Lim Chong Eu dies


Father of modern Penang: Tun Lim Chong Eu

Former long time Penang Chief Minister and Gerakan founder Tun Lim Ching Eu has departed. He was 91.

Published: Wednesday November 24, 2010 MYT 10:21:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday November 24, 2010 MYT 10:55:06 PM

Former Penang Chief Minister Chong Eu dies


GEORGE TOWN: Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, 91, who served as Penang Chief Minister for 21 years, died on Wednesday.

He leaves behind his wife, two sons and two daughters.

He was admitted to Penang Hospital on Oct 26 after he suffered a stroke but, when his condition worsened Wednesday, he was allowed to go to his home in Hillside, Taman Bungah, where he passed away at about 9pm.

The Gerakan founder was a towering leader who presided over Penang’s remarkable economic transformation but led a simple life throughout his political career spanning 39 years, shunning awards and titles.

He only accepted a Tunship after retiring from politics.

When he took over as Penang’s second chief minister in May 1969, the state was going through a difficult period after the withdrawal of the state’s free port status. Unemployment had shot up to 16.4%.

Dr Lim went overseas to attract investments that would provide jobs and managed to build one of the largest electronics manufacturing bases in Asia, earning the island the tag Silicon Valley of the East.

He came up with the “Free Trade Zone” concept to enable Penang to develop an industrial sector – a concept new to the country then.

Aside from courting western companies, he oversaw the transformation of Batu Ferringhi into a tourist destination and cleared pre-war houses to build the 65-storey Komtar, which was then Southeast Asia’s tallest building.

He also built the Penang Bridge.

Born in Penang, Dr Lim attended Penang Free School. In 1937, he was a King’s scholar at the Edinburgh University in Scotland and graduated in 1944 with a medical degree.

Formerly a medical officer with the Chinese Armed Forces, he founded the Radical Party in 1951 that won the first municipal council elections in George Town.

In 1954, he joined the MCA and was a member of the Razak Commission for Education.

He defeated the late Tun Tan Cheng Lock for the MCA presidency in 1958 but quit the party a year later following differences with Umno over the allocation of parliamentary seats in the 1959 general election.

He formed the United Democratic Party in 1962 and co-founded Gerakan in 1968.

The party swept the Alliance ruling coalition out of Penang in the 1969 general election and Dr Lim was appointed chief minister.

However, in 1973, Gerakan joined the Alliance Party to form a coalition called Barisan Nasional.

In 1980, Dr Lim stepped down as party president saying there were “many young and promising leaders in the party who are just as capable of holding the post”.

He was succeeded by (Tun) Dr Lim Keng Yaik in 1980.

He continued as chief minister but lost the Padang Kota state seat in the 1990 general election and then retired.

After retiring from politics, he stayed away from Gerakan affairs and kept mum, even when the party went through trials and tribulations.

He retired a humble man without a whiff of corruption.

After retiring, he became a passionate horse breeder and turned his attention to business, as chairman and adviser to several large corporations.

He also refused to publicly comment on the country’s political development when approached by newsmen.

In 2007, he was named founding chancellor of Wawasan Open University in Penang.

Penangites will not forget Dr Lim’s legacy.


Lim was the leader of Gerakan when the bloody racial riot of 13 May 1969 occured. However when order was restored after NOC, Federal Government under Tun Abdul Razak Hussein initiated a national level consultative council to resolve the issues how and why the 13 May racial riot happened. Lim brought Gerakan into the forum where New Economic Policy was born in 1971 as an affirmative action to address the socio-economoc disparity between the urbanites and under developed rural folks. In 1973, Lim brought Gerakan to join the Alliance Party spin off Barisan Nasional coalition government.

Upon his retirement from Penang Chief Ministership in 1990, he was invested with the Darjah Seri Setia Mahkota Negara (SSM) which carried the title ‘Tun’. He is the first Non Malay Penangite to be invested the award.


Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 22:48  Leave a Comment  

MACC report made mentioning Dino Rais

It was made to understand an MACC report was lodged against Desmond Looh and Magic Telecom Sdn. Bhd. in the process of Numix Engineering Sdn. Bhd. acquiring 700MHz CDMA license from MCMC. Sources said the report was lodge by Numix Engineering Director Abdul Razak Mohd. Noor in MACC HQ Putrajaya.

It was said that the name ‘Dino b. Rais’ was mentioned in the report.

It was believed that stated somewhere in the report, monies were paid to Magic Telecom Sdn. Bhd. which include a sum not really specified and Desmond Looh, who had been alleged to be very close to Dino. Dino is the son of Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, Ph.D.

A different source explained that most probably Razak filed the report to protect himself since he was sued by Dino for defamation on a demand letter dated 2 November 2010, the same day the latter sued The Malay Mail and The News Straits Times for the report “Dino’s Son in Telco Suit” appeared on the cover of the ‘Paper that cares’. It was about Razak, Aishah Harun, Numix Engineering Sdn. Bhd. filing an injunction against Desmond Looh, Magic Telecom Sdn. Bhd. and Sejahtera Saluran Sdn. Bhd. at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 22 October 2010.

It was said in the report, Razak alleged that a former Kuwait Finance House senior officer knew “Desmond Looh was very close to Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim and an old friend of Desmond Looh’s father” and Looh was taken in on the newly formed Magic Telecom Sdn. Bhd.on the premise that:

1. He had sound financial standing

2. He was close to Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim and showed the sms exhanges between the both of them to substantiate the claim

3. The closeness will enable the acquisition of the said CDMA spectrum license and all the licenses related to the venture

4. Looh also made a representation that Dino Rais is “To be employed in Magic Telecoms for technical and corporate exposure”

A company named Retroline Sdn. Bhd. was formed for the purpose of payment made to Dino Rais and he shall use the pseudonym of “Rahim Razlan” to cover his identity whilst under the payroll of Magic Telecoms. A detailed of list cheques paid to Dino and dates was believed to be furnished in the report to MACC. Dino was also sent to Chengdu, China 12-16 April 2010.

This MACC report corroborated earlier articles in the blogs insinuating that Rais’s son was involved the acquisition of certain spectrum licenses issued by MCMC, first raised on 8 October 2010. Rocky Bru picked some of these postings into his “Santa Rais” article posted on 9 October 2010, of which Rais reacted by lodging a Police report against Datuk Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan on 12 October 2010. MCMC was very swift in their investigations where the Police was asked by MCMC to confiscate his Acer “Ferrari” Notebook and Streamyx modem from his Puchong home, just 24 hours after the Police report was lodged in IPD Dang Wangi.

This episode attracted mainstream and new media attention to a point that Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak made a remark “Terkilan” to what has developed by Monday 18 October 2010. The ‘Pandora’s Box’ on MCMC was further opened when issues serrounding the authority and utilisation of USP Funds was raised even in Parliament.

It was raised in public domain that Rais as the complainant, instructed the MCMC IO to call the suspect in the investigation Datuk Ahirudin Attan and Yours Truly (as the prosecution witness if and when the case goes to court) “To meet up for tea”. It was also made to understand that MCMC IO only took the statement of the complainant about two weeks ago, which is a month after Datuk Ahirudin was interviewed and had his statement taken. This is also should be a specific subject for MACC to investigate.

For the record, mainstream media already reported that MACC has also initiated investigation on the utilisation of the USP Funds, particularly in the 123, 000 units issued in the Phase 1 of the  ‘1 Malaysia Netbook’ program under the National Broadband Initiative.

It gets more interesting on how a case which could go unnoticed as a dispute between Razak and Looh was actually able to be resolved privately without this much attention had Rais did not react against Rocky. We believe this could only go more ugly as Razak’s, Aishah’s and Numix Engineering’s case against Looh, Magic Telecom and Sejahtera Selalu goes on hearing on 3 Dec 2010. Hopefully, some of the materials to be presented in the hearing were included in the MACC report to fully facilitate the investigation.

As Sherlock Holmes would say at this point, “The game’s a foot”.

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 12:18  Comments (21)