menyata yang kakitangan Penguatkuasa MBPP telah tarik hanya satu atau dua kereta sebulan tetapi Dato Bandar mengatakan jumlahnya ialah 500-600. Bagai mana isu dua angka in timbul dan boleh diselesaikan?

Jika Ketua Menteri, Dato Bandar dan Ahli ahli Majlis yang mendesak saya meminta maaf mengambil sedikit masa melihat dan memahami rakaman video (bersabit dialog antara say dan Ketua Menteri pada 29 Febuari 2016 dihadapan wakil wakil media, mereka akan faham apa yang saya katakan,iaitu:

(i) Bila Unit Penguatkuasa Majlis mula mula berhidmat lebih dari 4 tahun dulu,mereka hanya menarik satu atau dua kereta sebulan. Angka ini boleh dilihat dalam rekod Majlis dan telah dilapur oleh akbar Kwong Wah (sila lihat lampiran)

MBPP clamping and towing 2011

(ii).Selepas itu saya menyatakan kemudian ada peningkatan jumlah kereta yang ditarik. Kini dengan 5 buah truk penarik, setiap 1 truk secara purata telah menarik 2.5 kereta setiap hari. (Kalau kita darab 2.5 kereta x 5 truk tarik x 2 shif x 25 hari sebulan jumlahnya ialah 625 kereta ditarik sebulan.) Angka saya tidak bercangah dengan Dato Bandar yang mengata mereka tarik 500-600 kereta sebulan.

Maka jelaslah, ika Ketua Menteri dan Dato Bandar yang mempunyai semua maklumat telah buat kiraan atau minta saya buat penjelsan, mereka tidak akan bersimpul bahawa saya telah berbohong. Malang nya Dato Bandar telah marah saya di khalayak ramai dan Ketua Menteri pula telah menuduh dan menyelar nama baik saya.

Ketua Menteri memegang jawatan tertinggi di peringkat Negeri dan Dato Bandat jawatan tertinggi di Bandar Raya. Kedua mereka di hormati dan di sanjung tinggi oleh rakyat. Alangnya baik dan bijak jika mereka buat siasatan rapi sebelum merumus. Malangnya kerana tuduhan mereka dipercayai, saya telah terima banyak kritikan negatif.

Mengambil alih tugas tarik kereta

Satu ketika dulu pada 2012/13, Ketua Menteri telah minta saya mengetuai fungsi tarik kereta. Jawapan saya kepada beliau adalah sama saperti yang saya beri pada perjumpaan 29 Febuari 2016.

Saya tidak boleh ambil alih tugas ini oleh kerana peranan seorang Ahli Majis ialah memberi nasihat dan buat keputusan untuk dilaksanakan oleh kakitangan Malis. Peranan Ahli Majlis ialah membuat dasar, peranan kakitangan Majlis ialah pelaksanaan. Dalam lain perkataan, peranan Ahli Majlis ialah “legislative”; peranan kakitangan Malis ialah eksekutif dan pentadbiran.

Keberkesan truk tarik

Walau pun saya bukan pegawai awam, saya setuju membantu kakitangan Majlis untuk meningkatkan prestasi membaiki aliran trafik. Selama tiga tahun saya bekerja dengan Setiausaha Majlis Ir Ang Aing Thye, pengarah  Jabatan Penguatkuasa bersama dengan kakitangan beliau, kami  mengkaji dan memantau prestasi unit tarik dan pengapit kereta.

Rekod unit ini membuktikan yang setiap truk tarik hanya menarik 1.5-3.1 kereta setiap hari pada tahun 2015.

tow truck statistics

Walhal setiap truk tarik yang bertugas 7 jam setiap shif patut boleh tarik 4-6 kerata kecuali tiada cukup kereta yang parkir secara haram dan menjejas lalu lintas.

Peranan tarik kereta bukanlah untuk mengutip hasil, tetapi mendidik pemandu supaya menghormati dan patuh kepada undang undang lalu lintas agar trafik dapat berjalan lancar.

Dalam hal ini saya serahkan kepada orang ramai buat keputusan jika prestasi yang saya sebut memuaskan atau tidak.Orang ramai patut mendesak ciri ciri kejelasan dan bertanggung jawap dan juga petunjuk utama prestasi supaya mereka dapat menilai keberkesanan pihak Negeri dan Majlis.

