The dictionary defines the word “humble” as modest, not proud or arrogant and courteously respectful.
Much I would like to use those words to fit the bill for Lim Guan Eng but it would be a disservice to the meaning of those words.
He seems much aloof nowadays after three years of assuming the post of Chief Minister after the March elections in 2008.
Power can sometimes breed arrogance. In Guan Eng’s case, it has also altered his genetic cells in his head to become an ultra egoistic leader.
Sadly he is now suffering from disorientation, has become big headed, suffer sudden loss of hearing (cannot or will not listen to what the rakyat wants) and of course inflated ego of the highest degree.
He has also become a vainpot, changing his hairstyle, from an earlier Brylcreem look, one which is of the heavily oiled “Ah Pek” haircut to a more updated layered look.
His hairstyle is back to his Brylcreem look. Perhaps he should look at ways to change his attitude, rather than his hairstyle. He should learn to accept feedback in good stride and respond accordingly as a true statesman.
Recently Guan Eng went berserk and resorted to calling CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris an “old man” after he questioned the state government for not consulting stakeholders on mega infrastructure projects in Penang.
He was embroiled in a tit for tat with Mohamed Idris who responded that he would not stoop so low as the Chief Minister to resort to name calling.
Mohamed Idris said he was compelled to bring up the lack of public consultation by the state government regarding projects planned for Penang.
The projects include the construction of a 6.5km Gurney Drive-Bagan Ajam undersea tunnel, 12km road connecting Tanjung Bungah-Teluk Bahang, 4.2km Gurney Drive-Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu bypass and 4.6km Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Bandar Baru Air Itam bypass.
These are all mega projects. The people have the right to know more and to give their views on the social, economic and environmental impacts when such projects cut through their neighbourhood affecting the traffic patterns, security and business environment.
He should explain what steps would be taken to better showcase the projects to the people, either via a townhall meeting or to even to hold a public hearing to gather views and feedback.
Instead Guan Eng became defensive and embarked on a tit for tat session with Mohamed Idris and failed to address the crucial issue of the concerns of the people.
Such projects should not be rushed through without consultations with the people as it would become permanent features or alignments.
Strangely for a man of his stature, Guan Eng is unable to keep his cool when criticized.
The Malacca boy lost his cool and went ballistic, calling for an immediate press conference and without hesitation ran down the revered NGO consumer head, just because he had raised the concerns of the people regarding uncontrolled development without consultation.
Mind you it is not wrong to be old, it is not stupid to be old nor should one be construed as a trouble maker if one is old.
May be Guan Eng does not see old people as those who are wise, those who have taken much more salt than him, those who see things at a more experienced perspective.
By running down Idris as an old man for giving his views, Guan Eng has with a swift stroke of a broom, classified him as useless, not worthy and considers his views as not relevant because of his age.
There are two over million Malaysians who are above 60-years-old. Does Guan Eng regard their views as unimportant to warrant his attention?
In fact what Idris has brought up needs the urgent attention of the Penang government. The impact of the mega projects is enormous. It cannot be pushed aside or disregarded.
Guan Eng should learn to manage his ego mannerism so that it does not go into overdrive and becomes unmanageable.
If Guan Eng cannot manage his own emotions, gets easily irritated, is non-tolerant and react hastily, then would he be able to make definitive decisions with a clear mind for the benefit of the state of more than 1 million people.
He should also be reminded to practice what he has been preaching. What has happened to his Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) policy that he has been propagating or is it just a propaganda.
Guan Eng should take note that a political process should stress on accountability, transparency, and that which promotes free flow of criticism, the right to ask, to comment, and one which safeguards the legitimacy of dissent.
Lastly it would be good if the Chief Minister digest on the quotes by Abraham Cahan -
Be modest, humble, simple. Control your anger