Penang Forum responds to CM’s legal notice against FMT, Chant advisor


Penang Forum has issued a statement in response to the Penang Chief Minister initiating legal action over a report published in a news portal.

Penang Forum is disturbed both by the sweeping statements made by Chant advisor Jimmy Lim as well as the legal action initiated by the Chief Minister of Penang against a critic of Penang state and municipal council policies, a news portal and its reporter.

The legal action against the Free Malaysia Today website, its journalist, and Chant advisor Jimmy Lim over a 6 December 2013 report is worrying.

Chant is not represented in the Penang Forum Steering Committee. Some of its advisor’s cluttering of various issues and broad-brush sweeping statements are misleading and certainly not entirely accurate. The Kampong Buah Pala issue is far from clear cut and the ‘Botak Hill’ issue is still being pursued.

Yes, we are all dismayed by the over-development in Penang and the mushrooming of highrises everywhere we look and the dismal way that our heritage is being ‘protected’. But the weakness lies in the lack of understanding among our administrators and the lack of vision in planning.

In testimony to its commitment to conservation, the Pakatan government has taken some very bold and brave steps to defend the heritage of Penang as when it managed to get four developers to lower the heights of their buildings, even when it led to being sued by one of them.

The state government has also set up GTWHI, a very positive move and it has given great prominence to George Town Festival in celebration of both tangible as well as intangible heritage. It has also been firm with swiftlet breeders in the WHS.

However, the glaring errors of planning are very difficult for Penangites to accept, thereby leading to obvious criticism.

But surely one does not need to threaten legal action for lamenting our current environment. Penang Forum is very concerned about the message such action sends out to anyone who is critical about the type of development policies the state government and local councils are pursuing.

Once we go down the path of suing critics who only want what they feel is best for Penang, where will it end? What kind of impact will it have on other civil society groups or individuals who have the right to openly question and criticise policies they think are detrimental?

Although the Chief Minister is entitled to take legal action if he feels aggrieved against the FMT report, we feel that the action is disproportionate. A political leader should be magnanimous enough to take criticism in his stride, especially if there is nothing to hide. After all, such criticism is par for the course in politics.

If a news portal persists in reporting sweeping and inaccurate statements or denies the right of reply, the state government can publish clarifications and rebut inaccuracies in the myriad of online news websites and social media available. In the end, truth should prevail. Any news portal perceived to be peddling untruths or sweeping statements will only lose credibility – and readership (as some of the traditional media have experienced). The loss of credibility and readership would be a far worse setback for such a news organisation.

Penang Forum Steering Committee
28 January 2014

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Ed G

A person using the legal avenue against purported malicious lies would most likely be put under he uncomfortable position of being cross-examined in the court thus putting his reputation at greater risk. It is for this reason that most people, especially incumbent leaders, would not take this course of action unless they are strongly convinced that the truth is on their side. Of course, some with deep pockets and already rotten reputation may take this path just to ‘teach their critics a lesson’. Personally, I do not believe that LGE belongs to the latter group.


Of course he will not win if we penangnites have to deal with twits like you..datuk? What sort of datuk r u? The seen or unseen one? Penang is full of datuks…everywhere. .so cutting hills…..clearing lands to develop will earn the wrath of the unseen datuks…so u think u can appease them by offerings? ? …pisang emas …apples . oranges n.joss sticks.for the unseen Datuks? Is this right? … The unseen datuks dont particularly like datuks like you.

The wishfulfilling jewel

False speech is misleading the person to believe what is obviously not true. Reporting false speech is spreading lies, but even worse it communicates to anyone reading the false report, thus it helps to mislead more people and becomes a prevarication. It is a sin to lie, it is a bigger sin to spread the lie. What you cannot confirm, you should not report as it is not only professionally wrong, it is ethically, morally and religiously a misconduct. Such irresponsible action comes with a need for deterrence, and legal recourse is a fair way to ensure that such future… Read more »


Well said jewel, shame to those who only know how to kau peh kau boh !

Fully agree with you as majority of malaysians are easily misled…


What lies ? It’s an opinion piece. Don’t forget that before the election a few dap leaders promised the residences of kg buah pala that their village would be preserved. Wasn’t that a lie ? Or do you have different definition of lie ?


The Great 308 Promise of CHANGE “if you vote me”. But now, CHANGE Penang island into a haven for all sorts of speculative games of the rich & famous. CHANGE Penang Island not within reach of ordinary Penangites, now & the near future. What do you call that, a promise or a lie or a bluff? My pastor warned me not to trust, worship/pray or give your all (including your soul) to idols, including all kinds of tokongs. Now I know exactly what he meant by in blood, body or spirit. It will take Lucifer to show his true colours… Read more »


Yang seems to be excited by the new aspiration of rebranded MCA?


can relax a bit this Chinese New Year now that new Penang housing rules (levy charges) has been postponed to 1 March 2014.
So if make profits do remember to throw a party wih food catering arranged by tunglang ?


Hey Tunglang, the tokong will sue you lah


Which tokong? Penang Island got so many lah. Got tree deities, got datuk kong, got one driving MercS300L.
You mean the one residing in a small red shrine near the open air Komtar car park?
That one prefers pisang awak every Friday evening plus beetle nuts!
Btw, Yang. You got any lor yah ah?

Ravi Vijaya

Tarak standard mia Tokong. Sikit-sikit mau sue.

Mahathir used the ISA to silence critics, dissent and political foes. LGE has lawyers.

Dua kali lima.


Talking about LGE, Jimmy Lim, Najib, Anwar etc brings me no festive joy.

Me and my chinese & malay neighbours gonna enjoy holidays more fun watching Astro’s The Journey in cinema, then come home watching 3D’s Sholay at my home and at night we recall muhibbah moments watching P Ramlee’s Do Re mi at my Malay friend’s home.

Happy Lunar Horse Year to all readers.

Rich Daddy

Who against the tokong wishes ??? This is the result. Anil should be afraid. Very very afraid. Seriously anil, do you fear this will happen to you ??? Because as a reader, I also afraid your safety. Take care. Tokong sudah panas !!!


Tokong not only panas but now act more like a dictator


Go to Kimberley Street to get 3 joss sticks, 2 white candles & one black chicken & pray-pray on Chinese New Year eve facing Komtar Tower (after reunion dinner) for own ‘safety’ of measured-to-mild-friendly critics in or anywhere else.
Otherwise, See No Botak-ed Hills, Hear No Pro-developer Kamcheng, Comment (Speak) No Tokong Imperfection & Penchant (for MercS300Lansi-lanyong).

Man should fear no men or deities but God (Yahweh) in his daily conduct & businesses.


Anil should condem those who sue utusan too. No?


Who is this Jimmy Lim who thinks that he is so smart criticizing the State Government? If he thinks he is fighting for the cause of the State, he should stand in the next elections on the basis that he would stop ‘over-development’ in Penang and see if he wins or not.