PH, don’t take support for granted in Penang

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As a young voter from Penang, I used to believe in the efficiency, capability, and people-oriented approach of the state government. That’s why I enthusiastically cast my first ballot for Pakatan Harapan during the 2018 election.

However, those five years of hope have transformed into profound disappointment. Penang, once a rising star, has lost its lustre and become an uninspiring and characterless place. 

The state excos were chosen not for their abilities but due to their seniority within the political party. Consequently, they have failed to fulfil the promises made to us. 

Instead of becoming a thriving land of opportunity, as many Penangites had dreamed, we are now seen as a retirement hub, with little to offer the younger generation.

While some projects like the LRT and PTMP were welcomed, numerous pressing issues close to our hearts remain unresolved due to the underperforming excos. The deterioration of Penang’s tourism industry is a glaring example. While our neighbouring destinations, Bali and Phuket, receive robust government support and thrive, Penang’s tourism remains stagnant. The state tourism exco seems to have been inactive, leaving us wondering about their efforts, plans, and innovative initiatives to attract tourists and promote our unique culture and nature.

Furthermore, the longstanding issue of brain drain has persisted, and little has been done to address it. Many of my talented friends have been compelled to seek better opportunities in places like KL and Singapore due to the lack of economic prospects in Penang. The current administration appears to lack a concrete plan to bring back our lost talent.

The leadership is dominated by old leaders who cling to their positions based on seniority, rather than merit. The excos represent a generation that fails to resonate with the interests of the youth. 

The infighting within DAP further illustrates that the old guard is more concerned about their own survival than the future of the state. As a young woman from Penang, I feel our voices are unheard and our aspirations ignored.

The prospect of incumbent leaders like Chong Eng, Ramasamy, and Phee Boon Poh continuing in their roles is disheartening. We need leaders who genuinely empower and support young ambitious women. Mere superficial events won’t cut it; we require mentorship, opportunities, and strong female role models to advocate for our causes. 

Having only two women excos, both above the age of 60, does not bode well for younger women aspiring to leadership roles. Age should not be the deciding factor but capability, and it’s time for new blood to step up.

The infighting within DAP is deeply frustrating. The party seems to prioritise its own interests over the welfare of Penangites. Two decades of rule have made them complacent, assuming that Penang will always vote for them. However, many of us are disenchanted and will not cast our ballots this August if presented with uninspiring old representatives or candidates with no real track record.

DAP must realise that we are not pawns in a political game. We are genuine voters with real issues who demand a capable, efficient, and accountable government. If DAP continues to take us for granted, its decline is inevitable and it risks losing the trust of the people. It’s time for them to wake up and avoid becoming the very thing we despise in politics.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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