The new exco line-up just sworn in consist of mainly new faces with only a few 'experienced' assemblymen. So, will these people be able to pull it off?
Tanjung MP and Padang Kota assemblyman Chow Kon Yeow is now the person handling local government,traffic management and environment. He may have been a several term MP and has been an assemblyman previously but is he prepared to be an exco member? Understandably, this heavy portfolio rightly should be given to him since considering his seniority amongst the state DAP's assemblymen. I just hope that his soft-spoken nature will not be a disadvantage for him to keep a tight hold on the two local councils here. Hopefully he will be more firm than the previous exco, Dr Teng, and hopefully, he won't subscribe to the favourite 'I will check / look into it' whenever there are any complaints against the councils!
Another 'old-timer' is Danny Law Heng Kiang, the Batu Lanchang assemblyman. He gets to hold the tourism portfolio which is also another heavy one due to the importance of tourism for the state. Law was the Batu Lanchang assemblyman for two terms before he lost in 2004. A former banker who is approachable and humble, I wonder if he is actually qualified for this portfolio. Will he be able to solve the major tourism issues here and at the same time, bring in good tourism related events to the state? Will he be able to outdo what Teng Chang Yeow has done for the tourism sector in the state in terms of good tourism programmes and improvements to existing tourist attraction sites?
The lone hero who is no longer alone, Phee Boon Poh (Sungai Puyu) has also been given a portfolio of health, welfare and caring society. I personally think it is a waste of his talents to have such a portfolio. An intellectual with a passion to solving local issues such as strata titles and OCs, he would have been better off in charge of a heavier portfolio. According to some party insiders, Phee only managed to get this portfolio due to his seniority, otherwise he would not even be an exco member!
A people's favourite, Bagan MP and now also Bagan Jermal assemblyman, Lim Hock Seng, was given the public works portfolio (previously under MCA's Datuk Koay Kar Huah). Another humble fella, Lim is not ashamed to admit that he does not know much about his portfolio. A contractor before he became a full time politician, Lim may be able to pull it off since it is something he is familiar with and by admitting that he does not know much about it, shows that he is willing to start learning more about it to make it work.
Many of the other excos, save for the new CM, are relatively new so it really remains to be seen if they are indeed fast learners and are able to carry out their heavy responsibilities in running a state government.
The next five years will be a true test to these people, who are so used to criticising the government, to deliver and ensure they are not easy targets for criticisms by the BN, who are now the Opposition party in Penang. It is not an easy task and all these excos knew it. It is apparent in some of their dizzy 'I can't believe I am an exco member' expression. So, will criticisers make good governments?
We shall see and I can foresee lots of hiccups ahead just based on the level of fumbling inexperience amongst the lot and the concealed underlying reluctance in the 'cooperation' between DAP and PKR.