Again, Penang ignored in five-year Malaysia plan, Guan Eng says

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng complained that Penang was completely ignored in yesterday’s unveiling of the 11MP. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng complained that Penang was completely ignored in yesterday’s unveiling of the 11MP. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, May 22 — Putrajaya had refused to entertain Penang’s request for RM21 billion in allocations in the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP), Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng lamented today as he accused the federal government of side-lining his government over politics.

The DAP secretary-general complained that Penang was completely ignored in yesterday’s unveiling of the 11MP, a five-year development plan that is meant to see Malaysia through from 2016 to 2020.

“None of the projects we asked for — LRT, MRT or the expansion of the Penang International Airport — were even mentioned, we did not get a single thing,” he said.

He said the airport is reaching full capacity by the end of this year and urgently needs to be expanded.

“Even though we don’t get any allocations, we will still go ahead with the Penang Transport Master Plan on our own,” he said in a press conference at his office.

He stressed that Penang do not want to be left out, which is why it will still go ahead with its RM27 billion transport master plan without funding from Putrajaya.

“The 11MP is meant for the people but as long as it is not based on an open tender system, it might as well be called a crony plan,” he said.

He alleged that without an open tender system, whatever projects under the 11MP will end up racking higher costs for the people.

He used the KLIA2 as an example, in which it was RM1.7 billion but ended up costing RM4 billion.

On the plans to increase the income of low wage earners to reach middle income level, Lim said there were no substantial efforts to do so.

“These are all empty promises and what he proposed only sounded nice when there were no results at all, if it is effective, why is it that people are facing worse situations now as compared to five, 10 years ago?” he asked.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled the 11MP and announced that Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu will be developed as growth catalyst cities in order to maximise benefits for the residents and to stimulate national development.

The cities were selected based on their potential in terms of population size, Gross Domestic Product, existing major infrastructure, concentration of higher learning institutions and geographical advantage.

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