Penangites welcome ‘nice guy’ Chow as new chief minister

Opalyn Mok
Chow is sworn in as mentri besar in the presence of the Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas in George Town May 14, 2018. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, May 16 — Penang voters are confident that newly sworn-in Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow will lead the northern state to greater heights.

Many also hoped the new chief minister will get the same support as his predecessor, Lim Guan Eng.

George Town Festival director Joe Sidek said he is sure Chow, who was formerly the state exco for local government, traffic management and flood mitigation, will be able to measure up to Lim.

“I like Chow, he has always been rational and yet not a pushover type,” he said.

He added that Chow does not seem egoistic, and is a pleasant man.

Tanjung Bungah resident Agnes James is also happy that Chow was appointed as the new chief minister.

“I think he is very ‘bersih, cekap and amanah’, I hope he does a better job in protecting our hills and sea,” she said, quoting the police motto of being clean, competent and trustworthy.

She said Lim, who has now been appointed finance minister, was better suited for a federal position.

“I can’t wait for him to kick ass and conduct forensic analysis on all our bloated contracts,” she said.

St Nicholas Home Penang executive director Daniel Soon said Chow is an able administrator.

“He is very grounded and approachable. Although not an orator like Lim, I think he is what Penang needs to consolidate,” he said.

He hoped that Chow will be more open to hear and consult with civil society as compared to Lim.

Abbey Ong said this is a great opportunity for Lim to honour the two-term chief minister promise.

“I’m sure Chow will lead Penang as great and we will achieve more in the coming years,” she said.

She hoped Lim will work hard to save Malaysia and clear off the debt as much as possible.

“Now that we have federal government to support development and public transportation in Penang, I hope for no more sea reclamation,” she said.

Another Penangite, Eleena Ooi said it is time for Lim to move on as the former chief minister has been out of line when it comes to certain issues.

“I am looking forward to have Chow as the new chief minister, I heard from his previous neighbour that he is a very nice guy,” she said.

Penang Women’s Development Corporation chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng said Lim had laid a solid foundation over the last 10 years.

“It is perfect timing for Chow, a people-oriented leader, he has his ears on the ground after having chaired local authority,” she said.

She added that with Lim in the Ministry of Finance and Chow leading Penang, they will be great partners to do what’s best for Penang.

Chow, 60, has been the state exco for local government, traffic management and flood mitigation in Penang since 2008.

He was the Tanjong MP between 1999 and 2013 before defending only in the Padang Kota state seat in 2013.

He won the Padang Kota state seat in 2008.

This election he contested in both the Tanjong parliamentary and Padang Kota state seats and successfully defended both seats.