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I felt very happy that P. Ramasamy as Deputy CM. It’s reflects that DAP is a multi racial party. And Lim Guan Eng is a best leader and CM. He will choose the Exco regardless of mainstream faction and non mainstream faction in the party incuding of Penang, Perak and Selangor. I praised that Lim Guan Eng did a job during the GE and after the GE. Thanks.
THE FUTURE OF PENANG IN THE HAND OF LIM GUAN ENG
Lim Guan Eng has finally become the Chief Minister of Penang State in 2008.
However, the future of Penang looks bleak in view of the current sluggish demand for Electronics Products in the United States. Lim Guan Eng has taken over Penang from the ex-government of Barisan Nasional which put in too much vain effort for attracting the foreign direct investment in setting up the labour-intensive electronics assembly plants in Penang. When Mainland China started to open up its market for foreign investment, Penang had lost its competitiveness to the Chinese people in terms of cheap wages. When Singapore government began to revitalise its electronics industry, Penang had also lost its competitiveness to Singapore in terms of middle level engineers and sophisticated level marketing workforce. To rule Penang efficiently for the next five years will not be an easy task for Lim Guan Eng. Perhaps Lim Guan Eng has to start thinking of the possibility of revitalising the service industry such as Tourism, Theme Parks, Hotel & Food Catering and Shopping Complexes in Penang in order to earn more foreign exchange when relying on the financial aids from the BN-dominated Federal Government seems to be impossible now.
The state lands which are still disposable by the state government of Penang will be very limited since Penang has long since been a developed state and is also a small state with limited land areas. If the state government of Penang is still able to find some vacant lands for building the luxurious condominiums or bungalow, it is advisable for Lim Guan Eng to bravely classify these lands as the freehold lands which can be held by foreign investors and then open it up for public auction and make it available to foreign investors. This kind of freehold lands available to foreign buyers will not only bring some land sale income and quit rent income to the state government, but it will also create more job opportunities for the construction workers in Penang when the foreign investors commence the construction projects. To make Penang a second home for the rich and famous from the Middle East countries as well as Indonesia, the Phillipines, Singapore and Thailand will help to make the Pearl of Orient a popular place of tourist attraction.
It is not necessarily for Penangites to continue living in the old life style like working so hard as the cheap labour in the low skill electronics assembly plants and earning a pitiful little income just enough for the whole family to live in subsistence level such as the life of those days during BN’s rule. In fact, Penangites may still find a lot of golden opportunities to make big money if they are to revitalise the tourism industry of Penang. The tourism industry will save the state government a lot of headache problems such as air pollution, water pollution and environmental pollution of debris and industry wastes which happen often in manufacturing industry. The foreign spending in Penang’s tourism sector will eventually create a big multiplier effect to the other service industry such as hotel and food catering, travel agency industry and long distance bus industry in Penang. The prosperity in food catering businesses will also create some spilt-over effect to the food production industry and food-based agriculture activities that will eventually help to solve the food security problem and food inflation problem in Penang. Of course, the final objectives of tourism will be providing more and better job opportunities to the people and eradicating the poverty problems in Penang, disregard of differences in race, language and religion.
Below is the market analyst’s report on the bleak future of MPI in relation to slow down in the U.S. market and the consequential low demand for electronics products.
Congrats to Guan eng.
Just to wish to show you this clip;
Since you have the authority now, you can make a change in penang by proving to the malays that DAP can do better than UMNO. Your chances is here, so dont screw it
Wonder if you and your BR colleagues can investigate this article. Thanks
in case some of you had missed out this interesting post from anil netto, i’m copying it here for you to read as it is something you shouldn’t miss at all. as we all know, the current hot topic now is on the MB crisis in trengganu. anil offer an insight into what went on with the petronas fund.
ahmad said (left) or idris jusoh (right) for MB?
Trengganu MB crisis: Follow the money trial
by Anil Netto
I spent a couple of years in Trengganu when I was a kid. I have fond memories of a tranquil and rustic state, wonderful childhood neighbours – whom I have recently been reacqainted with after all these years – and family picnics at Pantai Chendering.
So the high stakes battle in Trengganu over the choice of Mentri Besar is of special interest to me.
While much has been said about the constitutional position, there is more to it than just the letter and spirit of the law.
