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GEORGE TOWN, Jan 4 — The Penang state government received a total revenue of RM4.947 billion since 2008 but only RM658 million or 13 per cent of the total are from land sales revenue, its Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He also said his state administration allocated RM500 million of the land sales revenue to build low-to-medium cost and affordable houses below RM300,000, which meant that only RM158 million was available as contribution towards the accumulated surplus of RM574 million and also towards the RM400 million cash payments under the state's social welfare programmes.
“I wish to assert that Penang would have recorded RM1,074 million in accumulated surplus since 2008 if RM500 million had not been allocated for the public and affordable housing fund,” he said in a statement.
He stressed that the RM500 million public and affordable housing fund was taken out of the RM658 million in land sales by the state government.
“This clearly shows that land sales was not the reason for the annual surpluses of the state government,” he added.
Lim was responding to Gerakan federal lawmaker Liang Teck Meng who had questioned the Penang lawmaker’s calculations for the state's budget surpluses and its land sales revenues.
He told Liang that "no special maths" was employed by the state government and that all the figures are verified, acknowledged and certified by the annual Auditor-General's Reports.