Saturday, 26 March 2016

Has Guan Eng forgotten that Penang’s debts were transferred to the Federal government?

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is shameless for taking credit for Penang’s low debt to the Federal government, and even had the gall to say that Penang was the “strongest” in financial management, and even dared to propose that Penang be rewarded by the Federal government.

May I remind Lim of his own announcement recently that the core assets of the Penang Water Supply Board (PBAPP) had been transferred to the Federal government through the signing of the water supply restructuring agreement between the state and Federal governments; meaning that all debts by Penang had now been transferred to the Federal government?

Upon singing the water restructuring agreement, the Federal government had then commence works to expand the Mengkuang Dam which had cost RM1.2billion. It is hard to imagine how Penang would have escaped the recent drought if the Federal government had not funded this project.

The Penang state government would certainly have faced difficulty in forking out the RM1.2billion in construction cost, not to mention the other expenses needed to continue managing the water assets, piping and distribution, and to improve water quality and services if not for the federal government.
When Lim had said that Penang’s cooperation with the Federal government was done in the people’s interest, he neglected to state the fact that Penang lacks the ability to manage a project of such magnitude. Instead, he chose to claim credit over the federal government’s efforts.

The Federal government has never neglected any opposition-ruled state, and Penang is no exception. It had undertook the project solely with the aim of eradicating the water supply problem faced by the people, and had even took into account the state government's incapability to see through such a project.

As such, we advise Lim to stop accusing the Federal government of neglecting Penang, and to stop making nonsensical allegations that Penang gets less benefits even though it has lower debts compared to other states with higher debts.

Dr Tan Chuan Hong
MCA Penang State Secretary

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