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GEORGE TOWN, Dec 4 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today dismissed a claim by Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman that the state was allocated RM5.7 billion in the 2016 federal budget and demanded proof from the latter.
Lim insisted that the Penang Federal Action Council chairman was wrong, insisting that there were no funds allocated for the state in Budget 2016.
“We have not been provided with any list of the allocation, we didn't get anything for 2016, what he's talking about are allocations from 2013, 2014 and 2015. He can't just lump everything together,” Lim said in a press conference today.
He was Zainal Abidin’s claim yesterday that Putrajaya allocated RM5.7 billion to Penang to implement 144 projects under the 11th Malaysian Plan.
Zainal had said the federal government plans to implement 81 new projects on top of 63 ongoing projects that covered infrastructure projects, health, education and projects to spur the economy.
He also took a swipe at the state government for asking for funding for drainage and flood mitigation works from the federal government when the state could well fund these projects since it had recorded surpluses in its accounts for a continuous seven years and was “earning billions from land sales.”
Lim said it’s true the state is recording surpluses but pointed said it was not in the billions.
“He should make up his mind. At one point, he said the state is announcing deficit budgets every year and now he's saying we are recording surpluses, so which is which?” he asked.
Lim also demanded to know if the RTB Pulau Pinang (Penang flood mitigation project) will still continue or if it has been cancelled.
Zainal previously said the RM170 million project by the federal government for flood mitigation and water treatment of Sungai Pinang will continue but Lim rebutted this, noting that Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had said that it was cancelled.
“So which is which? The minister said the project was cancelled and now Zainal said it will continue?
“This is a very important project for Penang and the people of Sungai Pinang and it is a continuation project, not a new one,” Lim said.