PETALING JAYA, 26 June 2009: Penang and two other Pakatan Rakyat-led states – Kedah and Kelantan – were among six states that received the lowest allocations from the government’s stimulus package.
Citing data available from the government’s Treasury website, DAP’s Jalan Tembikai branch deputy chairperson Steven Sim said, for example, that Penang was only receiving 0.8% of the federal government’s RM60bil stimulus package.
“The meagre allocation to Penang’s development in these challenging economic times does not make sense to our country’s economy as a whole,” he said in a statement today.
Sim noted that Penang contributed to about 30% of the country’s total exports, yet only RM75.51mil of the development funds from the stimulus package was allocated to the state.
“We urge the prime minister to consider the contribution of the state and people of Penang when allocating the stimulus package,” said Sim.
He said that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng submitted an application for an RM11bil allocation for 21 critical projects in Penang, including the monorail project (RM2.5bil), Penang Outer Ring Road (RM1.5bil), and the Mengkuang Dam expansion project (RM1.1bil).
Sim added that the federal government should dispense public funds according to economic and social needs, instead of using it as political reward or punishment.
He also urged the prime minister to ensure that Penang remained a competitive economic hub.
“One of the urgent measures should be the upgrading of facilities and infrastructures in Penang…We should not need to wait for overseas visitors such as (Singapore Minister Mentor) Lee Kuan Yew to comment about the state of our facilities before taking action,” said Sim.
On 15 June 2009, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced in Parliament that close to 100% or RM6.95bil of the first stimulus package has been disbursed.