‘Tunnel project to be scrapped’
BUTTERWORTH: Six pledges and 60 initiatives – that’s what the Barisan Nasional will be armed with as it attempts to wrest Penang from the clasp of the Opposition.
In its “Save Penang” manifesto launched yesterday, the coalition listed resolving flooding, overcoming traffic congestion and halting hillside development as the top priorities.
State Barisan chairman Teng Chang Yeow said if it regained power in the state, the controversial undersea tunnel project to link the island to the mainland would be scrapped.
He said further land reclamation at Permatang Damar Laut and Gurney Drive would also be barred.
Teng also announced that areas 76m above sea-level would be declared permanent forest reserves to protect the hills.
On flooding, he said the Barisan would resolve the problem within three-and-a-half years, by installing water pumps and floodgates and implementing a Penang Flood Mitigation Plan.
Another priority was to build 65,000 affordable houses within five years, introduce rent-to-own housing scheme, set the price of a low-cost home to RM40,000 (including a free carpark) and between RM80,000 and RM120,000 for medium-cost units (including free carpark).
The other priorities were listed as economic development, people’s welfare, and tourism and heritage.
Among others, the Barisan pledged to remove toll charges for motorcycles, abolish the water surcharge, provide a special fund of RM2,000 to couples who tie the knot for the first time, provide school bus subsidy to eligible families, provide free parking at council roadsides and residential areas, and allocate RM15mil annually for national-type, religious and private Chinese schools.
The Barisan also pledged to abolish postage charges and other charges for bill payments, provide free water to hardcore poor, reintroduce traffic wardens in school areas, and not to increase water tariff for residential areas within five years.
Thousands of Barisan leaders and members who attended the launch cheered when Teng fired salvos at the DAP-led state government, claiming its leaders made 51 false promises over the last 10 years.
Also present were state Umno chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman, state MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, state MIC deputy chairman Datuk M. Nyanasegaran and leaders of Barisan-friendly parties.
Teng (middle) getting waves of support as he launches the Penang Barisan Nasional manifesto at The Light Hotel in Seberang Jaya, Penang. With him are Penang Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman (on Teng’s right) and Penang MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star
Flood Mitigation plans among BN manifesto
BARISAN Nasional will get allocation from the Federal Government to alleviate flooding woes in Penang within three and a half years if it secures the mandate from the people.
Penang Barisan chairman Teng Chang Yeow, a former state exco member, said detailed infographics would be required to come up with an action plan as well as a drainage masterplan to resolve the problem.
“We have experience in formulating flood mitigation plans in the past.
“From there, we will take the matter up to the Federal Government to negotiate for the amount of funds needed.
“This is due to poor planning, lack of drainage and failure to identify hotspots.
“The people have suffered because of poor coordination and help could not reach them in time,” he said at a press conference after unveiling Barisan’s manifesto at a hotel in Seberang Jaya.
Commenting on the pledge for 50% of Penang island city councillors and Seberang Prai municipal councillors to be appointed from independent bodies, he said the representatives could join the planning committee to give their ideas.
Teng said that although landowners had the right to plan projects, those staying next door could voice their views including objecting to the projects if they were affected.
“But today, planners are not planning.
“Instead, politicians are doing the planning,” he said.
Teng said planning should be left to planners with expertise while politicians should only make policies.
‘Can fulfil promises’
Teng: Penang will receive more allocation if voted into power
DESPITE being an Opposition state, Penang has received RM2.08bil as allocation from the Federal Government between 2013 and 2017.
Penang Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow said the amount was the highest among the northern states.
He said Kedah received RM1.76bil followed by Perak (RM1.25bil) and Perlis (RM360mil) during the same period.
“We can fulfil all our promises in the manifesto. The state will receive more allocation if we win the state from Pakatan Harapan,” he told reporters after launching the Penang Barisan manifesto at a hotel in Seberang Jaya yesterday.
Asked why the monorail and LRT projects which were in the 2013 manifesto were missing from the present one, Teng said the people in the state had rejected both projects as Penang Barisan was not voted into power then.
“However, we are open to consultation with the people and those from the civil movements to revive such projects if we are voted into power in the upcoming general election,” he said.
On another matter, Teng said Penang never had it easy during the 22-year tenure of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Penang was bypassed most of the time when it came to development projects.
“It was difficult for then Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to get allocation for projects in Penang as the funds would not come.
“Dr Mahathir, for reasons best known to himself, did not allocate sufficient funds for Penang and most of the time we were bypassed,” said Teng, who was once a state executive councillor.
– By K. Suthakar, Lo Tern Chern, and R. Sekaran, The Star
Barisan Nasional Youth volunteers posing for a group photo at the recent Penang Barisan Nasional manifesto launching ceremony at The Light Hotel in Seberang Jaya, Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star
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