Scholarships To Local Universities With A Maximum Of RM100,000 For The Entire Course Through The Penang Future Foundation(PFF) Will Help Bright Children Of Ordinary Workers.(e.c)

Penang State Government 2015 May Day Message by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar, George Town On 1.5.2015

The Penang state government’s decision to establish a scholarship fund through the Penang Future Foundation(PFF) will help workers who are affected by rising prices, rising debt and stagnant wages. Malaysians already suffer from the highest personal household debt in Asia at GDP ratio of 87.9%, or RM940.4 billion as at end-2014. Scholarships with a maximum of RM100,000 for the entire course through the PFF, provided to all Malaysians with emphasis to Penangites, to local universities will help bright children of ordinary workers.

Financial assistance from the Federal government has been lacking due to wastage, inefficiencies and malpractices. The RM42 billion ringgit 1MDB scandals and the imposition of the 6% GST has only imposed heavier burdens and hardship on the rakyat in the form depressed stock market values, depreciation of the ringgit and rising prices of goods and services.

Whilst there is no doubt that rising prices is due to GST imposed from 1 April 2015, many do not realised that income values are eroded and diminished due to the stock market and our ringgit being the worst performer in Asia in 2014. Despite the 6% economic growth rate recorded in 2014, our stock market declined by 6%. In contrast the Thailand stock exchange increased its value by 15% despite recording a mere 1% economic growth rate in 2014.

Our ringgit has now plunged to its lowest levels in history. All this can be traced to the 1MDB scandal, which has raised serious questions about our credit rating, ability to pay, current account deficit and commitment to plug leakages such as corruption. Under the prevailing harsher economic climate, it is workers who suffer more and big companies that benefit.

For instance, TENAGA Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) net profit for the second quarter ended February 2015 rose 24% to RM2.16 billion from RM1.73 billion a year earlier. This was attributed to higher electricity sales, lower generation cost due to lower coal price and lower usage of the more expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel.

Unfortunately TNB’s higher earnings have not benefited the rakyat, apart from lower tariffs for 3 months until 30 June 2015, announced on 11 February 2015 by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili. The BN Federal government has refused to clarify whether the electricity tariff reduction will be extended beyond 30 June 2015. Clearly the announcement of the tariff reduction is timed for the Permatang Pauh by-election, which votes on 7 May 2015.

Whilst the BN Federal Government struggles to manage the economy burdened by corruption, leakages and debt, the PR Penang State Government has not only managed to record a budget surplus of RM453 million from 2008 to 2013, we have also turned this surplus into an anti-corruption dividend through direct cash grants to the tune of RM287 million to help the needy and other vulnerable groups.

As a result of these people-centric policies, Penang has succeeded best in Malaysia in bridging income inequality, with Penang’s Gini Coefficient improving by 12% in only three years from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.37 in 2012. The Gini coefficient is a measurement intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality.

Now, we are taking another big step to invest in the future by starting the RM20 million Penang Future Foundation scholarship programme in order to help deserving Malaysians to achieve their academic dreams and also to reverse the brain drain problem by ensuring they return to work in Penang after completing their studies.

Lim Guan Eng

—–Mandarin —

槟州首席部长林冠英于2015年5月1日在光大发表五一劳动节献词:

我们通过槟州未来基础基金颁发进入本地大学的奖学金,为每名学生支付高达10万令吉的学费,以协助普通劳工的优秀子女升学。

槟州政府决定设立奖学金,通过槟州未来基础基金,协助受百物上涨、债务增加及薪金不涨的普通劳工。马来西亚的家庭债务占了国内生产总值87.9% 或2014年底的9亿4040万令吉。我们通过槟州未来基础基金颁发进入本地大学的奖学金,为每名学生支付高达10万令吉的学费,这将协助普通劳工的优秀子女升学。

联邦政府的财务援助因浪费、低效率及玩忽职守而缺乏。420亿令吉的一马机构丑闻及6%消费税只是加剧了人民的生活负担及困苦,从股市价值下跌、贬值的令吉及百物上涨便可以知道。

虽然2015年4月1日起推行的消费税是百物上涨的主因,但是很多人没有发觉,收入的贬值是由于股票市场及货币表现在2014年为亚洲最糟所导致的。虽说我国2014年经济成长达6%,但是资本市场却下跌6%。相比之下,2014年泰国在经济成长率只有1%时,股票市场却上升15%。

我国的货币令吉贬值情况也非常严重,已经创历史新低。这可以追溯到一马机构丑闻,这宗金融丑闻引发了许多问题,包括我们的信用评估、偿债能力、来往账户赤字及打击疏漏、贪污的决心。这种严峻的经济气候下,最终受苦的是工人,获益是的大公司。

例如,国能在2015年2月的净盈利上升24%,达21亿6000万令吉,去年的盈利为17亿3000万令吉。这可以归因于电费上涨、生产成本下跌(煤碳价格下降、减少使用较昂贵的天然气)。

不幸的是,国能收入提高,却没有惠及老百姓,除了能源、绿色及水源部长拿督斯里马西慕斯在2015年2月11日宣布在未来三个月(至6月30日)调低电费,联邦政府拒绝说明电费减价是否在6月30日之后延续。很明显地,电费减价的宣布是为峇东博补选而设,补选投票日为2015年5月7日。

在国阵联邦政府挣扎管理受贪污、疏漏、欠债拖累的经济时,槟州民联政府不只在2008-2013年期间创下财政预算盈余的记录,我们也将这些盈余转为反贪红利,拨出2亿8700万令吉用在社会福利,派发给有需要的弱势群体。

结果,槟州民联政府成功缩短贫富悬殊的差距(基尼系数从0.42改善至0.37),成为全国缩短贫富差距最多的州属。基尼系数是衡量国民收入分配是否公平最常用的工具。

现在,我们迈前一大步,启动2000万令吉槟州未来基础基金奖学金计划,协助有资格的马来西亚人追求学术梦想,确保他们学成后回到槟城工作,逆转人才外流的困境。

林冠英

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