KUALA LUMPUR – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Friday he was withdrawing all references to an English simile he had used at the soft launch of the Penang Institute’s new office building on June 28.
Lim, in his speech, had used the terms “biting the hand that feeds you” and “barking” which offended some quarters as the terms bite and bark were often used in reference to a dog, an animal Muslims are averse to.
It was reported that ‘bite and bark’ were seen by some parties as being disrespectful to the researchers at the institute.
In a statement issued, Lim said: “I would therefore withdraw all references to the English simile of biting the hand that feeds you or barking and replace them with not showing disloyalty to the state government but giving members the right to dissent and make such differences publicly.
“However, I do not wish to prolong the unnecessary controversy as I am aware that the Western context of a dog as a man’s best friend does not apply in the cultural context of Malaysia. This has also other unnecessary cultural and religious implications.”
Lim said the gist of his speech at the soft launch stressed on the practice of freedom in Penang.
“I had reminded Penang Institute that whilst such freedom gives them the right to dissent and have opposing views with the state government even publicly, as the principal funders of Penang Institute the state government expects loyalty,” he added. – Bernama