GEORGE TOWN: Despite claims to the contrary, Penang has registered the lowest GDP per capita growth and plummeted from first place for investments since 2011 to 6th in 2012 and 5th in 2015, claims Gerakan secretary-general Liang Teck Meng.
In his ongoing spat with the Penang leaders, he said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming were being dishonest with their figures on the state’s GDP per capita growth.
Instead, Liang said, Labuan’s GDP per capita had overtaken Penang and that Sarawak, Selangor, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan have now closed the gap with Penang and may soon overtake it.
“Based on DAP’s data, Penang is no longer the worst performing state but the third worst performing state for the period 2008 to 2015. I hope this will make Lim and DAP feel better,” said Liang, claiming that Dr Ong had used the incorrect figures in his arguments to rebut his (Liang’s) claims earlier.
He also said Lim had not addressed his revelation that the state’s annual administration spending had jumped from RM283mil in 2008 to a whopping RM832mil in 2013 and to RM746mil in 2014.
Even the Penang Institute had released figures showing that Penang had underperformed in the entire Malaysia economy from 2008 to 2015, he said.
“Penang registered an average growth of 4.06% while Malaysia registered an average growth of 4.65% during this period,” Liang said.
The same Penang Institute, he said, showed that in 2006 and 2007, under the Barisan Nasional, Penang outperformed Malaysia’s growth and averaged 8.55% growth for these two years – outperforming Malaysia by 2.60%,” he said.
Liang hit out at Lim, saying he was “being less than honest” to say that he had turned Penang from a deficit state to a surplus state.
“The fact is that in 2011, Penang gave billions of ringgit in state water assets to the Federal Government and in return, the Federal Government took over an existing RM655mil Penang loan.”
As for open tenders, he said it was later found out that Penang had relied on Requests for Proposals (RFP), which is different from open tenders.
“A RFP process allows a vendor to be selected who then takes part in direct negotiations,” he said, adding that this process led to the controversial Taman Manggis and Penang Tunnel projects.