Pakatan states proof of economic success, proper governance, say leaders

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 23, 2012

PETALING JAYA, Feb 23 — High investment figures, budget surpluses and reduction of debts in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) states are proof that the federal opposition is ready to take a shot at governing the country, its leaders have asserted.

PR leaders told participants at a DAP fund-raising function here last night that while Barisan Nasional (BN) could only resort to giving one-off RM500 aid to Malaysians while still pouring out billions of ringgit worth of taxpayers’ money in projects which are shrouded in secrecy, PR states have managed to save money as well as increase investment and productivity in less than four years.

Leading the fray was Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who gave the 3,500-odd crowd a blow-by-blow list of the state’s achievements and successes since 2008, and stressed that unlike BN, PR’s policies were not “divided by race” and that their goal was to help all Malaysians.

“Malaysia will become bankrupt because of cronyism, corruption. The (current) federal government debt is RM456 billion. If Malaysia goes bankrupt, who pays? Najib? Rosmah? It’s you and me, ordinary people,” exclaimed Lim to loud cheers from the Chinese-majority crowd.

The Bagan MP said the issue of debt should be a concern for all Malaysians, and pointed out how his state administration had managed to reduce Penang’s debt level from RM630 million in 2008 to just RM30 million last year.

“We have also recorded budget surpluses every year, turned around loss-making (state) government companies and local authorities,” added the Penang CM.

Nurul Izzah highlighted the government’s move in borrowing RM1.5 million from the EPF to help unqualified home buyers.Lim pointed out that three PR states (Penang, Selangor and Kedah) were listed in the top five states which recorded the highest levels of approved manufacturing investment last year.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry released figures this week that showed that the federal opposition-controlled states of Penang and Selangor had recorded the highest levels of approved manufacturing investment in 2011, at RM9.1 billion and RM8.74 billion respectively.

This is the second year in a row that Penang and Selangor have topped the ranks for approved manufacturing investment and a sharp contrast to 2009 when Sarawak attracted the highest levels of manufacturing investment and Penang came in fourth.

Kedah, another PR state, came in fifth in 2011 with RM6.13 billion, behind BN-controlled Sarawak which was in third place at RM8.45 billion and Johor with about RM6.5 billion.

“Who says investors won’t come if Pakatan Rakyat rules Malaysia?” asked Lim.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had said that Penang had done well since the 1980s due to strong support from the federal government.

He also said that not all federal opposition-controlled states had done well.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar hit out at Mustapa for his remarks, and asked what the minister has done for Kelantan since he is the Jeli MP.

“What has Tok Pa done to assist the Kelantanese except deny them RM800 million in oil revenue?” she said last night.

“You judge a government, its leader based on his Cabinet,” said Nurul Izzah, who charged that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took “good care” of his own people in reference to inaction over the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) issue involving Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and her family.

She also highlighted the government’s move in borrowing RM1.5 million from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to help unqualified home buyers purchase low-cost homes from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), and questioned the 6.5 per cent interest rate to be imposed on home buyers.

“The loan will be managed by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will be led by Raja Datuk Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin. The SPV gets one per cent in terms of service charge,” she said.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said BN and Umno leaders have resorted to publicly attacking PR governments without basis, citing the Bayan Mutiara land sale as an example.

“They keep talking about how it was negotiated… the highest bidder won the open tender. What was negotiated was the payment option for the bidder. Instead of paying over a period of eight years, we wanted payment to be over five years,” said Pua.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 8:25 am

    //reduce Penang’s debt level from RM630 million in 2008 to just RM30 million last year.//

    Jibby gloats, “Walau eh, Penang has so much money. So I am going to reduce its allocation of development funding to RM1.00 this fiscal year. Kekekekkekek….”

  2. #2 by k1980 on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 8:28 am

    //BN and Umno leaders have resorted to publicly attacking PR governments without basis, citing the Bayan Mutiara land sale as an example.//

    They just wanted the Bayan Mutiara land sale to be like the PKFZ, whereby the land can be sold to umno for a few sen per hectare. Then the state govt will end up with a hutang of RM12.5 billion

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 8:38 am

    My own assessment is that its not so much PR is so brilliant a government – it simply UMNO-Perkasa/BN is so bad at what they do.

