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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Guan Eng thanks Najib for money, then asks where it will come from??

Like many other Pakatan Rakyat leaders, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng welcomed the new stimulus deal, with a great deal of scepticism thrown in.

The Penang Chief Minister thanked Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for setting aside RM250 million to expand the state's international airport.
But he wants the federal government to pump in an additional RM11.5 billion into 21 state projects he described as "critical" to boost economic growth, such as the proposed RM500 million halal hub in Balik Pulau and Batu Kawan; RM200 million loan for its Heritage Rehabilitation Plan in Georgetown as a Unesco-recognised World Heritage Site; and RM1.1 billion to expand the Mengkuang Dam.

"The reality is if Penang fails, Malaysia will fail because 30 per cent of the total export and tourists originate from and visit Penang," Lim, who is also Bagan MP, said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Lim's biggest beef with the stimulus concerned the RM60 billion figure. "Where is the RM60 million coming from?" he asked.

"How does the RM10 billion equity investment benefit ordinary workers?" he added.

He claimed that the RM10 billion would be used as a "rescue package for certain crony companies" and pointed to last year's RM5 billion loan from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to ValueCap to support his statement.

He concluded his speech by offering to work together with the federal government to face the economic crisis if it prioritised the public.

"What we want to see is direct assistance to the rakyat, not only focusing on companies. Look at Taiwan and Singapore which gave RM8.5 billion or RM400 spending money in cash to each citizen. Not a sen was for ordinary Malaysians," said Lim.

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