GEORGE TOWN (July 6, 2008) : Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng today described the federal government’s reduction of the state’s allocation from RM4.862 billion to RM1.452 billion without any consultation with the state as being "tantamount to economic sabotage". Lim said under the 8th Malaysia Plan (8MP), Penang was allocated RM6.152 billion or 3.1% of the country's total budget.
In the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP), the state was allocated RM4.862 billion or 2.9% of the total budget. However, after the mid-term review of the 9MP, the allocation was slashed to RM1.452 billion or a mere 0.6% of the total 9MP budget.
He said it was an 80% reduction from the initial allocation in the 8MP.
“This is why we are dissatisfied and angry,” he said. “It is as though the federal government wants to sabotage the economy of Penang.”
The removal comprises RM2 billion for the monorail, RM1.5 billion for the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR), RM1.1 billion for the Mengkuang dam expansion and RM100 million for other projects, including the Penang Hill railway upgrading.
Speaking at a press conference at his office today, Lim accused prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of deliberately creating the situation to bring difficulties to Penangites.
Lim also said the maximum monthly income to qualify as a poverty case should be increased from RM800 to RM1,500 due to the economic conditions today.
The country’s poverty rate would then be increased from 3.1% to 24.3%, he stressed.
He also claimed the federal government’s figure of RM3,686 as the average monthly income of Malaysians in 2007 was incorrect and false.
He said the government had used mean income statistics instead of median income which is adopted internationally. The median income of the average Malaysian for 2007 was RM2,542, he noted.
Meanwhile, Second finance minister Tan Sri Mohamed Yackop today ticked off the Penang state government for its "obsession" with the Penang Outer Ring Road and monorail projects, and for harping on them.
"The world does not revolve around these two projects. The federal government has to deal with bigger things like running the country and battling the rising prices of things," he said after opening a National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia forum here.He said the federal government needs to consider the many uses of its funds and has many other responsibilities, -- not only the two deferred mega projects in Penang.
Cucu Tok Selampit: Penangite can praise Pak Lah for his concern. If he can do these to his own state people, what about other states? Are you think he even bother to focus on the effort to overcome all the problem we faced today? Bullshit! This man is too much!!