Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 25th September 2008: 

As a result of the increase in the inflation rate to a 27-year high of nearly 9 percent in August, the BN Government must cut back on leakages in government   

The inflation rate in Malaysia is at a 27-year high with the CPI up nearly 9% in August. Food prices alone are up nearly 12%.

Malaysians desperately need help to cope with this higher cost of living, and therefore the Barisan Nasional government must cut back on leakages.

DAP proposes that the government distributes the RM107 billion in annual profits earned by Petronas to ordinary Malaysians by giving a RM6,000 annual bonus to all working Malaysian families earning less than RM6,000 a month. This will cost the government less than RM35 billion, which is less than one-third of the annual profits of Petronas.

The government can afford this if it cuts back on leakages. For example, the Tourism Ministry's RM18mil move to operate Web TV services and produce 100 documentaries is exorbitant and a waste of public funds. Do tourists really want to watch 100 videos?

The cost is unjustifiably high too. Malaysiakini launched their Web TV operations with just RM20,000.This is just one of several examples where companies have gone into web TV services with very little funds.

Despite all the rhetoric about Malaysia's anti-corruption drive, the leakages are not being plugged. This is evident from Malaysia's drop in the rankings on Transparency International Malaysia's Corruption Per­ception Index from 43rd place (out of 179 countries) in 2007 to 47th (out of 180 countries) in 2008.

* Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister Penang & DAP Secretary-General