Patahiyah: We’ll set up nation’s first recreation facility for disabled kids

Big plans: The MPPP's Information Centre will be turned into a recreation centre for special children

THE nation’s first public recreation centre for special children, two new public markets and upgrading of two sports stadiums in Penang island are some of the highlights for next year’s Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) budget.

Council president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail, who tabled the budget in a special full council meeting at City Hall, said the RM402.21mil budget was themed Cleaner, Greener, Healthier and Safer Penang.

“The budget proposed for 2013 will consist of an estimated income of RM328.56mil compared to RM402.21mil in estimated expenditure.

“This means that the budget for next year is a deficit budget of RM73.65mil which will be borne from the council’s savings,” Patahiyah said while proposing the budget.

She said despite deficit budgets tabled over the last few years, MPPP had recorded rising surpluses for the past three years — RM48.02mil in 2009, RM63.27mil in 2010 and RM69.92mil last year.

“The figures for this year are not out yet, but we know that as of September, we are also recording a surplus,” Patahiyah told reporters after the meeting yesterday.

She added that both expected expenditure and expected income had risen in next year’s budget compared with this year’s.

Estimated expenditure is in-creased by 24.1% from RM324.07mil this year while estimated income is also expected to rise by 30.9% from RM251mil this year to RM328.56mil next year.

In outlining the details of the budget, Patahiyah said RM200,000 would be used to transform the Penang Municipal Park’s Information Centre into a public recreation centre for disabled children.

“RM200,000 has been allocated to purchase and install equipment for special children at the Information Centre, making it the country’s first public recreation centre for special children.

“This will give children with physical disabilities the chance to play and enjoy themselves like other children,” she said, adding that another RM1mil had been set aside to build disabled facilities throughout the island with special emphasis on the Rifle Range public market.

She said a total of RM2.7mil had been set aside for the upgrading of the Balik Pulau Sports Complex where the field would be upgraded and certain building defects rectified.

“The City Stadium, which is one of the oldest stadiums in Malaysia, will undergo a RM1.7mil rejuvenation project that will include the upgrading of the running track,” Patahiyah said.

She added that two new public markets were also in the pipeline.

“The council has allocated RM4mil as seed money for the building of a new public market in Batu Ferringhi near Uplands (The International School of Penang) and another RM9.25mil for the acquisition of land opposite SK Teluk Kumbar to build another public market,” she said.

She added that a total of RM12.93mil would be used to upgrade a number of existing public markets, food courts and temporary hawker sites.

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