GEORGE TOWN. OCT 15 – Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s move in blaming the federal agencies on the decline of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Penang was met with disdain by the Penang Federal Action Council (FAC), describing his act as childish.
FAC chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman said it was wrong for Lim to take all credit when FDIs were soaring and when things are not in his favour, to blame the federal government. He said Lim should not accuse the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) of blocking FDIs to Penang to allegedly substantiate the decline in investments in Penang.
He asserted that Miti and Mida had worked hard to boost FDIs in Penang and that Lim was making unfounded accusations. “It’s the prerogative of investors to choose the location of their investments. “For the Chief Minister to blame Miti and Mida is childish,” added Zainal.
Stressing that the federal government had never discriminated against Penang in its development policies or funds as claimed by the DAP-led state government, Zainal said the Barisan Nasional federal government had allocated billions for development projects in Penang despite the state being helmed by Pakatan Rakyat.
He cited several projects such as the Second Penang Bridge project, the Mengkuang Dam expansion, the flood mitigation works and the upgrading of federal roads, hospital and clinics as among some of the federal government funded projects in the DAP-led state. “Under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (2011 – 2015), the federal government had allocated RM3.173 billion to upgrade various public infrastructure in the state.
“For health facilities alone, the allocation was RM800 million,” Zainal, who is also the Penang Umno Chief said in a statement today. He also revealed that 33,000 low and low-medium cost and other types of affordable houses were in the pipeline for Penangites by the federal government. “We are only waiting approval from the relevant state agencies,” said Zainal.
He said the federal government had just completed its RM250 million expansion and upgrading works at the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas. He said Lim’s demand for another airport or runway just because Penang’s neighbouring state of Kedah had requested for a new airport in Kulim was unreasonable.