Gerakan bashes DAP for 'dishonesty, propaganda' over Penang economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Under the DAP-led state government, Penang has registered low Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the past eight years. 
 
That’s according to Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Liang Teck Meng, who hit out at the state government for letting Penang lose the top spot for investment in Malaysia for five years running. 
 
“Political dishonesty and propaganda cannot hide the hard facts that Penang registered among the lowest GDP growth per capita for the past eight years. 
 
“Penang’s annual state spending has almost quadrupled since 2008 and plummeted from first place for investments in 2011 to fifth place last year. 
 
These are undeniable facts," he said in a statement yesterday. Liang was responding to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s statement that the Pakatan Harapan government had succeeded in making the state first-ranked in terms of its per capita GDP growth from 2014 to 2015. 
 
He said Lim’s statement was a response to Liang’s own press conference last Thursday, which revealed that the state registered the lowest GDP per capita growth among all 15 states and federal territories in the country, between 2008 to last year. 
 
Liang pointed out that Lim and (Serdang MP) Ong Kian Ming had both posted different figures, which they said were more current than the one he had. 
 
“Based on the DAP's data, Penang is no longer the worst performing state but the third-worst performing state for the period 2008 to 2015. I hope this will make Lim and the DAP feel better. 
 
“Ong also questioned my economics understanding and asked why I had used 2007 as the base year instead of 2008. 
 
“Using end 2007 data more accurately reflects the impact of the DAP's rule of Penang as two months later, on March 8, 2008, the DAP took over the state government. 
 
“If we had used end 2008 data, then it would ignore 10 months of the DAP rule and will only take into account the year 2009 onwards,” he argued. 
 
Liang said the state government-funded Penang Institute released figures in their July 15, 2016 report that conclusively revealed that the state had economically underperformed in relation to the rest of Malaysia for the period 2008 to 2015. 
 
“Penang registered an average growth of 4.06 per cent, while Malaysia as a whole registered an average growth of 4.65 per cent during this period. 
 
“The Institute also showed that in 2006 and 2007, under BN, Penang outperformed Malaysia's growth by 2.60 per cent and averaged 8.55 per cent growth. 
 
“For the last two years, which Lim said was proof that the DAP had saved Penang, the average growth was 6.8 per cent, (hence) his claim is an outright lie,” he maintained. 
 
Liang described Lim as being “less than honest” when he said he had turned Penang from a deficit state to a surplus state. 
 
“In 2007, under the BN, Penang recorded a surplus, as state revenues increased 5 per cent to RM295.86 million, and state spending decreased by RM17.38 million to RM252.25 million compared to 2006 – therefore it was not a deficit state as Lim had claimed. 
 
“Lim also claimed that the DAP had reduced the state debt from high to low, without mentioning that it was the Federal government which reduced the state debt by 95 per cent,” he said. 
 
Liang urged Lim to stop repeating his propaganda that Malaysia was the most corrupt government in the world when Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2015 ranked the country at 54th least corrupt out of 168 countries. 
 
“Gerakan hopes that the DAP and Lim Guan Eng will not destroy the results of painstaking efforts by Gerakan and BN for Penang over the years, while continuing to deny reality by resorting to deceptive propaganda to hide the true situation,” he added. 
 
 

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