IT can’t be mere coincidence that important development projects for Penang have been cancelled repeatedly by Perikatan Nasional (PN) and their new Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong.
I wonder how much of it is motivated by the fact that Penang is a well-known DAP stronghold state and that many of these programmes were administered under the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Is it possible that Wee’s hatred for DAP runs so deep that he is willing to victimise innocent Penangites caught in the crossfire?
After years of neglect, it’s no secret that minorities in this country have turned away from MCA and MIC. One can imagine that Wee blames DAP for turning the once powerful MCA into a party that may not even see the light of day in the next general election.
Truth be told, it was probably Wee and MCA’s loyalty to Najib Razak during the 1MDB fiasco that was the nail in the coffin of MCA’s reputation instead of anything DAP could have done.
Let’s get one thing straight. The rakyat doesn’t care about political rivalry in these dire times. All we ask for is for our elected reps to pay more attention to our needs and put their feuding aside for one second.
Wee taking revenge on Penang is not only extremely cruel, it is also dangerous to the well-being of Malaysia.
Penang is an economic powerhouse. Since 2014, Penang has been consistently topping real GDP per capita in Malaysia, contributing a rough RM7 billion in yearly taxes and revenue to the federal government.
Penang is also an internationally acclaimed tourist destination that was featured on CNN, The Guardian, Forbes, and so on. They have been lauded for their environmentally-friendly efforts. By all measures, this is a state that has bright prospects to say the least.
Instead of being proud of the many achievements Penang has accomplished, all we have witnessed from PN is the incessant need to quash Penang’s progress.
Let’s look at the facts
Barely a month after Muhyiddin was sworn in as prime minister, the new federal government cancelled the Penang Hill cable car project, which was aimed at overcoming the rise in train passenger traffic from 250,000 passengers a year to two million.
But it didn’t stop there. PN proceeded to also cancel one of Penang’s most awaited infrastructure initiatives, the airport expansion project. Reason given? Wee wanted to wait for the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP) study, which will only be completed in 2023.
This explanation however makes no sense.
The function of the NASP is to ensure airports in Malaysia are efficient and competitive. However, PIA is already one of the most profitable airports in Malaysia. Long story short, while the NASP study may be necessary for loss-making airports, it isn’t justified for PIA.
Let’s not forget PN withdrawing the loan guarantee given by PH to Penang, which was meant to help finance the construction of the Penang LRT, a historical achievement that must now be delayed.
The last straw perhaps was the cancelling of our beloved cultural heritage, the monumental 126-year-old ferries. What’s worse, this was done without any discourse with Penangites.
These crucial projects that were so quickly cancelled without a second thought could have helped stimulate the economy, create job opportunities and trigger other ripple effects not only to Penang but to Malaysia as a whole.
It is clear that neither PN nor Wee, really has our best interests at heart. We can only pray that they recognise the folly of their ways before it’s too late. –
Source : The Malaysian Insight