GEORGE TOWN: Political tensions in Penang failed to dent the placid image of George Town which beat Kuala Lumpur to become the joint eighth most liveable city in Asia with Seoul this year, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
In the list presented by Employment Conditions Abroad Limited (ECA) Kuala Lumpur emerged No 10, falling one level from last year while Singapore again bagged the No 1 position as liveable location in Asia and the world, followed by Kobe, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Yokohama, Taipei and Macau.
“We emerged as the eighth city for the second time despite the political tensions manufactured by Umno. The rallies that have taken place in Penang are held at Padang Kota where freedom of speech is allowed.
“The assessments by ECA International must have taken political tensions into consideration and perhaps dismissed it as being manufactured by a small group of troublemakers.''
He said that Penangites are not dense because they have not been affected by the political strain created by the opposition parties.
“Therefore, all efforts of trying to undermine the Pakatan Rakyat government have failed because we retained our position as the most liveable city in Malaysia beating Kuala Lumpur for the second consecutive year,” he said.
He pointed out that good infrastructure, social networks and healthcare services also helped George Town attain such status.
Asked if Penang was taking free credit for the work of previous BN governments as claimed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Sunday, Lim said he does not deny the ‘great help' from the federal government.
“I would like to thank the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) for helping us become No 1 in investments for 2010 and 2011 but Najib says this is due to BN and not the state government.
“I would like to ask BN why is it that although it ruled Penang for 51 years it never once attained No 1 for investments but we emerged No 1 twice in four years of taking over Penang,” he said.
Lim said the answer was simple because his government fought for the interest of the people including the reduction of debt by 95 per cent in the state.
“We're also well enroute to becoming the safest city in Penang following the sharp fall in crime rate in the country for three consecutive years.
“We thank the police but our community policing has also worked well.”
According to its website, ECA is the world's leader in the development and provision of solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world.