GEORGE TOWN: The state Barisan Nasional launched its manifesto Thursday with promises to create more jobs, enhance Penang's competitiveness and make Penang a liveable world-class city.
The 19-point manifesto included the restoration of Penang's free port status, the building of a monorail system as an efficient public transport system, and the abolition of motorcycle toll on the Penang Bridge and hawkers' licence fees.
Its chairman Teng Chang Yeow said the pledges encompassed all aspects especially the economy development of Penang.
"We have sound economic plans for Penangites but Pakatan Rakyat plans a tunnel instead.
"We also pledge to solve the traffic congestion problems here,” he said to the cheers of supporters at the Tabung Haji Complex in Bayan Lepas here Thursday night.
Other pledges included setting up of a childcare centre in every district and providing job matching services for women seeking to re-enter the job market, free annual personal insurance for voluntary patrol members and free annual health checks for senior citizens.
The comprehensive manifesto will address the needs of different segments of the society such as the career woman, Penang residents, hawkers, commuters, senior citizens, students, flat dwellers, low and middle-income groups, tourists and business community, foreign investors, youths and rural residents.
It also included five state Key Economic Areas (SKEAs) focusing on tourism, cultural assets and innovation, international offshore finance, aquaculture and high-value manufacturing.
It will also concentrate on five State Key Result Areas (SKRAs) namely a safe and green environment, healthcare, education, public transportation and affordable housing.
The emphasis of the manifesto is to transform Penang into a world-class tourism and service hub in the region.
It also explained that the free port status would ensure Penangites get to enjoy duty-free consumer goods and services, cheaper food and beverages, more job opportunities created by the retail industry and strong economic growth.
The status will also allow tourists to enjoy duty-free shopping while investors will enjoy tax exemption for goods imported into and exported from Penang to make business conditions more conducive and competitive.
The other promises included offering a RM3,000 annual loan to the top 1,000 students pursuing tertiary education, building 20,000 low and medium-cost homes and reintroducing the Rent and Sale' scheme for the low income group, providing 10% rebate on assessment fees for traders and shopkeepers who go green, practicing community consultation in policy making.
It also promises to automatically extend leasehold land of less than 30 years lease to, 60 years, issue Temporary Occupancy Licences (TOL) to places of worship and provide them with a yearly allocation, introduce incentive schemes for companies that employ retirees, create lucrative employment opportunities for rural folks through primary economic activities and maintain traditional village by upgrading the facilities and organise Homestay programmes.
Also present were former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, state MCA chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, state Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, state MIC chairman Datuk G. Rajoo and state PPP chief Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan.
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