Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has lashed out at a senior civil servant overseeing the federal government’s development projects in Penang over the latter’s “threats” regarding allocations meant for the state.
Lim said the actions of the Penang State Development Office (SDO), which comes under the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, was tantamount to sabotage.
At a press conference today, he showed a letter dated Oct 13 from the SDO addressed to the state Drainage and Irrigation
Department (DID) saying that all issues on the implementation of the Botanic Gardens expansion would have to be resolved within 18 days, failing which the RM5 million allocation for the project would be withdrawn.
The letter was signed by the office’s deputy director Syed Shaari Syed Abdullah.
State Development Officer Nik Ali Mat Yunus could not be contacted for comment.
“This letter has big implications. If the issues are not resolved by the deadline, the project will be affected. The prospects of getting allocations through the 10th Malaysia Plan would also be affected,” Lim said.
Also present were state DID director Hanapi Mohamad Noor and Botanic Gardens department director Nor Wahida Hassan.
On the expansion of the gardens, Lim said the plans for the project had been left unchanged after it was initiated by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government.
He said although the project was under the federal government, the state would do its best to ensure the environment was not adversely affected.
On another matter, Lim also questioned the Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda), which comes under the ICU, for wanting to develop hotels on land it had acquired at discounted prices from the state.
He said the lands were discounted to allow Perda to build low-medium cost residential units.