Cover Story, Current Affairs

Penang people will reject PN’s vengeance politics in next GE

Speech By DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament For Bagan, Lim Guan Eng during the Annual General Meetings of 8 DAP Branches in KADUN Air Putih on 22.8.2020 released in Penang on 23.8.2020:

Perikatan Nasional(PN)’s vengeance politics, by cancelling development programs in Penang such as the RM800 million Penang International Airport (PIA) and RM100 million Penang Hill Cable Car Expansion Projects, will be rejected by Penang voters in the next General Election

PN’s vengeance politics by cancelling development programs in Penang such as the RM800 million Penang International Airport(PIA) and RM100 million Penang Hill Cable Car (PHCC) expansion projects, will be rejected by Penang voters in the next general election.

During the Budget 2020 presentation in Parliament last year, I had announced the various projects for Penang to meet the over-capacity of passengers at both PIA and PHCC. However, no logical and valid reason was given for its cancellation by the present PN government. Malaysia Airports had even sent in development plans for PIA, that was approved by Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP).

The Penang Hill Cable Car | Source: Malay Mail

There is an urgent need to expand the PIA, which faces an over-capacity of passengers of 28%, making it the most congested international airport in Malaysia. For an airport built for 6.5 million passengers, PIA recorded more than 8.3 million passengers in 2019. As PIA was generating profits, Malaysia Airports had intended to finance the RM800 million expansion from 6.5 million to 12 million passengers, due to the expected high rate of return on investment.

Penang International Airport is Malaysia’s second busiest airport in terms of cargo tonnage| Source: Malay Mail

This win-win PIA expansion project for both Malaysia Airports and the country, should not fall victim to politics of revenge and manipulation. Unfortunately, PN and the Transport Ministry has taken a short-sighted an irresponsible decision to defer the decision until after 2023. The reason of COVID-19 is ridiculous unless the PN government believes that this global pandemic will still affect our global economy by 2023.

PN’s vengeance politics continues with the announcement of a proposed review of Pakatan Harapan’s reduction of the Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS) toll by 18%. This 18% toll discount of all PLUS highways has benefited Penangites immensely. For the First Penang Bridge, the RM7 toll has been reduced to RM5.74, whilst those with 20% discount card pays only RM4.59. For the 2nd Penang Bridge users, the RM8.50 toll is now reduced to RM5.74, a savings of nearly RM3.

Perikatan Nasional is reconsidering the 18% discount to PLUS toll | Source: NSTP

This 18% toll discount benefit would not have been possible without the PH government. And yet in an exercise of political vengeance, PN and the Transport Ministry wishes to undo all the good done by PH for the people of Penang and Malaysia. The voters of Penang will not easily forget nor forgive PN and its supporters in the next general election.

Lim Guan Eng,
DAP Secretary-General,
Member of Parliament for Bagan.

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