Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has questioned the huge allocation for a mere 57 Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) outlets in Sabah and Sarawak in Budget 2013, which works out to a staggering RM6.7 million per store.
“In 2012, (Prime Minister) Najib Abdul Razak announced the
setting up of 85 KR1M stores in peninsula Malaysia with an allocation
of RM40 million. This works out to RM470,000 per store.
Budget 2013, the setting up of 57 KR1M stores in Sabah and Sarawak
costs RM386 million or RM6.7 million per store, which is an increase of
15 times in the cost of one KR1M store of RM470,000 in peninsula
Malaysia,” he said.
Lim queried why would the KR1M stores which sell only basic necessities like sugar, rice and salt cost millions of ringgit.
“Or are the KR1M store also selling goods like designer handbags, gold and diamond jewellery?” he said.
‘Gov’t hid electricity tariff hike’
also accused the government of attempting to hide its intention to
increase power tariff in the budget, pointing out that Energy, Green
Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin had yesterday admitted that the
hike was inevitable due to climbing international fuel prices.
“Such an admission by Peter Chin is shocking as this should be included by any responsible government in the 2013 Budget.
a hike in electricity tariffs is inevitable, why then was this not
announced in the 2013 Budget presented by Najib on Sept 28, 2012,” he
Aside from lacking transparency, Lim said that the
government budget is now into its 16th year of deficit, with its total
debt at the highest level in history at RM502.4 billion.
this RM502.4 billion debt does not even include contingent liabilities
estimated at more than RM110 billion, that are not officially on the
books,” he said.
Yet, he added that the government was willing to fork out spending
such as RM272.5 million to improve public satisfaction on police
performance instead of reducing actual crime and improving the police
“The BN has decided to allocate this money for an empty
public relations exercise that will only benefit politically-linked
consultants and advertisers,” he said.
In contrast, Lim said the
Pakatan-led Penang government had the highest ever surpluses in Penang’s
history in each of the four years it was in power.
debt reduction was adopted and (we) managed to cut down the state
government debt by 95 percent or RM600 million from RM630 million in
March 2008 to only RM30 million by end 2011,” he said.
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