Penang CM: No conflict of interest with ex-developer as housing exco

PENANG Chief Minister (CM) Chow Kon Yeow has emphasised that there is no conflict of interest in designating a former developer as the state executive councillor (exco) overseeing housing and environment matters.

While justifying S Sundarajoo’s selection as the state’s housing and environment exco, Chow asserted that the Perai assemblyman’s extensive background in the property sector renders him a valuable asset to Penang.

“We must see his decades-long experience in housing development. He will be an asset (to the government) in understanding the developers’ point of view and technical views from the government,” he told reporters at Dewan Sri Pinang.

Moreover, Chow added that it is his expectation that all recently appointed excos will adhere to the legal requirement of divesting their business interests.

Eco World Sdn Bhd former Chief Operations Officer (COO) S Sundarajoo, who boasts more than three decades of experience in the property industry is embarking on his maiden term as an assemblyman.

In a revealing turn of events, the Penang CM revealed that Barisan Nasional (BN) had presented only a solitary nominee for a state exco position, namely Sungai Acheh assemblyman Rashidi Zinol.

According to news portal Free Malaysia Today, the decision provoked discussions with sources suggesting that certain Penang UMNO leaders proposed Rashidi’s elevation to deputy chief minister in lieu of former federal minister and Bertam assemblyman Reezal Merican Naina Merican, whose omission from the exco lineup raised eyebrows.

Amidst this intricate political landscape, Chow divulged that Amanah had advocated for a single exco post. However, differing perspectives emerged within the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership.

Consequently, Bayan Lepas assemblyman Azrul Mahathir Aziz of Amanah has been designated as the Penang state assembly deputy speaker while the identity of the new Speaker remains undisclosed.

Furthermore, the Batu Kawan MP pointed out that the appointment of exco members was dictated by the tally of seats secured by each party.

Within the DAP faction, priority was accorded to assemblymen in their second or third terms, although an exception was extended to Sundarajoo due to his industry expertise, the Penang CM elucidated.

Earlier, in an official ceremony witnessed by Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Razak, Chow presided over the swearing-in of 10 exco members, ushering in a new chapter for Penang’s governance landscape. – Aug 16, 2023



Main photo credit: The Star

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