GEORGE TOWN, Jan 31 — The Penang government should ask the public to rate them instead of giving themselves a 75-point rating, said Gerakan vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh.
He said the state government should be ashamed when it gave itself a rating of 75 out of 100 when it should be asking the public to rate them when they unveiled their report card recently.
He said there are still many issues that the Pakatan Harapan-led government has not resolved despite being in power for almost 15 years.
“The report card should be comprehensive instead of just showing where the money was spent,” he said in a statement today, referring to the state report card that Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow unveiled recently.
He demanded to know the outcome of the funds that the state poured into various projects.
“What have they really done other than constant press conferences, name calling, infighting and fault finding?” he accused.
He said the state needs to do more especially in areas of liveability, the economy and protecting the environment.
“More emphasis should be given to resolve the massive traffic congestion,” he said.
Baljit said the state should not be depending fully on its ambitious Penang Transport Master Plan, which might not materialise anytime soon.
“It is also so grandiose that it will take years to complete,” he said.
Since Penang has channelled many of its resources to the transport master plan, he said the state should be providing monthly updates on the work progress.
He said the state should also take pro-active steps that include restricting traffic flow during rush hour and encouraging more people to use public transport.
“As far as development is concerned, the state should shift its focus to the mainland, as it has more land banks there rather than the continuing reclaiming the seas around the island,” he said.
He claimed that the Unesco World Heritage Site is now a “ghost town” in the evenings where many businesses are closed even in the daytime.
“Penang is an island state and so it must improve its infrastructure and social amenities to meet the needs of a highly dense population base,” he said.
He pointed out that there are now more vagrants in the town centre so the state should be tackling the root cause of poverty instead of blaming the federal government.
He asked if the state has concrete plans to help the private sector to revive the tourism industry and the hotels.
“What happened to the tourism levy that had been collected from the hoteliers before the pandemic? Can the state channel back the funds to assist them?” he asked.