    Truth be told, it should NOT be so simple for PR to turn around a competitive govt. The truth is PR has a lot of problem and some very serious ones especially in Selangor. The fact PR has to resort to highly popular but not completely sound moves such as handouts and giveaways means the pressure to perform has been unrealistic.

    Still, PR has managed to meet the challenge. That is the impressive part – it still pander to unsound politics and ran into a lot of problems and still do BUT it still performed. That is impressive.

    But it does not mean PR is up to the real long term challenge that this country faces. The social inequalities and addiction to easy ways are centuries old in a world increasingly filled with problems that demand real brilliance.

  4. #4 by Godfather on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 8:39 am

    Jessie Ooi snarls, foams at the mouth and screams: “You got so much money, how dare you tow cars away at 10.30 at night when there is so little traffic around ? How dare you increase assessment rates ?”

    Jessie Ooi must be getting turned on by constantly watching CSL’s video.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 9:07 am

    Well done PR!

  6. #6 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 9:22 am

    Waaaah laaau ehh!

  7. #7 by sotong on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 9:26 am

    They are Capitalists….if ordinary people suffer, nobody cares!

  8. #8 by SENGLANG on Thursday, 23 February 2012 - 10:22 am

    DBKL and EPF loan of 1.5b is another scheme of getting fund for themselves.

    The money 1.5b will be given to SPV and SPV loaned the money to all DBKL tenants. DBKL become the rightly owners of the 1.5b. The next question will then what they need the 1.5b now but not before?

    Will this 1.5b built more low costs flat/houses ? No, it will most like become a political fund.

    The existing tenants are not complaining of the rental, they are just happy as far as they pay the current rental and have a roof over their heads, why force them to buy the exiting flats? More so they are not financial capable of qualifying for a loan in the commercial bank markets.

    The loan from EPF is to SPV and SPV commit to repay to EPF, the catch was if most of the borrowers default payment then SPV will not able to repay the loan to EPF. If this happen can EPF recover the loan, even if recover it will also come out from the taxpayers money, ie another bail out by tax payers?

    The guy who taught of this scheme is simply genius but with an evil mind. It is a scheme to get the money from the EPF savers and it will most like end up a project for getting political funding

  9. #9 by PoliticoKat on Sunday, 26 February 2012 - 1:07 am

    Bigjoe :
    My own assessment is that its not so much PR is so brilliant a government – it simply UMNO-Perkasa/BN is so bad at what they do.

    I agree. PR isn’t actually very good. They can’t be, this is the first time they are behind the wheel. No first time drive is actually any good on the road let alone able to challenge an F1 driver.

    The fact PR has made some unsound decision for sake of popularity, shows their weakness. And that will be a dangerous weakness if they form the government.

    Malaysia is in a very bad state. I am sure BN-UM_NO is hiding how bad. If and should PR take the government they will realize how bad, and how many bad loans Malaysia has. Already we know it is in the hundreds of billions.

    It is then, PR will have to make very hard and very unpopular decision to fix the many problems. Malaysian will be unhappy with them. However if they bow to the pressure, Malaysia will break. PR has to stop giving freebies and stop making other such unsound decisions.

    Because UM_NO will be there at every step of the say saying how great Malaysia was under UM_NO… and people in desperation will believe their lies. UM_NO has 50 years of practice so their lies will be very good

    PR will have to stand strong like a mountain, if PR is actual serious about fixing Malaysia and not merely to advance the agenda of turning Malaysia into another Saudi Arabia, exUMNO politician looking for their chance at gold, and young people new to politics who may be tempted by so much money and power. As Malaysia has almost no checks and balances left after 22 years of Mahathir in power.

    I do not see the ride ahead as an easy one. 50 years of decay can not be fixed in even 5 years.

    PR is the first state government not intentionally out to rob the nation. So of course their performance us stellar.

    Just remember K-Toyol. RM20million dolar house with just a salary of several thousands.

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