Details of Penang CM, exco asset disclosures

Details of Penang CM, exco asset disclosures

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his exco today declared their assets to the public. The details are provided below.

Guan Eng’s FD’s rose by RM54000 since 2008. He also invested a bit more in a couple of mutual funds. His income is derived from exco salaries, exco allowances, Adun allowances, MP allowances, and director’s fees (PBA and PDC).

These disclosures are a step in the right direction but a few questions/proposals for improvement inevitably come to mind:

  • The obvious question is, why did it take nearly four years to disclose such simple statements? (It is obvious that one or two of the exco members are fairly wealthy and that could explain the earlier reluctance to disclose their assets.)
  • Of course, for the disclosures to be complete, spouses and other immediately family members need to also disclose their assets.
  • Cash in ordinary bank accounts (apart from FDs) should also be included, along with other liabilities. And a few exco members have not disclosed the amount in their FD’s as at 8 March 2008.
  • In the case of inherited property, some basic information should be disclosed e.g. type of property (e.g. double storey semi-d house), residential area and town OR acreage and location (in the case of agricultural land) to identify them for comparison over time and to distinguish them from other properties the politician might later acquire.
  • An independent audit firm should audit such disclosures.

I hope BN leaders at the federal and state levels and leaders of other Pakatan state governments will be inspired by this move to disclose their own and their immediately families’ assets. Well, we can dream (till the cows come home!), can’t we…

No, no, no, we should insist on such disclosures when they come around to canvas our votes in the next general election. No asset disclosure, no vote for you.

Guan Eng also spoke about the need to end the mix of politics and business.

A timely call. Taking this a step further, I think there should also be maximum transparency of corporate donations (in any form) to political parties.

You can download the .pdf file of the asset disclosures of the CM and his exco members.


  1. Sure, let’s all get distracted … we all need to eat — but not red herrings i hope.

    Issue today:

    We still want to know the real picture — declaration from spouses and immediate family members plus all the other points as appropriately raised by Anil.

  2. Off-track a Bit… Was in Johor for 2 days. Spoke to Malays, Indians & Chinese there. Found that the good work done in Penang & Selangor by PR is not really reaching the masses.
    Their only source seem to be MSM & BN lies about these 2 states.
    They were extremely impressed when I corrected much of the lies by BN and MSM. They did say we must support PR for a better Malaysia, but I could only explain to a small group.
    We are lucky to also have Bulletin Mutiara get the truth out to the Rakyat in Penang.
    More grassroot “Word-Of-Mouth troopers” needed in these states. Ceramahs help but not to the extend of spreading the “Good News” of the Pakatan Government.

    • SamG

      I agreed with you. May be Pakatan can think of deploying those credible present MPs in Selangor/Penang to Johor; and let the disciples handle these Pakatan states.

      Johor, Sabah & Sarawak are barang naik risky fixed deposits that can be turned into current accounts allowing easy withdrawals of those incumbents who are getting tired of corruptions or have finally awakened from lullaby.


  3. I can understand the reluctance to go for full disclosure of one’s assets and liabilities especially if one is relatively wealthy. Now who would want potential kidnappers and thieves to know our assets. Unfortunately this is one effective3 way to reduce corruption and abuse of power and I guess it is needed. However, it may discourage those wealthy ones on their own steam from wanting to contest elections and get involved in politics. What say you Anil?

    • Actually, I think our electoral system may be slightly weighted in favour of candidates who are better off. Think of the high deposits required for contesting and of the amount of expenditure needed to finance a campaign.

      • Anil, Surely you do not want any Tom, Dick and Harry just to simply contest for the fun of it.

      • Hi Yang, I feel anyone should be able to contest (if they meet minimum criteria). It is the voters who decide.

  4. Like I have said in other blogs, it is good and fine to disclose assets, as newbies like the DAP, PAS, and PKR have not much fortune to show because fortune takes time to be accumulated.

    I would be very surprised if any of the State Excos had refused to disclose their assets.

    On the other hand, it reveals how much they individually have as their personal war chest – just in case they get sued, and how much should the claim be to make them bankrupt, and get kicked out of the political race legally.

