GEORGE TOWN, Nov 25 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Air Putih) schooled Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker after they slammed the state government for not spending all funds allocated to them in the previous Budget and also other several issues.
Muhammad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) told Lim that the Auditor-General’s Report 2015 Series 2 showed the Chief Minister’s Office and State Secretary’s Office spent 39.9% and 62.3% respectively of their allocated sum. Farid then asked Lim why the estimates are so high, to the point that 44.6% of the state expenditure went unutilised. Farid had finished reading one page of the report, before being interrupted by Lim.
“AG’s Report is clearly shows that the achievements expenses of state development plan for the period 2011 to 2015. You are reading page 37, but does not refer to the next page. In page 38 were clearly states that of the 16,173 projects planned from 2011 to 2015, a total of 16,126 projects or 99.7% were completed,” Lim said.
“In the meanwhile, the report also noted that 45 projects or 0.29% were being carried out and two projects or 0.01% were postponed. This is what I have been saying all along. Road projects’ allocation were not all spent because we are Bersih, we practise ‘open tender’. We save money,” he said.
Lim, in his winding-up speech, defended himself over claims of manipulating figures to achieve surpluses whilst tabling deficit budgets annually. He said unspent monies were not claimed as savings as alleged. Lim said it was financial prudence that helped Penang save money. Later, the 2017 Supply Bill was passed unanimously, while Deputy CM II Rashid Hasnon (PKR-Pantai Jerejak) filed a motion to condemn the violence against Rohingyas.
The motion received full support as well. The august house also passed the Pig Farming Enactment 2016, paving the way for enclosed farms; zero discharge; buffer zones and good animal husbandry practices to be adhered to. Fines of up to RM30,000 were listed as penalties for offences. The enactment was passed with an unanimous vote. The House was adjourned sine die at 1am.