Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Monday, 7th July 2008:
The Penang State Government is willing to take RM 4.7 billion cash to
replace the cost of projects cut off from the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP)
so that the Prime Minister can prove that he did not act in an unjust
act of political vengeance to punish Penangnites for selecting a new
DAP-PKR coalition Government
Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop is trying to distract
attention away from the Federal Government’s victimization of Penang by
claiming that the Penang state government is too obsessive with mega
projects such as building the monorail system. Such attacks by Tan Sri
Nor only shows his guilty conscience at being exposed for not loving his
home state by supporting the drastic cut in development funding for
Penang by RM 4.7 billion.
Tan Sri Nor should realize that unlike the previous docile state
government, the new state government is a people’s government. The new
Penang state government leaders will refuse to be treated by the Federal
government like a doormat that is “weakened, trampled and ineffective”
(as stated in the blog Faith Journey http://www.christian-journey.com/on-doormats/).
Any government leader who loves Penang would be upset when projects in
Penang are cancelled in an arbitrary and high-handed manner without
consultation or justification.
Further these cancelled projects amounting to RM 4.7 billion below were
not substituted with new projects:-
• RM 2
billion monorail project;
• RM 1.5 billion Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project
• RM1.1 billion Mengkuang Dam expansion project; and
• RM 100 million in other smaller projects such as the RM 40 million
upgrading works on the Bukit Bendera funicular train.
said the state goverment ought to focus not on these projects but on
improving the economy. I wish to tell him that the Penang state
government is willing to take RM 4.7 billion cash to replace those
projects cut off From The Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) so that the Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can prove that he did not act
unjustly out of political vengeance to punish Penangnites for their
choice in March 8 general elections in selecting a new DAP-PKR coalition
However there is no word from either the Prime Minister or Tan Sri Nor
Mohamad Yakcop of giving RM 4.7 billion cash as a replacement to allow
Penang to focus on other projects that can benefit Penangnites to reduce
the financial burdens brought about by high prices. Is that not
political vengeance for cutting down development funding for Penang at
the same time that the Federal government is increasing funding for the
9MP by 15% or RM 30 billion from RM 200 billion to RM 230 billion?
with other states, Penang’s original allocation under the 9MP of RM
6,152 million constituted 3.1% of the total allocation under the 9MP of
RM 200 billion. Following the Mid-Term Review, Penang’s share in total
allocation under the 9MP of RM 1,452 million constitute only 0.6% of the
increased total allocation of RM 230 billion. Both the Prime Minister
and Tan Sri Nor must explain the 80% drop in % share of total allocation
for Penang as compared to other states from 3.1% to 0.6%? Any failure to
properly explain or justify is a clear and unequivocal signal of
singling out Penangnites for punishment.
willing to accept cash of RM 4.7 billion to focus on agricultural
development to focus on food economics and security as a replacement.
After all, Penangnites also pay tax and it is only fair that the Federal
government gives back some of what it takes as it would be a gross
injustice to only know how to take but not to give. The question for Tan
Sri Nor is how is he helping to develop Penang when he supports the
reduction of such funds and removal of projects. If he refuses to refund
in cash the RM 4.7 billion taken away from Penang, isn’t such actions
tantamount to trying to undermine or even “sabotaging” Penang’s economy.
state government shall await a final reply from the Prime Minister on
the letter handed personally by me to review his decision to cut off
these projects from Penang before proceeding with alternative plans.
Such decisions have given the impression that both the Prime Minister
and Tan Sri Nor deliberately wants Penang economy to fail. But Penang
people will prove them wrong by demonstrating our self-reliance,
resilience and ability in accordance with the governing principles of
CAT- competency, accountability and transparency.
Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief
Minister & DAP