Media statement by Steven Sim, DAP-Pakatan Harapan GE14 candidate for Bukit Mertajam
14 APRIL 2018 | BUKIT MERTAJAM
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Razak on his visit to Penang last Thursday announced that if Barisan Nasional wins, the government will abolish Penang Bridge toll for motorcyclists, and build 65,000 units of affordable housing in Penang.
Clearly, UMNO-BN is treating Penangites as nincompoops or fools when Najib dished out old, recycled and previously unfulfilled election promises to us.
First of all, the abolishment of Penang Bridge toll for motorcyclists was already promised by Barisan Nasional in 2013, during the 13th General Election (GE13). (Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2013/04/18/ge13-penang-bn-launches-manifesto-aimed-at-making-state-a-liveable-worldclass-city/)
Even if BN did not win Penang, it won the federal government and the Penang Bridge toll falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Yet, in the last five years, UMNO-BN utterly failed to deliver its own election promise to the people of Penang to abolish the toll for motorcyclists.
This is in contrast to Pakatan Harapan, where even though we did not win federal power to have authority over toll matters, the Pakatan state government did what we can in our capacity by building the Jalan Bagan 29 bypass road to allow motorists the choice of skipping the Sungai Nyior toll.
Secondly, on the promise to build 65,000 units of affordable housing, UMNO-BN had utterly failed to fulfil their 2013 promise to build 9,999 units of affordable housing in Air Itam and Air Putih. None of those units were built up to date. In fact, the federal government also failed to build a single unit of PR1MA affordable housing in Penang.
This is again in contrast to the Penang state government which has delivered a total of 25,555 units of affordable housing with another 19,828 units being built and yet another 29,978 units in the pipeline to be built.
For five years, Barisan Nasional in Penang and the UMNO-BN federal regime neglected Penang and treated Penangites like second class citizens. Now suddenly, when the 14th General Election is coming, UMNO-BN conveniently threw at us their old, recycled, unfulfilled promises to bait us into voting for them.
BN has effectively given Penangites nothing in the last ten years and now they are threatening us to choose between “BN or nothing” in the next GE. I think the answer by Penangites and Malaysians is clear: we can survive without BN both at the state and federal level.
Steven Sim Chee Keong
DAP-Pakatan Harapan GE14 candidate for Bukit Mertajam