    Mind you, not only they can be sued by UMNOs but also foreigners (well endowed) who can hire expensive lawyers to tweak the process on UMNO’s behalf.

    If the intention of the opposition was to throw a wrench into UMNO works, they had better be more cautious – having seen the apparent proclivity of the policing and judicial systems in this country.

    This which is supposedly a ‘good move’ can boomerang and hit the opposition in the face.

    However, this DAP’s move is expected and laudable as sign of honesty and ethical behavior, because it its going to garner votes from the villages and Malays who are generally poorer in the 13GE which is around the corner.

    What will happen if the 13GE is somehow later than that?

    DAP and the Penang Exco must measure the gains against the costs of having to bare one’s chest to certain uncertainties.

    It might have been overexcitement or impatience over the coming 13GE, or political infighting that prodded the Exco into such a move.

    I really hope that the DAP have not taken things for granted, because the public can only exercise their judgement on election day which may be far away. Before that, everything is still in the hands of BN.

    I would have preferred this move much later on than now.

    They have incurred the costs but the gains are still illusory.

    Only time can tell, if the move was wise or simply blind heroics for consumption of the general public, or as a counternace against intra-party political rivals.

    The impact of the assets disclosure on BN can be minimal, unless the 13GE comes around quickly – I do not think it is going to do that at all. It could give them time, to prepare a similar move. If they do that, then the expected gains after taking such big risks would never be realised. Worse, still, BN now knows DAP, PAS, and PKR could be doing, but not conversely.

  5. Why are the exact income figures not disclosed? If they are public offices, surely this must be disclosed as well? So, do we have to wait another four years for this or what? Or is this another mental block for our CM Lim Guan Eng? He has lots of mental blocks these days when facing up to “intelligent” Penangites.

  6. Anil, i was sitting with u at d manak shop during perak crisis.glad that u r still providing live coverage for exciting political event.anwar’s verdict day coverage is excellent. Keep it up .c u in perak !

    • The scenario of Penang Street Hawker Food has changed to some degree due in part to the frenzy development taking place in Penang the last 2 years. One is the ‘surreal’ prices of once affordable heavenly hawker food going up despite the fact of Kiam Siap Penangites as the majority customers.
      I being Kiam Siap Tham Chiak Kui have cut down on food binge / street food crawling for the past few months in silent protest.
      Here is another of my Penang Memory but of the fast forward surrealist future:

      ‘Reliving’ Street Hawker Food Memory in Cosmopolitan George Town, 2033

      As I stagger half awake out of my father’s shop at Macalister Road, I wonder how long I have been in slumberland at my former birth place. It is now 7 pm, a time for hearty dinner and relaxation with Kopi-O kau kau. As I walk down the street, I soon realize a different scenario unfolding right before my still sleepy eyes…
      continue reading: comment #17

      • Anil

        Your blog has lost a lot of ‘Oomps’ since the last comment of Street Food in Penang.

        As Penang is now in safe hand of Pakatan and everyone is happy about it, perhaps you can devote more entries to light topics liek Penang Food?

        I know tunglang is itching to write more on this.

      • uncle tunglang

        penang street food being commercialised like the recently held competition in Times Square.
        Not sure you were there. For just RM5/head my family got to enjoy many wonderful food valur for money. How can you get a bowl (i had 2 ) of Hokkien mee with supersize prawn with RM5 ticket these days ?
        The winner is 88 Hokkien Mee now hawkering at Bayan baru. You may want to check it out.

        by the way, not sure if Street Food forum at Anil’s blog is active again. We need more “tunglang”s to keep the legacy alive.


  7. So you see, Gherkin, even when LGE has declared his assets, Anil insists on more info. Which is the way to go.

    Politicians are servants of the public. So when can we expect some accountability from you saints?

  8. Given their numerous sources of income / allowances, the increase in their assets is surprisingly low. Guess many of them are forking out of their own pockets to fund their political activities like service centres or are they giving massive allwoances to their other halves?

    Also some of them don’t seem to be repaying their car loans. An office perk perhaps? Ha ha

    • Agreed, their spouses and immediate family members should be made to declare their assets too to ensure that funds are not transferred to immediate relatives as a hiding spot. But good on the PR gov for daring to go this far. Time to go the whole distance.


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