Lower salaries indicator Penang is failing, says UMNO man

“The national average of increase in average monthly salaries is 39 per cent, which means Penang’s increase is lower than the national average”

GEORGE TOWN: Lower monthly income may be an indicator Penang is failing, claimed Pulau Betong assemblyman Dato’ Muhamad Farid Saad.

In a statement today, the UMNO leader said the state ranked seventh-highest nationwide in terms of average monthly salaries, citing data released by the Statistics Department that presented RM2,434 as the average monthly income in Penang.

“If we look at the statistics, Penang placed seventh out of 16, and in 2012, the average monthly income for Johor surpassed Penang while Negri Sembilan surpassed Penang in 2013,” Farid was quoted by The Malay Mail as saying.

The same data showed salary increase rates in Penang lagging behind Terengganu, Perak and Kelantan, states that do not boast industrial zones, trading ports, infrastructure or international gateways as large or as developed as those found in Penang.

According to the data, average salaries in Penang rose by just 35.81 per cent from 2010 to 2016.

In comparison, Terengganu experienced a 43.2-per cent increase, Kelantan 47.34 per cent,  and Perak 45.26 per cent increase.

“The national average of increase in average monthly salaries is 39 per cent, which means Penang’s increase is lower than the national average,” Farid said.

His statement follows claims by Barisan Nasional’s (BN’s) strategic communications team that the state was on a collision course with bankruptcy owing to burgeoning debt pressures brought about by mismanagement.

Foremost on the team’s agenda was revenue from the sale of state land, which, according to the team, had snowballed to RM37 billion since Lim Guan Eng led the DAP into Komtar in 2008.

The team 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).

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