They have four children.
Lim Guan Eng attended La Salle Primary English School in Petaling Jaya, and later the Batu Pahat Montfort Primary English School. Being the Secretary-General of DAP since 2004, he also served as the Chief Minister of Penang between 2008 and 2018.
Lim is the son of Lim Kit Siang, Leader of the Opposition in the Malaysian House of Representatives from 1973 to 1999 and 2004 to 2008. However, using a new measure of total investment that took into account the manufacturing, services and private sectors, Penang ranked second in Malaysia after Sarawak in total investments, with a total amount of RM14.038 billion.
This was due to it not having much in terms of primary sector investments.
The public debt in Penang decreased by 95% from RM630 million in 2008 to RM30 million at the end of 2011. A two-week objection period was put in place for both the open tender and balloting systems.
During Lim’s tenure as CM, Penang maintained its rank as one of the top states for investments in Malaysia. He was re-elected in the 1990 and 1995 general elections, albeit with reduced majorities. He was elected the party’s Secretary-General in 2004, and has held that position since.
In the 2008 Malaysian general election, the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition, later known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR), won 29 out of the 40 state assembly seats contested in Penang, defeating the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. He is married to Betty Chew Gek Cheng who was former two-term MLA for Kota Laksamana in Malacca. According to the international weekly news magazine The Economist, the reform of the state government has ended the cronyism and corruption that led to major deficits under the previous regime.
The Penang state government under Lim received praise from the Auditor-General as the best financially managed state in Malaysia from 2008 to 2010. Other senior DAP leaders of Penang such as Lim Hock Seng, Phee Boon Poh, and Chow Kon Yeow were bypassed and were instead appointed as state executive council members.
In the 2013 Malaysian general election, Pakatan Rakyat won a larger majority, gaining 30 out of the 40 state seats in Penang.
When he took over as the new Penang CM, Lim announced an amnesty on all summonses issued by the Penang Island City Council and Seberang Perai Municipal Council involving vendors’ licences and parking offences issued before March 2008.
On 14 March 2008, a mob composed mostly of UMNO members and supporters took to the streets illegally after Friday prayers to protest his statements on the NEP. This bus service aims to increase usage of public transport, which in turn will reduce traffic congestion during peak hours on the Penang Bridge and therefore ease the financial burden of factory workers.
The SMART Centre Penang is an initiative set up by the Penang state government and the think-tank investPenang during the Penang Outlook Forum in June 2009 chaired by Lim. The SMART Centre intends to provide market intelligence, business advice, information, resources and training services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Penang. It focuses on the promotion of local sourcing, investments and networking by running various programs such as business matching, seminars and talks.
Under Pakatan Rakyat’s Agenda Ekonomi Sosial (AES) or Social Economic Agenda, the Penang state government is aiming to be the first state in Malaysia to eradicate poverty by ensuring every household in Penang has an income of at least RM 770 per month.
The poverty line is RM 763 per month for every household/family in Peninsular Malaysia. The state government had been applying to the Malaysian federal government to grant city status since January 2010.
Led by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, the Penang state government practised the concept of Competency, Accountability, and Transparency (CAT) in governance. He was released in April 1989. Likewise, the consolidated revenue fund has grown by 6.2% from RM 538.95 million in 2009 to RM 572.49 million in 2010.
Foreign investments (FDI) also increased by 62.5% to RM36.7 billion in the 2008-2015 period compared to RM22.6 billion during 2000-2007. Lim Guan Eng born 8 December 1960 is a Malaysian politician from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) currently serving as the Minister of Finance of Malaysia, three-term Member of Parliament (MP) and three-term assemblyman (MLA) representing Bagan and Air Putih respectively. In 1995, he was elected the DAP Deputy Secretary-General. The project was expected to start in 2015 and be completed in 2030.
Under Lim’s tenure, the Penang Island Municipal Council was officially upgraded to city council status on 1 January 2015 by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. She is the first serving assemblywoman to be married to a Chief Minister. According to the AG’s report, the consolidated fund increased by 2.7%, from RM 1101.89 million in 2009 to RM 1131.17 million in 2010. This was a 465% increase on the investment of RM2.17 billion in 2009.
