Penang says waiting for councils' report on dubious honours

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he will only comment on the awards that both the then Penang Island Municipal Council and Seberang Perai Municipal Council received,  after the report is prepared. — Picture by KE Ooi
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he will only comment on the awards that both the then Penang Island Municipal Council and Seberang Perai Municipal Council received, after the report is prepared. — Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, July 27 ― The Penang government is awaiting a full report on the awards its two local councils received from the Europe Business Assembly (EBA) in 2013 and 2014, which are now under scrutiny as possibly fake.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he will only comment on the awards that both the then Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) received,  after the report is prepared.

“Currently, the Mayor Datuk Maimunah is in a seminar Manila in Philippines so we will wait for her to come back to give a statement on this,” he said.

He added that state executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow has issued a statement on the issue yesterday.

Yesterday, The Times in UK reported that the EBA is not affiliated to the University of Oxford as advertised, but an organisation set up by Ukrainian businessmen to sell millions of pounds worth of fake awards and honours.

It claimed the EBA had been giving out the awards for a price and that the organisation had specifically targeted third world countries.

Both MPPP and MPSP received awards from EBA in 2013 and 2014.

Chow's statement yesterday neither confirmed nor denied that the local councils paid for the EBA awards.

Instead, Chow told the local councils to be “more discerning” and careful when nominated for international awards.

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) also issued a statement claiming ignorance over the authenticity of the awards.

It claimed that MPPP was nominated for “The Best Cities” and “The Best Municipal Managers” by EBA and that the awards were presented during the Swiss Summit of Leaders that was organised on July 1 and 2 in 2013 in Fairmonl Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland.

MBPP has said it will appeal to the organisers to verify the authenticity of the EBA awards.