Penang Pakatan lawmakers urge govt to review decision on RM2.04bil LRT loan

KUALA LUMPUR: Several Pakatan Harapan lawmakers from Penang have urged the Federal Government to review its decision to withdraw a guarantee for a RM2.04bil loan application by the Penang state government for its RM9.5bil light rail transit (LRT) project.

"We are not asking for any money from you (the Federal Government), we just need a guarantee. Please do not victimise the people of Penang," said Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin (pic).

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament on Monday (Nov 30), Sim said any more delays to the project would further erode the confidence of investors in Penang, especially in the manufacturing, electric and electronics sectors.

"In Budget 2021, Penang did not get any priority from the Federal Government. There are no new development projects," he said.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had said the decision was in line with the revised revenue and income projections for the country, as well as the government's focus to restore the economy, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tengku Zafrul added that should the loan go through, it will increase the Federal Government's commitment to operational and development expenditure as well as other off-budget projects borne by the government.

He cited the MRT Line 1 and 2 (RM71bil), LRT3 (RM17.7bil), the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway (RM13bil) and the East Coast Rail Link or ECRL (RM48.85bil) as examples of such projects.

Meanwhile, Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said Penang is known for its traffic woes.

"Please be concerned about those in Penang. I hope the Federal Government can review its decision," he said.

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