GEORGE TOWN: The state government wants to know why the rental fee of RM200,000 was not collected before the groundwork for the Kings of Tennis event was allowed at the Esplanade field.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is launching an inquiry into the cancellation of the much-touted event, was welcome to investigate why the money was not collected by the Penang Municipal Council.
Lim said the government did not play any part in the organising of the event as it was entirely a private initiative.
“We were neither the organiser nor the co-organiser of the event. As such, if it didn’t succeed, why blame the state government?” he asked after launching the International Meatless Day Charity Carnival in Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah here on Sunday.
He said that when the event was first proposed, many heads of Penang-based non-governmental organisations came to lobby for the event to be held and asked the state government to be part of the organising committee.
“I can understand their intention, knowing that if we managed to pull it off by hosting the event, it would definitely put Penang on the international map and give tourism in the state a huge boost. But we refused to be part of the organising team.
“We told them what we could do was just to facilitate the event by waiving the RM2mil deposit for renting the field with the condition that the field must be restored to its grandeur once the event is completed.
“On top of that, we offered to waive the RM200,000 rental fee if the event was successful.
“The only problem is why was the fee was not collected before groundwork was allowed to take place,” he said.
MY COMMENT - I GUESS I WILL LIKE TO KNOW WHICH NGO WENT TO SEE THE CHIEF MINISTER ON THIS? IT'S INTERESTING TO FIND OUT THOUGH......