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A real leader takes criticism positively. Political leaders must realize citizens notice and comment on much of what leaderssay and do. The most effective leaders listen to critics as a means of acquiring helpful feedback to improve their personal and organizational performance. Immature ones focus on the feeling of being misunderstood or misjudged thereby placing themselvesin defensive mode instead of listening openly.

Recently, I highlighted my concerns about the Penang CM’s speech as published in his blog. His red herring response that “Barisan Nasional ministers and BN-controlled English mainstream media should take language lessons to improve their vocabulary instead of spreading “ridiculous and malignant” lie” has a boomerang effect because it shows up the CM’s complete disregard for positive criticism and the lack of initiative to even read the ORIGINAL article I wrote.

Condescending Attitude Revealed

It will do him a lot of good if ever CM Lim realizes the potential benefits of accepting accountability when things go awry such as this recent Hong Kong blooper. Instead of demonstrating such a I-Know-and-Am-Better-Than-Thou-approach, CM Lim must realize criticism and praise are not indicators of the failure or success of him or his team.

A State of Confusion?

Media reports show his state of confusion. In acknowledging that his trip to Hong Kong from September 3 to 5 was part of a state investment trip to woo investors, he is actually shooting himself in the foot.

By acknowledging the delegation used state funds to pay for the trip, he has proven beyond any doubt he has absolutely no business to run down the country even when speaking to the diaspora in Hong Kong. He has the responsibility of projecting a positive image of the country even in the face of gloomy perception. Amongst the diaspora audience could be those who know/are potential investors. How would his speech affect their perception of Malaysia’s business potential? Besides, media covering the event are highly likely to report on his damaging statements. Think of the long-term effect of his speech.

Was there a necessity for CM Lim to list the four issues with Malaysia that made it less attractive and competitive to investors in Hong Kong including crime, corruption, the rise in household and government debts, and the declining standards in education, productivity and labour skills?

He has yet to answer my query on how this can increase the international competitiveness of Penang and the country. Instead, he has rebutted with a childish recommendation for Barisan Nasional ministers and BN-controlled English mainstream media to take English tuition lessons to improve their vocabulary. Why?

A Slap in the Face

At this point, I am very surprised NONE of the Barisan Nasional ministers and English mainstream media has taken umbrage to CM Lim’s slap in their faces. Clearly, he has given me fodder to whack him kung fu style because in my previous article, I had pointed out HIS OWN grammatical errors in his infamous speech.

Excerpt from my previous article:

He needs to engage better speechwriters and to check thoroughly for his speech has grammatical errors. He talks about ‘A HONESTand competent government’ when it should be ‘AN HONEST and competent government’. Truly, CM Lim has disgraced himself publicly and internationally!

Hence, if there is anyone who should go for English Lessons, CM Lim and his speechwriters or so-called special advisors should be the first to enroll and attend for their long-term benefit and professional development.

A Responsible Communicator?

Obviously, CM Lim did not really read or comprehend the speech he gave which presumably is the same one I read from his blog and his facebook posting. Yet, he had the audacity to challenge

the Barisan Nasional-controlled media to print the speech in full. No other media printed it. His blog and websites are the only ones that published the speech. By that measure, are we to conclude that his blog is controlled by BN?

Cluelessness Exposed

1. CM Lim is completely clueless about the issue at hand.
Note: The bone of contention is NOT the quality of English. It is how he was unpatriotic in going against the real mission of the delegation.
Even if the issues raised in his text are genuine concerns of those in the audience or the countries he visited, why must he endorse those concerns by citing statistics and evidence and accuse the ruling government of his own country? What sort of confidence can he elicit in potential investors if he blasts disrespectfully even to the extent of making innuendos regarding the ineptness of the police force?

2. That CM Lim did not respond to my critique with urgency seems to imply that:
he never expected to be found out because he got away with it many times (another example is the speech given to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong in December 2012).

3. CM Lim must explain why is it that he says everything positive to foreigners when the speech is given in Malaysia? Just go to the Invest Penang website and read the press releases there. However, why does he sing a different song when in foreign land? Kindly explain.

4. The most damning evidence that he is clueless and knows no head or tail of the actual situation is that he blasted BN Ministers and the media.

If he had bothered to do his homework, he would know I, Major Huan Cheng Guan, wrote the article – not any BN minister.

If he is well-informed of current issues, he should know that I am President of SEMUT, an independent NGO passionate about truth, integrity and ethics in the Internet. I am NOT a BN Minister.

As such, his attack on BN ministers and so-called alleged BN controlled mainstream media is totally unjustified and reflects his small mindedness whereby he allowed his personal prejudice to cloud his perspective and judgement of the criticisms I hurled against him.

Is this first class competency and accountability? Where is the transparency that he promised when he cannot even respond POINT BY POINT to my concerns?

He did not because he cannot. It is as simple as that.

So, if he wants to talk about English lessons, he must remember:

i) It is ‘an’ honest minister, not ‘a’ honest minister

ii) He needs to take not only grammar lessons and learn how to use articles in simple sentence but also needs to develop comprehension skills.

iii) To take a look at his Mutiara Bulletin English articles (from the first issue to the present) to take stock of how he has used state government funds to propagate broken English.

English lessons? You and your team must go first, Mr. CM! But before you do, please read my original article and address the concerns raised.

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