3:13 pm - Tuesday December 15, 6009

Guan Eng, answerlah

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Preface: A number of questions come to the mind to the Cinta Malaysia Party (PCM) Deputy President, Datuk Huan Cheng Guan regarding what he claims as failure of the DAP government in Penang.

 

Is it true that what Cheng Guan questions revolves around issues involving the interests of the people in the state, which he has shared with Utusan Malaysia reporter, ZULKIFLI JALIL when contacted yesterday.

 

The housing issue is said to plague the Penang DAP administration, is this true?

 

Cheng Guan: DAP needs to explain how much money the state government has channelled to the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) for the construction of affordable housing. This is the result of the sale of reclaimed Bayan Mutiara land, repeatedly mentioned by the state government until 2016.

 

It was made to understand that PDC has received a cash injection of RM500 million from the state government, but strangely, still needs a loan of RM609 million from the state government to implement its projects.

 

Why has this issue been raised?

 

Batu Kawan is an area in the district of Seberang Perai Selatan and the Penang state government had sufficient land for development there prior to this. But how is it that since 2012 the DAP government is more interested and has chosen to sell vast swaths of Batu Kawan land to private developers rather than give it to PDC to be developed?

 

It seemed to deny PDC the opportunity to develop these lands, while at the same time denying PDC the chance to make profit, which resulted in the government having to inject additional cash in the form of loan to PDC for 2017.

 

As Chief Minister, does Lim Guan Eng not care?

 

In 2012, Guan Eng issued a statement saying that at least 18,000 units of low cost houses are to be constructed by the state government under Phase 1 and 2 of the RM500 million Affordable Housing Fund and this has already been launched on 17 February 2012.

 

However, until now, the state government has built not one of these affordable houses.  Although the state government has given PDC a loan, but until now, affordable housing is still an issue in Penang.

 

Is the administration of the state government running well?

 

Based on the Auditor General’s report, Penang is supposed to be in a deficit and not surplus if not for the sale of land by the state government. This is as the budget surplus accumulation of RM574 million by the state government led by DAP came from the sale of Penang state government land.

 

The operational expenditure of the state government has increased threefold from 2008 until 2015. This big increase is expected to continue due to the forecast that operational budget in the 2017 Penang Budget is to increase five fold from 2008 figures.

 

DAP repeatedly announced that it reduced the state government debt by 95 per cent through the principle of Efficient, Accountable and Transparent (Cekap, Telus dan Amanah (CAT)) it practised, is this true?

 

What I understand happened is that the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) and the Federal Government has taken over the current debt of RM655 million of the state government and restructured it to yearly payments of RM14.56 million, where the Penang state government pays the same total amount over 45 years.

 

For that, from one debt, it transformed into a lease. As a return, the Penang state government promises water and land assets to the Federal Government.

 

 

 

Filed in: Nasional, Politik, Topik Pilihan

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