“The call came amid concerns that the DAP-led government was cash-strapped and forced to borrow money from China’s EXIM bank for development projects”
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional has for the umpteenth time pressed Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to come clean on his administration’s financing of the state.
In a statement, the ruling coalition’s strategic media team said his failure to do so would only imply the state was on a collision course with bankruptcy.
The team cited the sale of state land as among issues the Chief Minister needed to clarify, saying his administration had sold parcels worth RM37 billion since it took control of the state in 2008.
The team also wanted to know if the Penang Transport Masterplan project had ballooned from RM27 billion to RM46 billion in just one year, or if the state had been forced to make an emergency infusion of RM609 million to the Penang Development Corp and RM30 million to the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBA).
According to the team, the allegations, if proven true, might help shed light on why the state administration had resorted to broadening its revenue stream by raising quit rent, parking fees and water rates, among others.
“In short, this points to a Penang which is set to become a bankrupt and failed state where the people will be hit with further increases in charges, fines, state taxes and water rates to help the state government cope,” the team said.
The statement follows a similar one made on the 2nd of June 2017, in which the media team repeated an earlier call for Guan Eng to come clean on the state’s revenue streams.
In the Friday statement, the Chief Minister was asked to justify the state’s fiscal surpluses despite the steep rise in operational costs – by as much as 500 percent – since the DAP took over in 2008.
The call came amid concerns that the DAP-led government was cash-strapped and forced to borrow money from China’s EXIM bank for development projects.
According to UMNO’s Dato’ Seri Zainal Abidin Osman, all state development projects within the state should be financed using revenue from the sale of land and not by borrowing from foreign banks.