Simpang Renggam Member of Parliament Liang Teck Meng claims that the DAP led Penang state government has been giving an inaccurate economic projections to the public since it took power.
He said that based on the Auditor-General’s report, Penang should be facing deficit budget without the land sales in the state.
“I was surprised that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng denied that the extra amount RM 574 million collected via land sales since DAP helming the state since 2008.
“He was annoyed with my explanation and continued to attack me in the media that I’m not proficient in the accounting and calculations.
“Guan Eng confirmed that state operational expenditure increased three times higher between 2008 and 2015.
“The increase will also continue in this year’s Budget at an estimated five times higher.
“In usual practise, the operational expenditure will decrease and not increase to 300%.” Liang said via a press statement.
Liang pointed out that Guan Eng alleged that Penang Barisan Nasional sold more lands when they were holding power is completely not true.
“Guan Eng is spinning the land matter as propaganda and continues to confuse the public especially on the Tanjung Tokong land reclamation project.
“He may have forgotten that one of the criteria in land reclamation project is for the developer to give away 10% of the reclamation area freely to the state government.
“This was used by the DAP state government in the controversial Penang Underground Tunnel project costing RM 6.34 million and the competency report cost RM 305 million.
“I was appointed as SPAN chairman effective Dec 1, 2016 and outright alleged for all the woes upon my appointment.
“SPAN and Federal government have taken over the current debts amounting to RM 655 million and turned it to an annual payment of RM 14.56 million whereby the Penang state government paying back to the Federal government for 45 years in total.” he added.
As part of the deal, the state government promised to lease out water asset and land to Federal government.
However, Guan Eng claimed that quit rent and other taxes were used to cover the operational expenditure, highlighted Liang.
“According to the Auditor-General’s report it clearly shows that quit rent collection only increased from RM 93 million in 2008 to RM 104 million in 2015 will not be sufficient to pay the operational expenditure debts.
“The main increase was on Premium Land which shows an increase of RM 19 million in 2008 to RM 324 million in 2015.
“The AG report also confirmed that the collection was from land sales between 2008 and 2015 that totalled RM 1.22 billion.
“In contrast it shows a high amount of RM 574 million collections.” added Liang.
This amount not included for the other assets sold – Penang Development Corporation (PDC) land sold at RM 6.34 billion including the Underground Tunnel project at RM 46 billion.
Based on different accounting terms, the state government also received payment from the PDC land sales amounting to RM 173.5 million between 2013 and 2015, points out the Gerakan leader.
“Our check also shows that between 2010 and 2014, Penang state government has closed certain ‘Low Cost Housing Account’ and ‘Rural Project Borrowing’, which its collection later transferred to accumulated fund that helps to portray more monies for the state government.
“It is estimated around RM 240.19 million was transferred.
“Selling lands and manipulating accounts helped the state government to show the state government accounts in a healthy position, instead it’s still in deficit since 2010.
“The real amount is the state government experiencing RM 1.057 billion in deficit.
“In fact, months ago I challenged Guan Eng to sue me if my Penang financial capacity revelations were untrue.
“However, my challenge was shot down by Guan Eng and refused to answer on my questioning. “ he stressed.