CHIEF Minister Lim Guan Eng rapped the Federal Government for providing RM36bil in gas subsidies for 10 independent power producers (IPP) since 1997 but not RM4.7bil to implement mega projects in Penang.
“It can fulfil promises made to IPPs but cannot fulfil people-centric projects for the benefit of Penangites. “Is this fair especially since the IPPs are raking billions of ringgit in profits?” he asked when winding up his speech on the motion urging the Federal Government to reinstate three mega projects in the state totalling RM4.7bil. They are the monorail, Penang Outer Ring Road projects and expansion of the Mengkuang Dam.
Dr Hilmi Yahaya (BN-Teluk Bahang) interjected, saying that the Federal Government was aware of the profits made by IPPs and was planning to impose a windfall tax on them.
Dr Hilmi, who is former parliamentary secretary to the Finance Ministry, also said the Federal Government had never promised the RM4.7bil allocation.
“The projects are supposed to be carried out through privatisation,” he added.
Datuk Jahara Hamid (BN-Teluk Air Tawar) interrupted Lim’s speech by asking why he was preoccupied with the three projects.
“Don’t think that the implementation of the flood mitigation project in Sungai Muda is not critical. It is important that we complete it quickly,” she said.
In response, Lim said her remarks were unprofessional.
The House later adjourned sine die.