Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman Teng Chang Yeow has criticised the Pakatan Harapan Penang GE14 Manifesto as having “different versions with different contents to the different races in the state.”
This claim is utterly untrue as the inconsistencies occurred only with the Chinese translation of the manifesto. Of particular significance, the Malay and English versions contained a point about abolishing the toll at the first Penang Bridge as well as the Sungai Nyior toll. However, this point is omitted in the Chinese version, which instead contained a different point about tax distribution.
This error occurred primarily because the wrong version of the page had been sent for printing. As I had admitted in a press conference yesterday, I was unable to proofread the Chinese version and so could not detect the error before it was published.
As the person in charge, I have apologised for the oversight and accept responsibility even though I am unable to read the Chinese translation. The error has since been rectified and the correct version will be published and distributed.
However, I would like to point out that Teng has no right to point fingers when the BN manifesto itself contains inconsistencies in the different language versions. According to a report by Malaysiakini, the Chinese translation of the BN manifesto contained a promise about abolishing toll fees for motorcycles on the first Penang Bridge, while this point was not found in the Malay version.
Clearly, errors have occurred due to the frantic pace of the election period. Thus, for Teng to paint Pakatan Harapan as playing the racial card is laughable and a pathetic attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that their own manifesto has inconsistent versions.
The difference is that I immediately took responsibility and apologised for the mistake even though I am unable to read Chinese. Not only has Teng not apologised, he obviously cannot use the same excuse.
Zairil Khir Johari
DAP Penang Vice-Chairman
Pakatan Harapan Candidate for Tanjong Bunga
NB: This press statement was released on 27 April 2018 in George Town.