In 2011, Penang was the top state in terms of manufacturing investments in Malaysia for the second consecutive year, attracting RM9.1 billion in total. It has helped the state government to record budget surpluses and successfully attract RM 12.2 billion in capital investments. Penang has an unemployment rate of 1.5% compared to the national unemployment rate of 3.1%.
On 28 April 2011, Lim signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China, witnessed by the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, on the proposal to construct three roads and an undersea tunnel on Penang island. Manufacturing investment in Penang increased by 87% to RM53.9 billion in the 2008-2016 period compared to RM24.9 billion in the 2000-2007 period, with a 17% increase in job creation. The concept guides the state government in achieving efficient, responsible, and clean governance. It also aims to turn Penang into a cleaner, greener and safer state.
The CAT concept encourages positive work ethics and team spirit. No arrests were made but two men were taken in for questioning. Lim’s state government has also won accolades from Transparency International for implementing open tenders in awarding contracts.
The record budget surpluses were channeled to social welfare programs such as financial aid to the hardcore poor, cash handouts to the elderly, public housing upgrades, free Wi-Fi service at selected hot spots, and free bus services within the city and between Penang island and Seberang Perai for workers. Social welfare aid of RM 100 is awarded annually to senior citizens, single mothers, disabled individuals, new-born babies, and school-going pupils in Primary 1 and 4 as well as Form 1 and 4.
On 1 March, Lim launched the Bridge Express Shuttle Transit (BEST), which is a free-of-charge park and ride shuttle bus service which ferries commuters across the Penang Bridge from Seberang Jaya to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka in 1986, defeating Soh Chin Aun with a majority of 17,606 votes. He was the first person to be detained and the last to be released during Operation Lalang.
He was appointed the DAP Socialist Youth chairman in 1989 and was formally elected to that post in 1992. The 6.5 km undersea tunnel is to be the third link between the island and Butterworth on the mainland. He was also the first Malacca High School alumnus to achieve this.
In October 1987, he was detained under the Internal Security Act in Operation Lalang, along with 106 other politicians and activists. The DAP won 19 seats, PKR 9 seats, and PAS 1.
Even though Lim is not a Penangite, he was nominated to be the Chief Minister (CM) of Penang, replacing the former Chief Minister Dr.
Koh Tsu Koon of Malaysian People’s Movement Party (Gerakan). For projects between RM20,000 and RM50,000, a balloting system was introduced. For his secondary education, he attended Batu Pahat High School and Malacca High School. In 2014, Penang recorded a total of RM8.16 billion in investments, which was a 109% increase. He thus became the first person to be elected to three consecutive terms in Kota Melaka. Families with less than RM 770 in monthly income will have the difference topped up by the state government every month.
Aside from that, the Penang state government under Lim began to give annual allocations to Chinese independent high schools and also increased annual allocations to Chinese, Tamil and mission schools in Penang which are either not funded or only partially funded by the Education Ministry of Malaysia. Various BN-backed groups and NGOs continued to protest and lodge police reports as a form of continued harassment.
On 19 March 2008, Lim announced that the state exco had approved an open tender system for state projects exceeding RM 50,000. The state attracted RM12.2 billion worth of capital investments in 2010, which accounted for 25% of the total investments in Malaysia. Penang currently has the second highest GDP per capita in the country.
Penang’s economic growth rate in 2015 was 5.5%, which was higher than Malaysia’s growth rate of 5%. He graduated from Monash University in Australia with a Bachelor of Economics (BEc).
He also served as the president of MUISS (Monash University International Student Society) during his university years.
Prior to his political career, Lim was a senior executive at a bank. According to Lim, this would ease traffic congestion in the state and improve the links between the island and the mainland.
On 25 July 2014, the Penang state government unveiled the RM27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) that comprises an integrated transportation network connecting both Penang Island and Seberang Perai.
The PTMP aims to achieve a well-defined and fully connected road network and dispersal system as well as a well-integrated and sustainable public transport system, which combines buses, trams, MRT and water taxis.