Federal Government promises must not be used as election blackmail

Media statement by DAP MP for Bukit Bendera Liew Chin Tong on 8th December 2012:

Federal Government promises must not be used as election blackmail

I call upon all Penang voters to vote for Pakatan Rakyat both at the state and at the federal levels in the coming general election to end the charade of Barisan Nasional’s election blackmail. And, past promises must not be “recycled”.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced in Penang today that “Not less than 20,000 units of affordable housing will be built in Penang” if BN wins the state in the next election; and “if Penangites give us their trust again, we will resolve the traffic congestion problem by introducing a monorail system here.”

It is an utter contempt of the wisdom of Penang voters.

The Prime Minister is announcing federal projects funded by federal resources, which should be implemented immediately regardless of who runs the state government.

The people of Penang contribute at least RM 3 billion annually through direct tax, only around RM 100 million is returned to the State Government in the form of fixed grants.

Federal Government runs a budget of RM 252 billion in 2013 while the Penang State Government runs a budget of RM1.1 billion. In other words, federal budget amounts to 230 years of the Penang State Government expenditure.

Housing and public transportation have mostly been within the remits of the Federal Government though in the long run resources and powers for those policy areas should be decentralised to the State level.

Free of corruption, cronyism and nepotism, a Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government will deliver more services and benefits to the Penang voters.

Recycled promise

The monorail announcement is a further condescension of the Penang voters. It is a “recycled” promise. Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi promised Penang a monorail system in 2006.

Also, Najib announced in the 10th Malaysia Plan in June 2010 that 200 new buses will be added to RapidPenang’s fleet. As of today the promise has not been fulfilled. There is an allegation that some of the allocated buses were “hijacked” to Kuantan.

It is time Penang Barisan Nasional to stand on its own feet to compete with the Penang Pakatan Rakyat on state policies and end this farce of using the financial prowess of the Federal Government to blackmail the Penang voters.

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