Penang in the dark on 10MP, says Guan Eng

By Melissa Chi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng claimed today that the government had not announced its allocation for the state under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) in terms of budget and projects.

“Penang hopes that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop can urge the federal government to reveal how much has been allocated for Penang under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

“So far no information has been forthcoming about the projects and funding for Penang even though the 10th Malaysia Plan was unveiled on June 10, 2010 in Parliament by the prime minister,” Lim (picture) said in a statement.

He said the RM230 billion which was set out for the 10MP, with 60 per cent for physical development and 40 per cent non-physical development, was based on seven key thrusts.

The thrusts are charting development for a high-income nation, six per cent growth target, per capita income to increase to RM38,845 (US$12,139) by 2015, creating private sector-led economy, supporting innovation-led growth, full employment, and restructuring of subsidies.

However, the Bagan MP claimed that nine months after the 10MP was launched, the Penang state government still does not know how much was Penang allocated and what projects would be identified.

“To date, we are uncertain whether the federal government has decided on the allocation for the respective states under the 10MP. It is only fair for Penang to receive its fair share in view of the annual sum of nearly RM4 billion in contributions to the federal government,” he said.

The visionary five-year plan includes efforts to cut subsidies and accelerate investment, locally and abroad. The plan also aims to turn Malaysia into one of the top five most competitive nations in the world.

Malaysia was recently ranked the 10th most competitive nation in the World Competitiveness Report.

Lim also said that according to Mohamed Yakcop, the minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, Penang was named as having recorded the highest percentage in utilisation of funds compared with other states in expenditure on development projects implemented by the federal government.

“Tan Sri Nor said that 91.84 per cent of the RM7.176 billion allocated for development projects in Penang under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) had been utilised. Again, the Penang state government hopes that Tan Sri Nor can reveal the details of the projects under the 9MP which show the progress and effective implementation by the federal government in Penang,” he said.