THE Seberang Prai Muni-cipal Council (MPSP) may end up in financial crisis if nothing is done soon to balance its reserves and deficit income.
Tan Cheng Liang (BN – Jawi) said the council’s reserves had been depleting from 2000 to 2004, while its deficits were on the rise in the same period.
“The council’s reserve in 2000 was RM225mil dropping to RM196mil in 2001, RM160mil in 2002, RM130mil in 2003 and RM89mil last year.
“The council charted a deficit income of RM5mil in 2000. It grew to RM31mil in 2001, RM36mil in 2002, RM39mil in 2003 and RM48mil last year.
“If this trend continues, the council may not be financially sound in the next two years,” she said in her debate on the State Budget 2006 at the Penang State Assembly yesterday.
Tan noted that the council spent a whopping RM33mil on solid waste management annually, which was almost the same amount that it spent on its staff salaries.
Phee Boon Poh (DAP – Sungai Puyu) said he was sad that the council had spent more than RM100mil on a new headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajamand yet it could not accommodate all staff.
“The council has to build another building in Jalan Betek, Bukit Mertajam for its remaining staff,” he said.
Tan asked for the state to relocate the main bus terminal in Jawi town to Nibong Tebal, for students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)’s engineering campus in Transkrian to gain easier access to the campus.
She also suggested that the state engage newly crowned World squash champ Nicol David to help start a squash academy in Penang to further promote sports tourism in the state.