Pegawai yang buat salah laku

Isu pegawai yang tidak datang kerja tanpa kebenaran rasmi telah di bincang beberapa kali pada mesyaurat mesyuarat yang saya hadir di pengurusi oleh Setiausha Majlis. Laporan masaalah ini ini disedia oleh Unit Penguatkuasa dan rekodnya adah rasmi dan boleh di buktikan. Maka untuk meyakinkan orang ramai yang saya tidak berbohong, saya gesa Majlis mempamerkan rekod-rekod tersebut selaras dengan prinsip CAT.

Ketua Menteri telah tuduh saya bermotif agar pegawai pegawai ini di buang kerja. Dengarlah apa yang saya kata dalam rakaman video.

Saya tidak pernah guna istilah “buang kerja”. Apa yang saya kata ialah tindakan disiplin tidak diambil. Ketua Menteri yang kata dia akan “buang kerja” mereka yang buat salah laku. Tetapi isu ini diulangi oleh Dato Bandar dalam sidang akbar pada 12 Mach 2016.

Tindak balas ahli majlis

Kritikan terbuka terhadap saya oleh 12 Ahli Majlis, hampir semua dari DAP,tidak wajar langsung. Walau pun dalam surat terbuka saya kepada Ketua Menteri.saya nyatakan saya akan memberi penjelasan lengkap sekambalinya saya dari luar negeri, dan nasihat saya supaya mereka meneliti rakaman Video sebelum buat keputusan, mereka seolah tidak bersabar mengecam saya.Tuduhan yang kenyataan saya tidak betul dan saya berbohong diulangi.

Perbandingan dengan Barisan Nasional

Nampaknya sesiapa yang mengkritik Kerajaan Negeri disamakan dengan Barisan Nasional.Saya menjadi mangsa ini; dihubungkaitkan dengan ahli politik BN,yang Ketua Menteri kata adalah orang yang “pengkhususan mereka adalah berbohong”.

Dalam satu sidang akbar pada 13 Disember 2015 Ketua Menteri telah menuduh Penang Forum yang kata beliau telah di perangkap oleh maklumat palsu BN berkenaan dengan isu Kerajaan Negeri melulus Projek Istimewa diatas tanah bukit sensitif.

Penang Forum telah membuktikan yang maklumat tersebut datang dari YB Chow Kon Yeow bila menjawap soalan ADUN di Dewan Negeri pada November 2015.Nyatalah sikap yang lebih matang dan saksama di harapkan dari pemimpin.

Dari pada semua penjelasan diatas, saya kurang faham kenapa Ketua Menteri sanggup mencemar nama baik saya sehingga saya dikecam dalam media sosial dan oleh sebahagian Ahli Ahli Majlis. Tuduhan ini becanggah dengan prinsip CAT Kerajaan Negeri yang kian dilaung laungi. Sebaliknya apa yang kita lihat ialah tidak kecekapan dalam tanggung jawap dan ketidak adilan yang paling hebat terhadap saya sebagai individu dan sebagai Ahli Majlis MBPP.

Oleh yang demikian, saya kini mendesak pihak pihak yang berkenaan, termasuk  Ahli Majlis MBPP yang telah memburuk nama baik saya dengan tuduhan tuduhan palsu, memohon maaf secara terbuka kepada saya. Ini adalah tanpa prejudis bagi saya mengambil tindakan mengikut undang-undang.

Dr Lim Mah Hui
Ahli Majlis MBPP
21 Mach 2016









MBPP clamping and towing 2011







tow truck statistics




首長也指責我如此墮落(stooping so low)以合理化他(林馬惠)欲解僱檳島市政廳員工的動機。”可是,我在該錄影中,從未提過解僱這字眼。我質問的只是為何市政廳沒有採取紀律行動。反倒是首長在312日的記者會上,自己說要解僱任何犯錯的員工,並獲得市長附和。




看來所有批評現任檳州政府的人都被指與國陣扯上關係。引用首長的說辭,我被喻為那種專門撒謊 (whose specialty is lying)的國陣政客。在20151213日的一場記者會上,首長指責檳城論壇在州政府批准敏感山丘發展計劃的課題上,跌入國陣的“誤導圈套(misinformation trap)。檳城論壇隨後出示證據證明,這些資料都是源自于檳州行政議員曹觀友在同年11月於州議會裡提供的答案。很明顯的,檳州政府需要更成熟及不偏不倚地面對批判。







One reply on “MBPP tow trucks: Let the people judge what the truth is”

Hi Dr Lim, I would like to know whether the Council Tow Truck is working 2 shift or not? Do u have the evidence that they are in “2” shift ? 2 x 12 hours or 2 x 8 hours?

Leave a Reply