RAHMAN DAHLAN EXPLAINS
MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan acknowledges the concerns raised by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar about the Woodlands-Bukit Chagar Rapid Transit System proje t. Rahman says extensive studies had been carried out
GEORGE TOWN: A staggering RM37 billion worth of state assets were sold or traded away by the Penang government since it assumed power in 2008, Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) team revealed yesterday.
BNSC director Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said these included state land, state land rights and state assets, which Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng denied had contributed to the state’s budget surpluses.
“The BNSC team has a list of such assets amounting to RM37 billion being sold or traded away by the Penang government since 2008.
“If Lim agrees, I can get the BNSC team to show him the list for him to confirm, deny or correct. What say you, Lim?”
Rahman and Lim have been at loggerheads with one another after the latter had claimed credit for the success in reducing the state’s debt, although it was done through efforts by the Federal Government through a federalstate water restructuring agreement.
While Lim had said the 95 per cent reduction in Penang’s debt was due to federal assistance, the DAP secretary-general continued to fire broadsides at Rahman.
Last week, Rahman had challenged the Penang government to scrap the water restructuring deal if it continued to claim credit for the debt reduction.
Yesterday, he expounded the reason why the Penang government would want to hold on to the deal.
“Penang’s debt was at RM687.8 million in 2010.
“Due to the 2011 water restructuring agreement, the Federal Government took over RM655.24 million of the debt, which resulted in a balance of only RM32.55mil, a 95 per cent reduction.
“However, Lim did not take into account that as part of the 2011 water restructuring agreement, the Federal Government also gave Penang a RM1.2 billion grant to expand the Mengkuang Dam.
“Should the 2011 water restructuring agreement be cancelled, Penang’s debt will revert back to RM687.8 million, and it would have to pay back the RM1.2 billion grant.
“This would mean that the total state debt would be RM1,887.8 billion, or close to three times of what the RM687.8 million state debt was.”
Rahman said DAP allegedly failed to adhere to its policy of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) due to the 500 per cent increase in its current operational expenses compared with 2008.
“It was certainly not due to any ‘good governance’ or CAT since the Penang government’s yearly operational expenses have steadily grown over the years to become 500 per cent higher than what it was in 2008.
“However, Lim disputes my statement that without the 2011 water restructuring assistance from the Federal Government, Penang’s debt would have tripled instead of being reduced 95 per cent.
“This is why he says I should study accounting.
“Nevertheless, I thank Lim for confirming that the Federal Government had given a RM1.2 billion grant to the Penang government, which proves another propaganda of DAP is false — that the Federal Government does not help Penang.”