Media statement by Steven Sim, MP for Bukit Mertajam
28 NOVEMBER 2020 | BUKIT MERTAJAM, PENANG
Federal Government’s cancellation of RM2 billion loan guarantee for Penang LRT is a disappointing, despicable act of political vendetta against the state and people of Penang.
The federal government’s announcement to cancel the RM2 billion loan guarantee for the development of Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Penang is a disappointing, despicable act of political vendetta against the state and people of Penang. The said loan is to be secured from Asian Development Bank (ADB), a reputable regional development financial institution. The state of Penang is not asking for a loan or money from the federal government for this project, a federal loan guarantee is the least that the federal government can do for Penang.
A public survey has shown that 97.7% of respondents in Penang wanted LRT for the state. The then-Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government had agreed on the loan guarantee to develop Penang according to the need of the state and the aspiration of the people.
In the 2021 Federal Budget, RM15 billion was allocated for:
– Pan-Borneo Highway
– Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double-Tracking Project
– Klang Valley Double Tracking Project Phase One.
– Rapid Transit System Link from Johor Bahru to Woodlands, Singapore
– MRT3 in Klang Valley
On top of these, it was recently announced that the federal government will develop a monorail system in Putrajaya and fund the RM6 billion-transit system in Kuching under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
While multibillion-ringgit transport projects are being funded by the PN administration in other states, Penang’s loan guarantee was disappointingly cancelled. This is despite Penang being the second highest tax contributor to the country.
I urge the federal government to reinstate the loan guarantee or alternatively, to fully fund the Penang LRT project.
Steven Sim Chee Keong
Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam