Penang sidelined in Budget 2020, says state Opposition leaders

Noor Wahida Baba Din watches the Budget 2020 speech by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng ‘live’ on the phone at home in Bukit Gelugor October 11, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Noor Wahida Baba Din watches the Budget 2020 speech by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng ‘live’ on the phone at home in Bukit Gelugor October 11, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 11 — State Opposition leaders today said Penang has been sidelined by Putrajaya despite it being under the same Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

Penang Barisan Nasional political observer Azizi Safar told Malay Mail that the state did not get any allocations or benefits under Budget 2020 except for the slight reduction in the toll rate for the Penang Second Bridge.

“It is good that they reduced the toll rate but their promise was to abolish the toll for Penang Bridge for all vehicles which they did not fulfil,” he said when contacted.

He said another election promise by PH was to abolish the Sungai Nyior toll at the Butterworth Outer Ring Road but till today, this promise has not been fulfilled.

Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong echoed Azizi in pointing out that the government failed to fulfil its election promise of abolishing all tolls entirely.

“They only gave a discount of 18 per cent, this is not the abolishment they promised,” Oh said.

Both Oh and Azizi said the federal government did not allocate any funds for Penang’s planned Light Rail Transit (LRT) project and flood mitigation projects which the state had hoped for.

“What about the airport? Are they allocating anything?” Oh asked.

They both said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is a Penang assemblyman (Air Putih) and a Penang MP (Bagan) but did not provide any goodies to the state.

“It is disappointing that Penang continued to be sidelined by the federal government,” they said.

As for the RM100 million allocation to build cable cars on Penang Hill, Oh said this does not directly benefit Penangites.

“Cable cars are for tourists, it is not for the general public, so it isn’t even for the people,” he said.

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