Friday 10 June 2011

Guan Eng insists Penang in the black

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today slammed MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek for claiming that the island-state is running on a deficit budget.
Penang, Lim said, has been enjoying a surplus budget since Pakatan Rakyat took the reins of the government in 2008.
NONEHis administration, he said, recorded the "highest budget surpluses in history", registering RM88 million in surplus in Pakatan Rakyat's first year in charge in 2008, followed by RM77 million in 2009 and RM33 million last year.
The 2009 budget surplus could have been as high as RM92 million, if not for the Tang Hak Ju land scandal of the previous BN government, whicgh Lim said forced the state to pay RM15 million to the High Court.

In a recent exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, Chua claimed that Penang had allowed its water tariff to increase by 20 percent and that the state was running on a deficit budget, which he expects to deepen next year.
NONE"This is untrue as Penang Pakatan has an unblemished record of three straight years of surpluses since we took over from BN in 2008 by relying on corruption-free and good governance based on CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency)," Lim said in a statement.

"This has been confirmed by the Auditor-General's report that Penang is the best financially managed state for two years running. Penang is the only state or federal government in Malaysian history that has been praised by Transparency International for fighting corruption."
(Penang had tabled a deficit budget for 2011. The estimated deficit stands at RM107.78 million. This was not mentioned in Lim's statement today).
Debunking Chua's claim of increased water tariffs, Lim pointed out that there has not been any increase in tariffs for domestic users, instead the state imposed a water conservation surcharge on those who waste water.

Lim added that the only increase was imposed on businesses, which now have to pay an equivalent to production costs.
'Pakatan is doing better than BN'

"If Chua is unhappy about such increases, why did he not oppose the water tariffs increases in Johor, with water tariffs in Johor inow being three to six times higher than Penang?"

Lim agreed with Chua's assessment of BN, which the latter described as having "a lot of weaknesses, corruption, abuse of power and not living up to its words".

However, making a passing reference to former MCA president Ong Tee Keat's references to Chua's "broken promises" during their bitter presidential election, Lim said Chua himself fitted the description of not living up to his words.

"There is no doubt the Penang under Pakatan has so far performed better than BN. This confidence is reflected by Penang recording the largest investment in history and being No 1 in Malaysia with RM12.2 billion.

"Penang has also the highest reduction in crime index in the country with a drop of 27% and is No 1 in health tourism and air passenger growth (25%) in the country," Lim said.

Chua, he added, should seek the truth from facts and not pursue lies by twisting facts to gain popularity and attack Pakatan.

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