5 November 2017
Press statement by MCA Penang State Liaison Committee Secretary Dr Tan Chuan Hong
The Penang Budget is nothing but to fish votes!
The Penang state government’s Budget for 2018 was nothing more but an unrealistic guesstimate, aiming only to fish more votes and will not help a bit in the state’s economic development.
The Budget has allocated an amount of RM10 million for hillside protection. But looking closer, one may find it a weak budget with minor remedies stated. There are balding hills everywhere and the damages done are clear to be seen. Most of the areas in Penang were inundated with muddy water that gushed down the bald slopes when flash floods struck the state in the early hours of 5 Nov 2017. This shows that the Penang state government is insincere about protecting bald hills and merely stated it on papers to gain political mileage.
The exemption of 2018 business licences to hawkers and smallholders is nothing to shout about. Ever since DAP took over Penang, they have increased the hawker licence and stall rental fees drastically, resulting in the price hike of hawker food and eventually, public grouses. Although now they have exempted the fees, but will they revise it again after the general election?
The rainfall volume that hit Penang is intense, and the recurrences of flash floods are high. Thus, why did the Penang state government only allocate RM2.5 million for 33 emergency mitigation projects? How much can be done with RM2.5 million? Even so with emergency projects. Isn’t this a fudge and mudge to the Penangites?
It is clear that the Penang state government shows no sincerity in solving the flood woes. Last year, they allocated RM220 million for mitigation projects but failed to implement it in the end. This year the occurrences of landslides and floods are even worse, but why has the DAP-led Penang state government chosen to reduce the allocation for mitigation drastically down to RM2.5 million? Is it so easy for voters to be fooled?
Meanwhile, allocation for senior citizens’ aid has increased from RM100 to RM130 - only 30% increment over the 9-year governance by DAP? BR1M has increased from RM500 to RM1,200 or a 140% increment. What a big difference! While BR1M may be distributed according to household income, the senior citizens’ aid is given based on the voters’ distribution. The sign of vote buying is very obvious.
The bicycle lanes put in by the Penang state government is also a complete failure. There is often a clash between motorbikes and cars on the road, while the bicycle lane occupies the pedestrian walkways most of the time. The plan is just a mess and has seriously endangered the motorcyclists and pedestrians. However, the Penang state government is still able to misappropriate up to RM45 million to build this ‘useless bicycle lane’, which has deceived the bike-loving people into believing that it is a good move to cut down the carbon emission.
I would like to urge the DAP-led Penang state government to stop lying. The Penang state budget has not highlighted any investments received and therefore will not boost the state economy, what more to create job opportunities. Where is the future of Penang? The Penang state government has overlooked this and only attempted to continue fishing more votes through lies in the coming general election.
Dr Tan Chuan Hong
MCA Penang State Liaison Committee Secretary