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at The DAP Ceramah
DAPís historic victories of 6 state seats and the reduced majorities of BN candidates in the Sarawak general elections highlights BNís failure to address the economic concerns of the people such as refusing to automatically renew land lease titles and charging high premiums of up to 75% of market value as well as the negative impact of their standard of living following the hike in fuel prices. DAP will continue to focus on economic issues affecting the people here as they have affected Sarawakís 892,537 voters.
The BN government must take heed of the message sent by Sarawak voters that wealth creation must be distributed equitably, especially those who are not wealthy. Like Sarawakians, Malaysians here have also suffered from inflation caused by the fuel hikes which reached a 7 year high of 4.8% in March and 4.6% in April this year. However the burdens of such inflation are not equally shared when Petronas is allowed to make huge profits without sharing them with Malaysians.
DAP opposes the fuel hikes because Petronas huge profits of RM 35.5 billion in 2004 are not shared with Malaysians to reduce their burden. Why should needy Malaysians not receive at least RM 1,500 each every year? If every needy Malaysian man woman or child receives RM 1,500 every year, then the people will not feel the pain even if the price of fuel is not subsidized and reaches international market level.
The United Nations Human Development Report 2005 shows Malaysia has the worst income inequality in South-East Asia with the richest 10% in Malaysia controls 38.4% of our economic income as compared to our poorest 10% controlling only 1.7%. Such inequality exists in Penang too when the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) reports reveals that the mean monthly household income of Penang is RM 3,531.
How many households in Penang take home RM 3,531 every month? If Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is responsible, just and fair he has an obligation to ensure that adequate provisions are made by the state that every Penang household receives their rightful share of RM 3,531 every month.
Tsu Koon must also ask for a higher share of development allocation for Penang than the RM 6,152 million given under the 9MP. With a population of 1.5 million, Penang comprise 5.6% of Malaysiaís population of 26.75 million in 2005. Instead of getting RM 11.2 billion or 5.6% of the total 9MPís development allocation of RM200 billion, Penang only received 3.1% or RM 6,152 million. This is discriminatory unjust and completely unacceptable to Penang.
Penang DAP State Chair and Tanjung MP Chow Kon Yeow criticized Koh that the Federal Government is paying only a few hundred million for land compensation when the remaining billions of ringgit to build the second bridge and the monorail in Penang will have to be borne by Penangnites. Why should Penangnites bear the financial burden and where is the benefit of having a Prime Minister from Penang?
Koh has failed in his basic duty to fight for the rights of Penang. He should redeem himself by demanding a higher allocation of RM 11.2 billion in accordance with Penang population and not the present RM 6,152 million from the Prime Minister. Any failure to do so will only prove that having a BN government does not guarantee any real development in the state.