Penang welcomes the assurances in yesterday’s Bernama by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department or Pemandu that Penang has not been left out of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The Penang state government is willing to meet and be briefed by Pemandu on the 95 entry points projects (EPPs) to co-ordinate and co-operate on its successful implementation in Penang over the next 10 years within 11 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs).
So far the state government had not received any details of where the 95 EPPs supposed to be located in Penang and what type of EPPs are they. Apart from the Tourism and the Electrical & Electronic NKEA revealed by Pemandu, what are the other NKEA identified?
Neither did Pemandu revealed the amount of investments investments, the increase in per capita Gross National Income(GNI) nor the number of jobs expected to be created. In contrast, when 19 EPP was unveiled last month, Pemandu disclosed that a total of RM67 billion in investments would generate a per capita GNI of RM 35 billion and generate 35,000 jobs.
It is wrong for Pemandu to reject the proportional approach to determine the amount of investment that a state is entitled to. If the ETP is a focused, inclusive and sustainable initiative that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020, then there must be at least one EPP in each of the 13 states in Malaysia, excluding Federal Territory. Not a single EPP out of the 19 EPP announced last month was located in Penang.
How can the ETP be inclusive and share the wealth of the country with all segments of the population, whether urban or rural, regardless of gender and in all regions, if Penang is left out? Further how can the 95 EPPs promised for Penang over the next 10 years be successfully implemented and completed without the co-operation of the state government?
The Penang state government should be fully informed and not kept in the dark. To only know through the media that there are 95 EPPs over the next 10 years after being compelled to highlight publicly the perceived neglect of Penang is distressing and does not lend confidence to its professional execution. Execution is key and requires full disclosure which not only promotes transparency but also engagement with all stakeholders. The Penang people has a right to know the full details of the 95 EPPs promised, and not see it being wrapped up in some mysterious dark secrets.