Penang is proof that Pakatan can deliver, says Guan Eng

(The Malaysian Insider) – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng touted today his administration as proof that Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) 100-day promises would not bankrupt government coffers.

He said that since PR took over Penang in 2008, it had executed various welfare programmes but still achieved record budget surpluses.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had scoffed at PR’s 100-day reform programme, saying it was “too good to be true.”

But Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim defended the plan today, stating that it would only cost RM19 billion that would come from cutting out corruption.

Lim echoed this by claiming that Penang had hit a record RM88 million surplus in 2008 and RM77 million in 2009 through “the dividends of anti-corruption” measures.

At a press conference this morning, he pointed out that the state’s administration had been praised by both Transparency International and the Auditor-General who had also rated Penang as the best managed state.

The DAP secretary-general also said that it was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala who had first pointed out that Malaysia would go bankrupt in 2019 under current economic practices.

Lim also listed a number of programmes under his administration which he said was paid for through the budget surplus:

• RM11.3 million in allocations in 2010 for religious, Chinese and Tamil schools;

• RM100 water rebate per family costing RM17 million in 2008 and 2009;

• Elimination of hardcore poverty by ensuring each household had an income of at least RM500 a month;

• RM100 per year in special payments to senior citizens above the age of 60 costing RM20 million a year;

• Funeral allowance of RM1,000 for Penang residents.