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PONTIAN: No state leader should try to secure investments at the expense of other states when talking to investors, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
He said the Federal Government lured in-vestors but did not tell investors to shun Pakatan-held states.
“I have never told investors not to invest in Selangor or Penang during my trips. What Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng did shows that he does not respect other state leaders.
Muhyiddin said that although Lim had not made the disparaging remarks about Johor during his interview in Australia, he was informed that he had said it and he should apologise for it instead of denying and twisting the issue (berdolak dalik).
“Even leaders make mistakes and should just apologise,” he said during his one-day working visit and meet-the-people session here yesterday.
Muhyiddin chided Lim for taking credit for the drop in Penang’s crime index when the Federal Government and police were the ones behind the drop in crime rate not just in Penang, but also in Selangor and Johor.
Muhyiddin said that as chairman of the National Key Result Areas initiative, he gets monthly briefings on security issues from the Home Minister and the Inspector-General of Police.
He said this when commenting on remarks Lim allegedly made in Singapore last month at a Correspondents Club of Singapore luncheon.
An alleged transcript of Lim’s speech, released on Internet portals, quoted him as saying: “You don’t have to worry about your safety when you come to Penang. In Johor, if you are a Singaporean, you are likely to get kidnapped.”
In George Town, Lim denied making the remarks but said he was unsure if they were made in a private capacity.
He said that his prepared text was distributed at the event and was available on the Internet, and there was no mention of Johor in the text.
“It was not in a public speech, was it said in a private capacity? That’s where we must check again.
“If you are talking about statements I made privately, or in any other situation, well, let us look at the context,” he said.
“Was such a statement made? For that I have to listen to the recording,” Lim said at a press conference at his office in Komtar yesterday.
He said this after requesting a journalist from TV3 to leave his press conference because it was a potentially legal matter (or suit) and he did not feel it was legally appropriate for TV3 to attend.
In Petaling Jaya, Padang Serai’s Independent MP N. Gobalakrishnan dared Lim, the DAP secretary-general, to “recall” the party’s elected representatives in Johor.
“If Lim honestly believes that Johor is full of violence, he should also ask all his party members to relocate to other states,” he said.
In Putrajaya, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agentssecretary-general Jenny L. Shabudin described Lim’s statement as “silly” and said it might even endanger the tourism industry in the country.
“I was shocked when I heard the recording. I hope Lim will retract his statement and apologise to Johor,” she told a press conference together with Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
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