GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state executive councillor line-up, which was unveiled on Wednesday, is imbalanced and benefits only one party, says outspoken PKR Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin.
As such, Norlela expressed hope that the Pakatan Harapan presidential council would look into the matter to ensure the distribution is fair and just.
Stressing that there is no improvement in the current line-up compared to the previous one, she said the matter has to be seriously looked into.
“Compared to Selangor, Johor and Negri Sembilan, Penang’s lineup seems to be imbalanced and benefits only one party,” she told newsmen.
Norlela pointed out that DAP, which contested and won all 19 state seats, got the Chief Minister’s post, Deputy Chief Minister II post and six state executive councillors.
“PKR, which contested and won all 14 state seats, only got the Deputy Chief Minister I post and two state executive councillor seats.
“As for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Amanah Negara (PAN), both won two state seats each, but received no posts.
“If we add together PKR, PPBM and PAN’s state seats, all three contested and won 18 seats, which is almost parallel to DAP’s 19,” she noted.
Norlela also added that the main portfolios, such as housing, flood mitigation and local government, remained the same and were not shared with others.
“Elected representatives from PKR, PPBM and PAN are all professional and have the necessary experience to implement the numerous policies.
“Even the Deputy Chief Minister I, who is highly respected among senior Public Works Department officers and consultants for high impact flood mitigation projects, was not entrusted with the portfolio,” she lamented.
She stressed that in the 13th General Election, the voters’ profile was mainly Mandarin speaking people in urban areas.
“But now, in the 14th General Election, the voter’s profile has changed and the state executive councillors lineup must be balanced and reflect power sharing in key portfolios.
“Malay voters counted on us when they changed to support PKR, PPBM, PAN and especially PH,” she stressed.
Yesterday, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow defended the decision not to appoint any assemblymen from PPBM and PAN to the executive councillors lineup.
He said it was important to maintain the status quo for the next five years, and said that the exco reps sworn in were the strongest lineup by the PH state government.
Ten state executive councillors took their oath of office before Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas at Dewan Sri Pinang.
Of the 10, five were new faces - Deputy Chief Minister I, Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, who is Pinang Tunggal assemblyman, Tanjong Bungah assemblyman Zairil Khir Johari; Batu Maung assemblyman Datuk Halim Hussain; Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin; and Bagan Jermal assemblyman Soon Lip Chee.
A minor reshuffling and changes to the portfolio of existing state executive councillors was also announced.
Last year, Norlela took to Facebook to vent her frustration over the treatment she received following an expose on the illegal carbon filter factory in Sungai Lembu.
In a posting on Aug 21, Norlela had lamented how PH supporters had accused her of being a ‘Barisan Nasional mole’ over the issue.
Norlela had been under attack since April after she revealed in a Facebook post that her assemblyman’s allocation had been frozen for failing to attend the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas’ swearing-in ceremony.
She also drew flak again over her complaints that the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) did not cover her constituency.