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Chow, you didn't know Baldev is your deputy's father-in-law?

Are Chow Kon Yeow and his deputy Jagdeep Singh guilty of withholding crucial information to the Penang assembly?

P Ramasamy
2 minute read

I don’t expect Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow to gloss over the improper appointment of senior lawyer Baldev Singh Gurchan Singh as the head of the Penang Appeals Board under the Freedom of Information Act.

Whether Chow knew or not, or whether Deputy Chief Minister II Jagdeep Singh disclosed the information that Baldev was the father-in-law, remains to be seen.

While Chow praises the legal and professional credentials of Baldev, he omitted to say what was the relationship of Baldev to Jagdeep or why Baldev did not take up the appointment.

I doubt that Chow did not know the family links between Baldev and Jagdeep. 

Why did Baldev object to his appointment to the six-men Appeals Board before the motion was presented and accepted unanimously in the state assembly?

I would think that some members of the government would have known the family links, not so much the opposition members.

There wouldn’t have been a unanimous support in the state assembly if the opposition had known about the family relationship between Baldev and Jagdeep.

Anyway, how could Jagdeep, the three term assemblyman, appoint his father-in-law knowing very well that such a practice is frowned upon?

Chow thinking the matter will come to pass never commented on the family relationship. What he did was to say that the Appeals Board is not that significant because there were hardly any appeal cases in the past.

If this is so, then the state should scrap the Freedom of Information Act. Is Chow prepared to do this?

Chow seems to have no respect for the Freedom of Information enactment that was brought about after much discussion and public support.

Chow has failed to tell the public why it was not proper to appoint family members of politicians to public positions.

Baldev might have all the legal and professional qualifications, but was it right to appoint him in the first place?

Was it right for Jagdeep to present the motion in the state assembly to appoint his father-in-law as the head of the Appeals Board?

Why didn’t Jagdeep disclose the information of his family links to the assembly before the motion was presented? 

Is he guilty of withholding crucial information to the august house?

I think the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission should investigate the matter whether there were deliberate attempts to mislead and misinform the state assembly.

I hope MACC, as in the case of the demand-responsive transport award in Selangor, should not rely on media reports to dismiss the Penang’s case of nepotism.

P Ramasamy is the former Penang deputy chief minister.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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