8 January 2021
Press statement by MCA Vice President cum MCA Penang State Liaison Committee Chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng
It was Lim Guan Eng who sidelined Penang: Don’t feign ignorance to hoodwink & rile public emotions
Having sidelined Penang when he was Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng now has the audacity to play the sympathy card by playing victim regarding funds for Penang.
The Covid-19 outbreak has wrought bundles of challenges to the Malaysian economy. Therefore, the federal government has no choice but to temporary shelve or postpone some infrastructure projects.
Leveraging on this scenario, former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng stooped to politicise the decision and accused Putrajaya of “political vengeance”. Such an outburst is unreasonable.
If anyone wishes to speak about who sidelined the Pearl of the Orient, then the former Chief Minister and ex-Finance Minister stands out the most because, even current Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has personally conceded that even if Pakatan Harapan (PH) were to govern Putrajaya, Penang would still be sidelined in securing more allocations.
Penangites will not forget the ingratitude of the Bagan MP against Penang when he took office as the Finance Minister. He would rather allocate RM3.2 billion to Kedah to develop large-scale infrastructure projects than to spend on Penang, resulting in the Penang state government appealing to different quarters to borrow funds for the Penang Transport Master Plan. Who is Guan Eng to slam the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government now? Does he even know the meaning of the word “shame”?
Even worse, Guan Eng’s claim that the PN government had “cancelled” four major projects in Penang is nothing other than an empty vessel making the most noise designed to deliberately tarnish the PN government. The truth is as follows:
1) Chow Kon Yeow once said that Putrajaya had withdrawn funding for the RM100 million Penang Hill cable car project due to the country’s difficult financial situation as the government believed that this project was not a priority. Why does Guan Eng now sing a different tune by saying that this is deliberate political vengeance by the PN government?
2) Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the aviation industry is expected to recover in three years. The government is studying expansion of all airports through the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP), which is expected to be completed in 2023. Until this research report is released, the expansion and development of all airports will be temporarily put on hold, not just the Penang International Airport. Moreover, when Lim Guan Eng was Penang Chief Minister, he repeatedly opposed the construction of Kulim International Airport (KXP), claiming it would threaten the status of the Penang International Airport (PIA); but when he was the Finance Minister, he did a u-turn and supported KXP. Why is he concerned about the expansion plan of the PIA now all of a sudden?
3) Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul withdrew the RM2 billion loan guarantee for the Penang LRT project? Tengku Zafrul revealed that when Guan Eng was the PH Finance Minister, he never asked for a Penang LRT loan guarantee from the PH Cabinet. So how could the current PN federal government cancel it?
4) The iconic Penang ferries have not vanished! A request for proposal will be announced in future to convert the historical uses other than for public transport, including repurposing them to be a floating restaurant, sightseeing ferry for tourists to visit and other purposes; Replacing the old ferry with safer, speedier and more comfortable water buses as a means of public transport, yet retaining the old ferries as a tourist attraction, these were plans initiated during PH’s era!
If the DAP Secretary General truly cares for Penang, he should refrain from taking advantage of time to engage in political manoeuvre by trumping up the pity card to slander the PN government! Matters had not boded well for Penang since your stint as Finance Minister. Stop trying to rile Penangites against the PN government just to fulfill your own political agenda.
Datuk Tan Teik Cheng
MCA Vice President
MCA Penang State Liaison Committee Chairman