This is my Penang: YAB Lim Guan Eng
By Lillian Tong
As the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng has spearheaded several well-known campaigns including the Cleaner, Greener Penang initiative and the Competency, Accountability and Transparency policy. His vision of a better Penang for his people has been a bold and compelling one and he shows no sign of stopping.
What do you love about your job?
I enjoy the dynamic and smart people in Penang. Penang is said to be a difficult state to govern. It is difficult because there are so many intelligent people, and they are difficult precisely because they are smart. I get to interact, engage, and convince the smartest people in Malaysia to move in the same direction, that is, to transform Penang into an international intelligent city. What else do I love about Penang? It is the food, the beach, the hills, the heritage. But in the end, it is the people of Penang that makes it lovely.
What is your quintessential Penang meal?
Char koay teow, yam cake, chee cheong fun, Hokkien mee, assam laksa and rojak. Oh dear, I am getting hungry now.
Where would you bring firsttime visitors to in Penang?
The Street of Harmony. It was here that the population of Peranakan Jawi, Keling, the Chinese clans, Armenians and Acehnese first co-existed. They built the Kapitan Keling mosque, Sri Maha Mariamman temple, Khoo Kongsi and the beautiful Mesjid Jamek on Acheen Street. Where else in the world can you find this?
What do you like most about Penangites?
I like their unbeatable energy, expertise and entrepreneurship.
From a personal point of view, what is Penang’s best-kept secret?
The hill trails and National Park, particularly the ones that are not well-worn or visited, like the uncharted ones that goes from Relau, over Penang Hill, after the dam, through Batu Feringghi and Teluk Bahang. The waterfalls and quarries are undiscovered beautiful spots.
Is there a specific spot where you like to unwind after a long day?
I like to sit at a roadside stall with a hot glass of teh tarik or kopi. I have my teh tarik at a back lane shack by the wall of old buildings along Jalan Campbell. This place, translated from Chinese is called ‘Many Springs.’