Originally posted on 17/12/2016 https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/12/17/dap-leaders-hit-back-at-roger-teoh/
PETALING JAYA: DAP leaders in Penang have hit out at outspoken scholar, Roger Teoh, a former DAP member who has since been critical of the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
In separate statements, Bangkok Lane DAP branch chief Chris Lee continued his attack against Teoh, while Wanita DAP Assistant Publicity Secretary Syerleena Abdul Rashid chided him for what she called his naivety.
In the past week, Teoh has criticised the lack of a check-and-balance system in the implementation of the PTMP. He also responded to his DAP critics, saying their arguments were not backed by numbers and case studies.
But Lee has hit back, saying the reality was that traffic jams in Penang were bad, especially during peak hours because the roads and links were old. He said even though the Federal Government held the approvals for public transportation, the Penang government still had to satisfy the demands of the people.
“It is easy for scholars to point out what should or should not be done without having to face the people like an elected government must do.”
“It is easy to comment when you do not have to meet people nor think of ways to keep the economy strong in the face of growing competition for investment in Asia. This is reality,” Lee said.
Citing Chinese statesman, Mao Zedong’s failed “Great Leap Forward” policy which killed millions, Lee said not everything could be settled through a research paper and that pragmatic approaches were needed.
“I will say it again, scholars cannot figure out all the solutions to society’s problems without coming down to the ground and understanding the challenges society is facing.”
In her statement, Syerleena said Teoh’s statements were “malicious and destructive” and did not give any productive solutions.
“No doubt, Teoh is academically smart but unfortunately, he is naïve and hardly clued in to the ways of the world. To an extent, he has lived a tremendously sheltered life, kept away from the anxieties average blue-collared Malaysians feel on a daily basis.”
She said Teoh’s act of airing his dirty laundry in public was a cowardly and desperate act.
“This is not what DAP is about, neither will DAP condone such acts from its present and former members.”
“For a young man, he still has a lot to learn and experience in life; Roger must understand that most of these experiences cannot be taught in classrooms nor can it be learnt through books,” she said, adding that Teoh had a lot of growing up to do.