DAP should be honest to themselves and cancel water restructuring deal with Federal Govt should they still want to claim credit for debt reduction

1. I applaud Gerakan for taking the initiative to sue Lim Guan Eng for defamation over the much repeated claims by DAP that the previous BN Penang Government had sold land for RM1 psf.

2. DAP is a master of propaganda and spin. They will not hesitate to repeat such untruths numerous times to mislead voters.

3. Another spin that the DAP Penang Government keeps repeating is that the state debt for Penang was reduced 95% based on their CAT efforts.

4. DAP also continually alleges that the Federal Government does not assist the Penang Government financially.

5. Both are lies and must be corrected.

6. In truth, the 95% Penang state debt reduction was made possible by the Federal Government in a water restructuring agreement in the year 2011 where the Federal Government had agreed to convert RM655.24mil of existing state debt to 45 annual lease payments of RM14.56 million.

7. In the same agreement, the Federal Government had also agreed to give a RM1.2 billion grant to the state government to expand the Mengkuang dam – contrary to DAP’s claim that the Federal Govt does not help Penang.

A big proportion of these funds have already been disbursed.

8. The Federal Govt does not discriminate against opposition-held states and have signed similar water restructuring agreements.

9. Selangor had also benefited from a RM9.7 billion financial assistance package from the Federal Government signed in the year 2015 while Kelantan also received similar financial assistance in 2016.

However, it is only the Penand State Government who uses this Federal assistance to mislead the people.

10. While other states are silent on this, it is only Penang who continually mis-use the good intention and assistance of the Federal Govt to claim credit and mislead the public.

11. As the Federal Govt will keep to its word to assist all the states and will not move to jeopardize the water restructuring with the states.

12. However, if the DAP Penang Government still wants to claim credit for the debt reduction or accuse federal government of not assisting Penang, they should ask the Federal Govt to cancel their 2011 water restructuring agreement so that they can be honest to themselves and to the people.

13. The Penang Government can then take back the RM655mil state debt and repay the Federal Government the RM1.2 billion grant.

14. Although by doing this the Penang state debt will no longer be reduced by 95% and be lowest in the country but will triple instead, at least DAP and the Penang Government can be honest to themselves.

15. Alternatively, DAP should stop making such claims of state debt reduction any more and apologise to the people for repeatedly deceiving them repeatedly over the past few 6 years.

Abdul Rahman Dahlan
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications