KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 – It seems that the fate of the Penang government now depends on the letters “m” and “b”. This came about after Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was quoted by Bernama today as saying that the entire Penang government was willing to resign if the state Umno could prove its claim that the state’s controversial Volunteer Patrol Squad (PPS) was allocated a funding of RM1.5 billion. “Our state reserve fund is only RM1.2 billion, (so) how could we allocate RM1.5 billion for PPS? “The entire state government will resign if Penang Umno could prove that RM1.5 billion was allocated (for the PPS),” Lim was quoted as saying by Bernama in Penang today. Lim’s declaration was said to have been made after Penang Umno chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman allegedly mentioned that sum in an article about the PPS, published on Sept 4 on Umno’s website, Umno-online.my.
“Malaysiakini also wrote as RM1.5 billion. Original printout from Umno-Online also showed ‘billion’. Saying that the original article in Umno-Online was in Malay, which Malaysiakini had used as reference, Lim said it would have been written as juta and not million. “This is in BM. If million, it would be written as juta, not million, what rojak language is this?” Lim told The Rakyat Post in a text message this afternoon when asked to clarify the matter. Checks by The Rakyat Post showed that in the Umno-Online article, the amount quoted was in fact in “million”. However, a Google cached view of the same article showed that the amount was written as “RM1.5 billion”, as of Sept 5.
“This is Google’s cache of http://www.umno-online.my/?p=112005. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 5 Sep 2014 03:09:45 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime,” Google’s cached view read. This generally means the article was amended to reflect “million” instead of “billion” anytime between the time stamp by Google and today. When asked on this, Zainal Abidin maintained that he had always mentioned RM1.5 million, an indication that the fiasco was sparked by a misprint on the part on Umno-Online. “Please ask Umno-Online. I only mentioned RM1.5 million, I don’t know what they printed earlier. When I checked online just now, it was RM1.5 million,” he clarified again.