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GEORGE TOWN, Jan 7— Penang DAP today launched a mass signature campaign to demand four major infrastructure projects in the state be reinstated by the federal government.
Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow said Penang has been sidelined by the federal government with the cancellation of these infrastructure projects.
“These projects are important for the development of Penang’s future,” he said in a joint press conference with DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Penang DAP leaders.
He said DAP’s victory in the 14th general election in Penang showed that Penang voters fully supported the infrastructure projects proposed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government that was then led by Lim.
“We have already asked the voters to show their support through their votes and the election results showed that they are fully supportive of these projects,” he said.
However, he said there is now a sense of loss after the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government decided to axe these projects.
Chow was referring to the RM100 million allocation for the Penang Hill cable car project; the RM800 million Penang International Airport expansion project; the federal government loan guarantee for the construction of the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) project and the iconic Penang ferry.
With the withdrawal of federal support for these projects, Chow said the state will try to do something to ensure the projects will still proceed.
“Penang Hill Corporation will be announcing a tender to procure private funding for the cable car project in the coming week,” he said.
As for the Penang International Airport expansion project, he said the city council has already approved the planning permission for the expansion, with funding set aside for the project.
“We want to inform the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong that there was no need to wait for the completion of the National Airport Strategic Plan research for the expansion project to be implemented,” he said.
As for the cancellation of the federal government loan guarantee for the construction of the Penang Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, Chow said this has affected the state’s plans for the transportation system.
“We will need to rearrange our financial planning to ensure that we can continue to realise this important project,” he said.
On the discontinuation of the Penang ferry, Chow said state exco Zairil Khir Johari was ordered to discuss the issue with the relevant authorities and make an official announcement on the state’s stance after that.
Meanwhile, Lim said the cancellation of the projects was a form of political revenge especially when three of the projects involved the transport ministry.
“It looks like they are using these as weapons to victimise the 1.6 million people in Penang and this signature campaign is important to ensure that the people can voice up to demand for the projects to be reinstated,” he said.
Earlier, Penang DAP secretary Lim Hui Ying announced that the signature campaign will be conducted in full compliance with Covid-19 SOPs.
“The public can take part in the signature campaign at the service centres of our MPs and state assemblymen as well as DAP offices throughout Penang,” she said.
There is also an online version for Penangites to sign at: https://forms.gle/
She said the campaign will go on until the federal government reinstates the infrastructure projects.