Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam
070117 | BUKIT MERTAJAM
Gerakan MP for Simpang Renggam, Liang Teck Meng attempted to malign the state government of Penang by claiming that Penang state budget surplus came from sale of land instead of good governance.
This is not the first time UMNO and its cohorts in Barisan Nasional tried to paint a negative picture of the Penang state budget surplus.
In the last Penang state assembly sitting in November 2016, UMNO assemblyman for Teluk Bahang, Shah Headen Ayoob Hussain and Opposition Leader Jahara Hamid, accused the state government of refusing to spend on critical items to generate a budget surplus.
On the other hand, UMNO assemblyman for Pulau Betong, Muhammad Farid Saad also claimed that the surpluses came from higher initial estimation in the budget.
So who is right? UMNO or Gerakan? Did the surplus come from non-spending or from sale of land or due to higher initial estimation?
UMNO and its cohort are not used to government budget having surpluses
I think it is quite clear, both UMNO and Gerakan are not used to good governance and government recording budget surplus.
Thus, none of those leaders mentioned above, including Liang who spent some much time nitpicking at Penang to gain political brownie points with his bosses in UMNO, has ever raise as much as a whimper against Prime Minister Najib Razak for the federal government’s extravagant spending, dubious budget practices, decades of Barisan Nasional budget deficit and financial scandals including 1MDB.
Instead, they spent so much efforts nitpicking on the Penang state government and launched political attacks against Penang just because the state is successful in managing its finances.
Perhaps this was the reason for Liang’s latest appointment to be chairman of the National Water Service Commission (SPAN).
Auditor-General’s report confirmed Penang state government spent prudently
Gerakan and Liang should pay attention to the Auditor-General’s report which year after year acknowledged the integrity of Penang state financial practice.
In fact, in the last AG report tabled in November 2016, the Auditor-General acknowledged that Penang state government has successfully completed 99.7% of its planned projects using only half (55.4%) of the cost.
This is a clear vindication of the Penang state government’s CAT good governance despite continual political attacks by UMNO-Barisan Nasional.
Steven Sim Chee Keong
MP for Bukit Mertajam