GEORGE TOWN: A remark by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng threatening to stop allocations for schools which subscribe to Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian has drawn criticism with the DAP secretary-general warned to stop fanning racist sentiments in institutions of learning.
State Barisan Nasional (BN) working committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said Lim's statement showed how arrogant the latter had become of late.
Dr Teng said even if Lim might have issued the warning in jest, it was a serious remark coming from the chief executive of the state.
"He should know better than to joke about such things.
"It was an unwarranted statement but it clearly shows how arrogant he has become," he said at a state BN press conference here yesterday.
He was asked to comment on a Sin Chew Daily report on Saturday which highlighted Lim's remarks.
Lim was quoted as saying that schools in Penang should not continue subscribing the two Malay dailies, otherwise the state government would stop allocating funds to them.
He was reported to have made the remark in jest when speaking to 84 representatives from various schools.
"Schools must not subscribe to Utusan Malaysia. If they insist on doing so, there will be no allocation for you all next year.
"I am serious ... do not subscribe to Utusan and Berita Harian. You can change to Sinar Harian instead," he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Penang Umno deputy chairman Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir also criticised Lim for the remark and accused the chief minister of fanning racial sentiments.
He said Lim's threat to the schools was no laughing matter and questioned how the DAP would react if the tables were turned and Umno leaders went around telling schools to stop subscribing to certain Chinese papers.
Earlier, Dr Teng announced that preparations for Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's visit to Penang on April 26 were in full swing.
He said Muhyiddin was scheduled to meet Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) officials for an update on projects before attending meet the people sessions in Bayan Baru and Batu Kawan.
On the state BN's preparations for the next general election, Dr Teng said the coalition was working hard and assessing its strengths and weaknesses.