Is Penang really free from hardcore poverty?
Posted on March 30th, 2009 by Lilian • Filed under: politics
Our lecturers in the citizen journalism course reminded us to do our homework well. Know our subjects before we approach them for interview. So, I knew that the PR led Penang State Government has issues with the MCA Ng Yen Yen from the Fed Gov. It gets to be a pain when there are all these finger pointings, accusations and challenges between them.
Here we are talking about the hardcore poor, marginalised and voiceless people in Penang. To me, they are like sitting ducks or mascots for politicians to use. (well, not all but most politicians) Yet, up there, they are throwing challenges to each other. For example, back in August 2008, State Umno liaison secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said Lim Guan Eng is only “good at making cheap publicity via various programmes but none have succeeded due to poor planning,” (Bernama)
Then, during the height of the Permatang Pauh by-election, the very TCB Ng Yen Yen visited the hardcore poor in Penang and claimed, “I do this all the time (visiting). This is not for election. Since I am here, I thought I’ll just stop by for a few house visits,” she said after presenting a hamper to the couple. (The Star)
So, these hardcore poor were like pawns in the political game between the DAP led Penang State Government and the MCA controlled Fed. Gov. ministry. Ng Yen Yen holds the funds to disburse to the various states.
Then, recently, Phee Boon Poh claimed that MCA sabotaged the Penang State Government’s efforts in eradicating poverty.
Phee had on Feb 25 claimed that MCA members contracted to work as assistant welfare officers in Penang had cast aside aid forms submitted by hardcore poor applicants.
He said forms with supporting signatures by Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen were ignored, and applicants were told to get signatures of Barisan Nasional representatives instead.
He also claimed that on at least one occasion, the form was torn in the presence of the applicant.
So, can you see how disgusting these tussles using the poor are? Therefore, when I attend the event held at Dewan Sri Pinang this morning, I only went there half-hearted. However, my coursemates and I wanted to see the response of the state government towards another issue, i.e. the homeless on the streets. I also intended to ‘chase and catch’ the CM’s political secretary the very lansi Ng Wei Aik to interview him. My question was to ask him to comment on the public perceptions that the homeless are not treated with respect and compassion. However, he left early and I missed ‘chasing, cornering and catching him on video’.
(P/S – My video is a bit corrupted after conversion. Sorry for the technical glitches.)
Anyway, I got a short video clip of the event by the CM. He looks mighty fit in the t-shirt. Our CM also go casual because I saw someone offering him a jacket which he declined.
This video is just my trial run video. My two coursemates, Jimmy and Lim had their tripods, remote and external mike for the real recording. Come to think of it, this citizen journalism thingie can be very frightening to the politicians because we are not the regular MSM reporters who are more ‘balanced’. For eg. Jimmy asked the CM where did all the money Ng Yen Yen said she disbursed went to? Power to CJ! YB Phee then explained in detail why they need RM10M for the set up of the shelter home, how they have to beg for places at the welfare homes in Kedah, Perak and Pahang before they can do anything for the homeless here.
In conclusion, do I think Penang is really free of hardcore poverty? Or is it just a statement like producing A results to show the BN government since election fever is running high? Well, I am the #1 fan of the CM so I have no comment, ok? LOL, even my video is biased, ok?