Penang state govt claims it has fulfilled 90pc pledges made in 2018

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An attendee reads a copy of the Penang state government’s 2018 general election manifesto report card at Komtar May 9, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
An attendee reads a copy of the Penang state government’s 2018 general election manifesto report card at Komtar May 9, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, May 9 — The Penang state government, under Pakatan Harapan (PH), claimed today it has fulfilled 54 out of 68 pledges made in its 14th general election manifesto.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said another 12 pledges are in progress while only two will not be implemented as they overlapped with projects by the federal government.

“We have successfully fulfilled 90 per cent of the pledges made in the manifesto,” he said in a press conference at Komtar today.

There were 11 main themes under the PH 2018 general election manifesto.

Chow said all the pledges made under five themes have been fulfilled.

The five themes were Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) Administration, Housing For All, Entrepreneurship, Education and Skills Development and Harmonious Society.

The three pledges under the first theme, CAT Administration, were to limit the chief minister’s post to two terms, appoint the Opposition leader as Public Accounts Committee chairman and boost the state’s financial performance.

He said the chief minister’s post was effectively limited to two terms when it was approved at the state legislative assembly in 2018 and gazetted in 2019.

The Opposition leader was appointed as PAC chairman on August 10 in 2018.

Penang also received certification from the Auditor-General for the state financial statements that did not receive any reprimand for three consecutive years between 2018 and 2020.

Under the housing-for-all theme, Chow said pledges to build affordable housing and to implement projects under the state maintenance funds have also been fulfilled.

A total of five pledges under the entrepreneurship theme were also fully implemented, he said.

Among projects implemented include a RM4 million Industry 4.0 Seed Fund launched in 2018.

“The Covid-19 pandemic did not impact the total investments approved in Penang under the manufacturing sector for 2021 where Penang recorded the highest investment in the country at RM76.2 billion that generated 51,000 job opportunities,” he said.

He said the six pledges under the education and skills development theme were fulfilled, with a total RM52.14 million channelled to Tamil, Chinese, missionary and religious schools in the state.

Up to 2022, a total of four digital libraries were opened by the state, two within the grounds of Penang Free School, one in Butterworth and one in Batu Maung.

“The five pledges under the harmonious society theme were also fulfilled,” he said.

Among projects implemented include the completion of the Penang Harmony Centre and the setting up of government-linked corporation, Harmonico, to manage the centre.

“A total 134 non-Islamic religious places of worship received 83.41 acres of land between 2018 and 2022,” he said.

He said the allocation for the Penang Hindu Endowment Board was also increased to RM7.5 million annually since 2018 compared to RM1.5 million previously.

The other pledges under six different themes are still in progress, he said.

Under the upgrading of the public infrastructure theme, Chow said three out of five pledges have been completed while the remaining two are still in progress.

Among pledges fulfilled include RM51.4 million spent between 2018 and 2021 to provide free public transport to the people.

As for the tourism, culture, art, heritage and sports theme, he said only one out of the seven pledges is still in progress.

“The two projects that overlapped with federal projects are under the welfare state theme,” he said.

The two projects are the Penang Sihat Programme and RM1,000 living cost aid for women and mothers in households with an income of less than RM2,000 each month.

The Penang Sihat Programme was reviewed as it overlapped with the federal government’s mySalam and PekaB40 for programmes.

The RM1,000 living cost aid was cancelled as it is similar to the federal government’s Program Bantuan Sara Hidup.

“We are entering the fifth year of this term and if general election is held next year, it will give us another year to fulfil the rest of the manifesto,” Chow said.

He said the state is committed to implementing all of the projects it promised before its term is up.

“Some are long term projects which may not complete in time so what is important is to start it now,” he said.

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