The recent appoint of a Member of Parliament, YB Rayer of Jelutong as the board’s chairman has raised significant concern among the Indian Community in Penang. A source close to DAP Penang has told that some delegates to the DAP Penang Convention held recently had raised the question in the convention but only to be told that the appointment was made based on orders from higher authority to their dismissal.
The Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) is a statutory body that reports to the State Government. Since the board’s establishment, it has been a practice to appoint a seating EXCO of Hindu origins to lead the board. This enables the board to work proactively in many ways; i.e:
1) Being accountable in the state assembly to questions related to the Hindu Endowment Board raised by legislators;
2) Facilitation of land ownership/acquisition issues faced by Hindu temples/Tamil Schools via the State Executive Committee; and
3) Coordination and channeling of funds provided by the State Government for socio-economic development of the Indian Community in Penang.
Taking into consideration the extensive dependency of the board on the state government, Being a Member of Parliament, YB Rayer has no local standi to address the issues related to the Board. YB Rayer also has no local standi represent the Board in the state legislation, neither does he sits in the Penang State Executive Council to facilitate any issues pertaining to the state faced by the Board. Another source close to the party’s leadership in Penang also said that for time being either the 2nd Deputy Chief Minister of Penang, YB Jagdeep Singh or the State Housing and Environment Committee Chairman, YB Dato’ Seri Sundarajoo will be taking on the responsibility to be answerable on behalf of the Board in the state legislation which started on last Friday. To the dismay of the Indian Community of Penang, a quick check on the Board’s website only shows that Sundarajoo is a commissioner of the board while Jagdeep’s name is no where to be seen. With so much and so going on regards of the Board, the pin drop silence among the Indian leadership in DAP is seen as uncanny. The DAP’s leadership has clearly made a mistake and this will lead to the downfall of the Board.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Capital Post