GEORGE TOWN, July 8 — Penang Gerakan accused the federal government today of “abandoning” the state by not allocating funds for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).
Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong claimed it was obvious Penang’s welfare was marginalised under the Pakatan Harapan federal administration despite the coalition governing both the country and state.
“Other states’ projects have received funding from the federal government. Penang has to raise money to fund its projects? Are Penang people not paying taxes?” he asked in a statement today.
Oh, who is also Gerakan deputy president, pointed out that Putrajaya approved RM637 million in allocations to Pahang for three projects and at least RM3.2 billion to Kedah for seven large-scale development projects.
In contrast, he said Penang was struggling to borrow RM1 billion from Putrajaya to initiate the PMTP.
He claimed that this showed that Penang was treated in a manner not befitting its contributions to Malaysia.
“Penang is one of the states that paid the highest amount of taxes and yet the state is having difficulties securing financial support from the federal government,” he claimed.
The Penang state government must now resort to creating three man-made islands to generate land for sale in order to come up with the RM46 billion for the PTMP, he added.
“The Light Rail Transit will cost about RM9 billion and so far, the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has not allocated a penny to the state government for this project,” he said.
He said this was especially ironic as Lim was the previous Penang chief minister but appeared to have forgotten the state despite being a federal lawmaker and assemblyman here.
The Penang state government recently won approval for its environmental impact assessments (EIA) for the Penang South Reclamation to create the man-made islands.
The land created through the islands will be sold to raise funds for the PTMP which included the LRT linking Bayan Lepas to George Town and the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1) highway.