Is restless Kon Yeow using political threat tactic to wriggle himself out of illegal land deal dilemma?

I AM not sure whether the Chief Minister of Penang Chow Kon Yeow believes strongly that there is an attempt to topple him or it is an attempt to divert attention from the current land sale imbroglio the government is facing.

Before the last state elections, there was an attempt to remove him, but was not successful. After election victory in Penang, he was sworn as the chief minister for the second, the final term.

Chow is hardly in office for two months, he already talking about attempts to topple him from the office. Perhaps if he is that sure, then he should name the persons behind the attempts to remove him. I am not sure whether the national leadership is aware of this.

Anyway, Chow’s allegations of his removal has come at a time when the state government and the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) are caught in the land sale controversy.

About 556 acres of land were recently sold to a private company Umech Land with a last minute shareholding of 70% by the wholly owned subsidiary of Sunway Bhd.

Numerous questions have surfaced recently why the land was sold to Umech Land (instead of Umech Construction originally), who brought Sunway into the deal, why the land was sold below the market rate and why there was no open tender and others.

Avoid political diversions

I think it was in the context of the land sale controversy that Chow – two days ago – brought up the matter of attempts to remove him from office.

He said the forces rather than plotting to remove him should lend their support to the Penang state government.

When Chow remarked that there was a plot to remove him, the land sale controversy was probably not far from his thinking. Anyway, if there are procedures not followed in the land sale, then it is up to the Penang state government Penang to own up its mistakes.

It serves no purpose for Chow or others to divert matters away from the land sale controversy. Political diversion might not be good for Chow to effectively govern Penang. If Chow is serious about the political threats, then this must be made know to the national leadership.

Unfortunately, the DAP national leadership thinks that “transparent” Chow might be able to resolve the matters.

Let us wait and see, whether the national leadership can maintain its confidence in Chow. Otherwise, Chow should desist from linking the land sale controversy to his removal from office even the link was not directly established.

However, if the state government does not manage and resolve the land controversy, then this issue might linger on and could be used as political ammunition against Chow.

Prof Ramsamy stood down as a DAP member on Aug 9 this year, just three days short of the six states polls

Chow forgets his backers

In the last state election in Penang, most of state assemblymen aligned with Chow were deprived of their state seats.  The party called the removal as a rejuvenation but I called it a political purge.

Chow as then chief minister hardly took the initiative to defend those unfairly dropped including the young candidates.

But after the state election was over and with his appointment as the second Term Chief Minister, he had the temerity to say that the party made the right decision in the selection of the candidates.

Before this, he was behaving like a “cry baby”. I am no more in the government or the DAP. I have burned my bridges when tended my resignation two days before the last state elections.

I would not put up with Chow or any others to surreptitiously use my name or others in the justification why the land was sold to Umech Land.

I might have been in the sub-committee or the PDC board but I had no role in deciding in favour of the land sale. If there is an investigation, I am prepared to come forward to give my version of what really transpired when I was in the PDC board.

I was in part of the Penang state government for the last 15 years. Surely, I want the Penang government to succeed in terms of rendering excellent services to the people.

I am the last person who wants Penangites to face hardship as result of the failure of the state government. – Oct 16, 2023


Former deputy chief minister II of Penang and ex-Perai state assemblyman Prof Ramasamy Palanissamy was also a former Penang Development Corporation (PDC) board member.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main pic credit: Chow Kon Yeow’s Facebook

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