Dato’ Eric See-To
Imagine you are a struggling businessperson and have incurred various debts to the tune of RM700,000.
However, you do have a house which you stay in worth RM655,000.
Luckily for you, you have an uncle who likes you and wants to help you out of your debt.
You then sell your house to your uncle for RM655,000. As you have nowhere else to stay, you want to continue staying in that house.
Understanding your predicament, your uncle agrees to sign a very long-term lease agreement with you of 45 years with a monthly rental of just RM1,214 per month which totals up to yearly rental of RM14,560.
Your uncle then gives you a condition that if you pay your rental in time, after 45 years he will transfer the house back to you as:
45 X RM14,560 = RM655,000.
But wait.. this is such a fantastic uncle that he even gifts you RM1.2 million for you to grow your struggling business.
Such a wonderful uncle, isn’t he?
Well, the above story is actually what happened to the Penang Government in the year 2011.
A few days ago, Penang CM Lim Guan Eng wrote about what DAP had done in the ten years that they have managed Penang and said:
_”Our (DAP Penang Govt) best achievement was that we reduced our debt successfully in order to become the state with the lowest debt in the nation. Our current debt is around RM65mil compared to RM600mil to RM700mil in the past.”_ wrote Guan Eng.
I can tell you that Guan Eng is surprisingly telling the truth this time.
However, what Guan Eng did not tell you is HOW the debt was reduced.
On 1 June 2011, the BN Federal Govt helped Penang structure its water infrastructure debts by converting an outstanding RM655mil loan to a 45 years annual lease payments of RM14.55mil per year.
In return, the Penang Govt had to surrender water assets worth this amount to the Federal Govt who will then return these assets back to the Penang Govt when the 45 years period is back.
On top of that the Federal Govt also gave a RM1.2 billion free grant to Penang to expand their Mengkuang dam.
Guan Eng was very happy with the Federal Govt’s help at that time and even issued a statement to thank the Federal Govt: https://tinyurl.com/y8x6b46w
This water restructuring exercise actually started under the previous BN state govt before DAP took over in 2008.
DAP had merely continued the process and then shamelessly boasted about this 95% state debt reduction.
Imagine that DAP Penang’s self-declared “best achievement” was actually made possible by the previous BN Penang Govt and the current Federal Govt – and yet, they continue to claim credit to mislead the Penang people for years.
Unable to accept that DAP was allowed to shamelessly take credit for this, the BNSC had pinned the DAP Penang Govt down last year until they were forced to admit that it was the Federal Govt who had helped reduce their State debt.
Read: _Guan Eng admits Penang debt reduction made possible with Fed govt help_ https://tinyurl.com/ycpkp863
So, why did the Federal Govt help Penang?
Unlike Tun Mahathir who had deprived Kelantan of funds to modernize their water infrastructure for decades just because Kelantan was under the PAS opposition, today’s BN Govt under PM Najib is no where near as cruel or calculative.
In fact other than Penang, Najib’s govt also provided billions to help fund the restructuring and upgrading of the water operations of the opposition-controlled states of Selangor in 2014 (up to RM9.45 billion) and Kelantan in 2016.
Source: Eric See-To