SEBERANG PERAI (July 20, 2008) By Bernard Cheah
As much as the Penang government welcomes the federal authorities’ move to reinstate RM40 million of the state’s original 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) allocation, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today the amount is a far cry from the total RM 4.7 billion that Penangites had been promised.
Responding to Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop’s announcement recently that the allocation for upgrading the Penang Hill funicular railway, would be topped up with RM100 million for purchase of new RapidPenang buses, Lim said the RM140 million is a mere 3% of the allocated RM4.7 billion shelved in the 9MP mid-term review.
"It's not 10%, it’s not 5%, but just only 3% of the RM4.7 billion promised to Penang," said Lim who expressed hope that the federal government would reconsider its decision and not defer the pending allocations for the Mengkuang Dam expansion, Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) and the monorail.
"These are promises made, and promises made should be fulfilled," he stressed, adding he would meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for a fourth time, to discuss this matter.
"Penangites are also tax payers, and they have a right to these projects," Lim told reporters after giving out letters of appointment to 148 Penang Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) chairpersons at the Seberang Perai Town Hall here today.
Lim also said each JKKK chairperson would only be given an allowance of RM200 per month, compared to the previous allowance rate of RM600.
"We don't want to see a person taking up this post for money. He should do this to provide service to Penangites."
The state government will allocate RM 1,000 for each JKKK's annual administration cost.