There is more to it than that – and it is essential that we consider this dimension in any discussion of the political situation in Trengganu.
Follow the money Wall-Street-Values-Main Jan-07 trail.
One of the key issues, I believe, is how the Petronas oil royalties due to the state amounting to some RM1 billion annually should be spent – for the benefit of the people or for vested interests. Despite its oil wealth, Trengganu is one of the poorest states in the federation.
The royalty payments are no small change. In the past, the money was paid directly to the state government and dispensed under its supervision.
But when Trengganu fell to opposition hands (Pas) in 1999, then prime minister Mahathir changed the rules. He couldn’t bear to see all that money going to an opposition-controlled state government.
Instead of the Petronas royalties (amounting to 5 per cent of oil extraction and sales) going directly to the Trengganu state government, they were now channelled to a federally administered Special Fund Financing Programme (the Fund), which was established in December 2000. The money in this new Fund was euphemistically renamed “goodwill money” (wang ihsan) and it was supposed to directly finance development programmes for the people of Terengganu, largely bypassing the state government.
Since then, there has been little accountability over how this money has been spent and whether the projects really benefit the ordinary people.
The missing Accounts Committee
Basically, the Treasury is supposed to make allocations out of the Fund to various ministries (and via these ministries to federal agencies), financial institutions, and federal and state-level offices.
According to the Auditor General’s Report 2005, in line with a directive, the Treasury was supposed to create an Accounts Committee, chaired by the Treasury’s Chief Secretary, to administer the Fund. The Committee was supposed to comprise representatives from the Prime Minister’s Department (including the Economic Planning Unit), the Treasury, and the Finance Ministry.
But the Auditor General (AG) said then that such a Committee had not been set up – surely this must be of serious concern.
Instead, a “Central-level Committee”, which appears less high-powered, was formed. This Committee, which includes representatives from ministries and implementation agencies, meets twice a year to discuss and approve allocations. It is not clear who exactly is in this Committee. PM Abdullah must reveal the composition of this committee.
This Central-level Committee is supposed to evaluate projects and recommend to the Cabinet financial allocations for the various states. But the AG said he found that allocations for the various states were not decided during the Committee’s meetings. Instead, the “allocations were based on the approval of the Finance Minister and they were forwarded straight to the relevant state Menteris Besar”. The Finance Minister is of course the Prime Minister.
Would that explain why Abdullah Badawi is so keen on retaining Idris as MB?
In an article for Aliran Monthly, ‘Buying goodwill – RM4 billion worth of it’, I wrote back then that although the AG had said that the people had benefited from the Fund, his finding was not backed up by empirical evidence. He conceded that, at the state level, “expenditure that should not have been financed from the Special Fund allocation had occurred and this had more or less jeopardised the objective of the programme”.
He also found that not all ministries, departments and agencies had submitted their quarterly expenditure statements as required (though he said their monitoring work was adequate). This meant the Treasury’s records related to the Fund were incomplete. More seriously, there was no evidence to show that the Treasury had taken follow-up action. He also stressed that all allocations should be approved by the Central-level Committee.
Reading between the lines, it seemed to me, that there was a lot of arbitrary discretion being exercised as to how the fund was being administered – most likely to serve the interests of the ruling party while benefiting certain vested interests.
The best solution is to return the royalties to the state governments. High-powered independent audit committees with opposition representation, reporting to the respective state assemblies, should be set up to ensure that such funds are used on projects that really empower the rural poor. This will dispel the perception that this ‘goodwill money’ is being used as a patronage tool to boost political ‘goodwill’ for the Barisan Nasional while also benefiting vested interests.
I would hazard a guess that the Agong, who is the Sultan of Trengganu, knows what is going on and is deeply concerned.
Here’s one intriguing question: If a new MB who is not the PM’s choice is sworn in, would the files of yet another state government disappear?
Right now, it’s a battle of wills.
Even though Abdullah’s choice of MB has the backing of all the BN assembly members, would the weakened PM ram him through and risk having to face another state election in Trengganu? This time, Pas and PKR, fresh from their successes on the west coast, could well pose a stronger challenge.
note: also read aisheman’s take on this topic, and susan loone’s – interesting revelation there too by some of her commenters, like how Idris ‘masuk RM800m ke dalam akaunnya’.
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