Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 9.12.2012
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s twin promises of building a monorail and 20,000 units of affordable housing only if BN wins Penang is a clear attempt to buy votes and a recognition of BN’s failure to deliver its past promises. I doubt Penang voters are impressed for two reasons.
One, such promises are within the jurisdiction of the Federal government and it is thus their public responsibility and natural duty to take care of public housing and public transport from the tax receipts collected, including from Penangites. Two, these promise are nothing new as they have been promised before, especially by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he was Prime Minister during the 2006 Chinese New Year
If BN fails to fulfill and deliver its promises to build the monorail when it was in power at both the Federal and state government level in 2007, what guarantees are there that BN will deliver and fulfill its promises should it win back Penang at the next general elections. Even in building affordable homes, BN has failed to deliver its promsies dismally.
As far back as 1984, the BN government had acquired 330 acres of land in Bertam, Kepala Batas for RM5.1 million to the Defence Ministry with the promise to build housing for families of the staff of Tentera Udara di Raja Malaysia(TUDM). 28 years later such promises remain unfulfilled with an oil palm plantation instead of affordable housing, that is rented out to a crony BN company at a ridiculously low rate of RM7,000 only.
For Najib to give a conditional promise to build only if BN wins power shows he is behaving not as the Prime Minister of all Malaysians but only as Prime Minister of BN. By requiring Penangites to fix a condition that BN must win back Penang before these promises to be fulfilled shows contempt for democratic right of the people to choose their elected representative freely without threats or inducement. This is another infamous case of “You help me, I help you” uttered by Najib during the Sibu by-election that was completed rejected by Sibu voters giving DAP an upset win
Najib should learn from the Penang state government which resolved a 27 year old problem suffered by 103 families in Rumah Pangsa Mak Mandin in Butterworth yesterday. The 103 families moved into Rumah Pangsa Mak Mandin in 1985 and were promised by the previous BN state government that they will be given a low-cost housing unit as a replacement for land where they had stayed, because it would be developed by BN. Like all BN promises, this was neither fulfilled nor delivered since 1985.
Many of the 103 families had even paid up the purchase price of the low-cost houses in full. A total of RM1,160,899 was paid by many of the 103 families. Yesterday I announced yesterday that the state government would resolve the 27 year old problem by unconditionally giving them not only the 103 houses for free but would also refund in full all monies they had paid to the state government to purchase their low-cost flats.
In other words the state government did not impose a condition that the 103 families would be given houses for free and a full refund of RM1,160,899 paid only after PR had won the next general elections. Instead whether PR won or lost, the 103 families would get their house for free and a full refund of all monies paid
This is the difference between PR and BN. BN adopts the undemocratic and conditional approach of “you help me, I help you” whereas PR helps the people unconditionally as part of our duty as a people-centric government.
Further, the BN government should be ashamed of their failure to build sufficient affordable housing for Penang. Only 70 Projek Perumahan Rakyat(PPR) or low-cost house for rental will be built in Penang by Federal government, the lowest amongst all states in Malaysia.
The PR state government had even offered a prime 2 acre site in Jalan S.P. Chelliah for free to build PPR in early August this year but received no response. The state government then decided to build more 300 units of affordable housing for bumiputeras Malays by utilising the Penang Bumiputera Fund.
Can Najib only make a conditional promise of building 20,000 units of affordable housing if BN wins back Penang when the Federal government has a Budget 250 times bigger than the state government’s budget? When the state government can promise to build unconditionally 18,000 units whether PR win or lose the next general elections, should not Najib be promising not 250 times more but at least 5 times more or 100,000 units?
Lim Guan Eng
—– Mandarin Version——