Thursday, February 4, 2010

9th MP is a big failure for Penang?

9th Malaysian Plan

Ninth Malaysian Plan (Malay: Rancangan Malaysia ke-9) abbreviated as '9MP', is a comprehensive blueprint prepared by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister's Department and the Finance Ministry of Malaysia with approval by the Cabinet of Malaysia to allocate the national budget from the year 2006 to 2010 to all economic sectors in Malaysia.

The blueprint was announced on 31 March 2006, unveiled by the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia , Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Parliament.

The economic development plan was unveiled just at a time Malaysia started to recover from the Asian financial crisis and challenging economic condition as a result from high oil prices. The US-led Iraq invasion in 2003 resulted in hike in oil prices to about US$60/barrel in August 2005, few months before the plan was unveiled. These two factors were mentioned in Prime Minister's speech when tabling the Ninth Malaysia Plan on 31 March 2008 besides SARS, bird flu, earthquake and tsunami

The plan, envisages Malaysia's GDP to grow (in real terms) by 6.0% per annum over the 2006 to 2010 period, and highlights five thrusts for Malaysia to move forward economically. These thrusts are:

1. To move the economy up the value chain
2. To raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and to nurture a 'first class mentality'
3. To address socio-economic inequalities constructively and productively
4. To improve the standard and sustainability of quality life
5. To strengthen institutional and implementation capacity

Have the 9th Malaysian Plan met its objectives?

Allocation specifically for Penang or critically relevant to Penang state:

RM1 bil for upgrading and extension of KKIA, second low cost hub for Malaysia, Second bridge and monorail for Penang island
RM510 mil for cleaning, preserving and beautifying rivers
RM11.62 mil less for culture
RM 2 billion for double tracking rail projects between Ipoh and Padang Besar and Seremban and Gemas(Mid term review 2008)

The Penang Monorail
The Penang Monorail is a proposed monorail line to be constructed under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). It will be located on Penang Island. Two lines will be built, with possible extensions to Province Wellesley in the future. The 37km system is expected to cost RM 1.6 billion. After the mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the project has been postponed indefinitely, which generated mixed reactions from NGOs, and politicians. After the mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, which was tabled in Parliament on June 26 2008, the monorail project, along with the Penang Outer Ring Road has been postponed indefinitely.

The Penang Second Bridge
The Penang Second Bridge is a new bridge under construction in Penang, Malaysia. It will connect Batu Kawan on the mainland Seberang Perai and Batu Maung on Penang Island. It will be the second bridge to link the island to the mainland after Penang Bridge. The total length of the RM 3 billion bridge is 24 km (15 miles) and will become the longest bridge in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC) expected to start work on the second Penang bridge in November 2007 for completion in 2011, but it was then postponed for completion in May 2012, as the construction started late in November 2008, due to the unreasonable demand from UEM which caused the large delay. To reduce the cost of construction, its design was then modified to resemble the first Penang Bridge. The bridge will be built with a large loan from the People's Republic of China.

On July 2008, Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi reported that the loan for the bridge risked being withdrawn if the shareholder agreement between UEM Builders Bhd and its joint-venture partner China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd was not inked by August 2008. It has been reported that there have been disagreements between the two parties on the apportionment of the cost of building the bridge although the issue should be resolved soon due to UEM having a variation on the price on its portion.

On 8 November 2008, the construction of the Penang Second Bridge by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) finally commenced.


9th Malaysian Plan is to be ended this year, 2010.

How many of the project have completed in Penang ; 2nd bridge is still at early stage; monorail project had postponed, there are still rivers uncleaned; heritage conservation still in doubtful state; double rail project at early stage.... How about other allocation for the federal ministries to be used in Penang? have they been expended for the specific areas?...

The monorail project, along with the Penang Outer Ring Road has been postponed indefinitely. What happen to the allocation for Penang, will the fund allocated to Penang, still be used for other projects in Penang?

I hope there will be another NGO,like Penang Watch; which will monitor on the budget allocation to Penang, that the fund have been allocated and used for the specific purpose, and each allocation is accounted for.

What the Chief Minister of Penang have to say:

4th September 2009 - Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is gravely concerned because only 24% of the projects given to Penang under the 9th Malaysian Plan is completed on time.

Penangites contributed app. RM20B to the Federal Government in the five-year period of the 9th MP. Penang gets only RM7.6B and yet, RM5.8B of the projects are incomplete.

CM Lim also rebutted Gerakan Teng Hock Nan's claim that Penang is approved for a total of RM15.4B in projects. Yet, the second finance minister only gave a figure which is half of Teng's claim.

So how about allocation for MP? Is there any MP allocation in 9th Malaysian Plan for MPs(ruling party and opposition parties)?

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