PETALING JAYA: Gerakan hopes that DAP and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will not unwind or destroy the results of painstaking efforts to develop the state over decades by Barisan Nasional, said Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Liang Teck Meng (pix).
"The Penang government funded Penang Institute also released figures in their 15th July 2016 report by their CEO and Head of Economics that conclusively showed that Penang has underperformed the entire Malaysia economy for the period 2008 to 2015.
“Penang registered average growth of 4.06% while Malaysia registered an average growth of 4.65% during this period," said Liang in a press release issued on Monday.
He added the Penang Institute showed that in 2006 and 2007, under the Penang Barisan, the state outperformed Malaysia's growth and averaged 8.55% growth for these two yeas - outperforming Malaysia by 2.60%.
"For the last two years - 2014 and 2015 - that Lim said was proof that DAP had saved Penang, the average growth was 6.8%. Therefore, Lim's claim of DAP having saved Penang since or turn-around Penang since 2007 is an outright lie," claimed Liang.
Liang also refuted a claim made by Lim that he had turned Penang from a deficit state to a surplus state.
"In 2007, under the Barisan government, Penang had recorded a surplus where state revenues increased 5% to RM295.86mil and state spending decreased RM17.38mil to RM252.25mil compared to 2006 - therefore it was not a deficit state as Lim had claimed," said Liang.
He added Lim did not mention that in 2006, Penang under the Barisan government registered a 10.4% GDP per capita growth.
"In fact, the 2006 and 2007 figures of 10.4% and 5.9% on average are higher than Lim's 2014 and 2015 growth figures," said Liang.
Liang said while Penang was praised by Transparency International for its initial promise to set up a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and its intention to use open tenders, the FOI Act has been ineffective in its application.
"Penang's FOI Act has been found out to be spectacularly ineffective and a mere publicity stunt where requests for information are frequently denied and requires the requester to sign a statutory declaration that prohibits them revealing any information publicly - defeating the purpose of a FOI Act. Many NGOs have criticised Penang's FOI Act," said Liang.
He added that instead of open tenders, Penang had relied on Requests for Proposals (RFP) instead.
"A RFP process allows a vendor to be selected who then participates in direct negotiations. It is these same RFP process that led to the controversial Taman Manggis and Penang Tunnel projects," said Liang.
He added that Transparency International has not praised the Penang government since 2009.
"Following the isolated praise in the year 2009, Transparency International has not praised Penang since but this had not stopped DAP from continuing to repeat this for the past seven years.
“In fact, since 2013, Datuk Paul Low is now a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and has been the subject of much criticism from DAP," claimed Liang.