Be transparent on mega projects, PAP tells Penang DAP

 |Jun 16, 2017
PAP vice president Rahmad Ishak.

The People’s Alternative Party is urging for the DAP-led Penang state government to be fair to the people there by being transparent on its mega projects.

In a statement, the party’s vice president Rahmad Ishak said it was shocking that the state assembly had even passed the Penang Loan (Banks and Other Financial Sources) Bill 2017 which will enable the state government to obtain a loan from China the loan for the purpose of financing part of the project.

Recently, the Malay Mail Online reported Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as saying that the money borrowed under the bill was to finance the investment and implementation of the physical, economic and social development of the state and other related matters, including the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) 2013.

Dubbing the PTMP as a ‘mysterious project’ by the state government, PAP claimed the details of the RM46 billion project have not been made known to the people in the state.

This, Rahmad said has raised reasonable doubts amongst the folks in Penang on what was the true intention of the state government with regards to the PTMP project.

He added that Penangites would eventually ‘bear the loan’ as a result of the state government borrowing from the Exim Bank of China.

Rahmad remarked that there was nothing wrong in providing infrastructure development for the people, but such an undertaking must be made in accordance to capability, and that this sort of development should not be carried out to the extent of burdening the rakyat.

“The main question here is why is the DAP government so confident that they even passed a Bill to enable them to obtain the loan, when there are several components of the project that require approval from the federal government first,” Rahmad said, referring to the tunnel construction, reclamation of three islands and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.

PAP also raised the issue of the condition of the loan which involved collateral, in which Rahmad said the matter must be explained to the people on whether or not it would involve state-owned land.

Rahmad pointed out that state-owned land also belonged to the people and the number was already dwindling following the sale of these lands to private developers, either via open tender or direct sale.

PAP also urged the state government to ensure that any collateral involving what rightfully belonged to the rakyat would not be sold off should the deal fail to go through due to failure in obtaining approval from the federal government.