GE13: Federal-state row threatens Pakatan’s record in Penang 

( – The current sentiment in Penang is that a majority of the people there expect Pakatan Rakyat to be returned to power in the island state for a second term in the 13th general election.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said it is possible for Pakatan to retain the state but it needs to attend to certain pressing issues, including enhancing cooperation with the federal government to undertake development and provide key services.
He said at the moment there were still no long term policies being planned, implemented or executed “properly” because of a gap in the federal-state relations.
“Penang Paradigm requires the state government to work together with the federal government. This puts a lot of doubt on the execution of the state’s plans if things remain at status quo. 
“They have to accept a new reality where both parties work together and include everyone in their plans,” he said in an interview with recently.
Penang Paradigm is DAP’s 10-year development master plan, launched in February this year, with the objective of getting Malaysia out of the middle-income trap.
Illustrating his point with the traffic congestion issue in Penang, Khoo said the state could not introduce additional bus services as the permits would have to come from the federal government.
All public transportation systems throughout the country come under the charge of the Land Public Transport Commission.
“With this situation, perhaps the state needs to change its engagement approach. I think, Penangites want to see a relationship where they will work together,” said Khoo.
Khoo believed it would be a problem if the political scenario remains at status quo, with Penang firmly entrenched in the hands of Pakatan, while BN continues to hold Putrajaya, and both governments being hostile towards each other.
In this situation, he said, things will come to a “breaking point” when Penangites cannot take the uncooperative relationship between the two governments anymore.
“We’re trying to gauge the breaking point. I don’t know when or what will be the breaking point. It’s difficult to conduct business after the general election if both sides bicker. 
“The whole atmosphere is not suitable for governance and I don’t know if the people will see this as a risk,” said Khoo.

While expressing confidence that Pakatan will hold on to the majority of the seats on the island, he warned the coalition not to be complacent as Penang voters might surprise them.

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