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Help Kelantan like how I aided Penang, Najib tells Guan Eng

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 10/9/2018 FMT Reporters
Najib Razak wearing glasses and smiling at the camera © Provided by FMT MEDIA SDN BHD

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has reminded Putrajaya of how his administration had previously given millions worth in federal aid to the Penang state government, following calls for Kelantan to cut down its financial reliance on the federal government.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who was formerly the chief minister of Penang, had revealed on Saturday that Kelantan was receiving the highest monetary aid from the federal government – totalling RM913 million – to deal with its cash deficit and expenditure.

To this, Najib said he had channelled some RM650 million for water restructing efforts and RM1.3 billion to enlarge the Mengkuang dam in “advanced and well-running” Penang, adding that there was nothing wrong in helping underdeveloped states like Kelantan.

“I’m not happy with the actions of Lim Guan Eng, who issued a media statement reprimanding the Kelantan state and urging it to reduce its dependence on the federal government,” Najib said in a Facebook post today.

“Regardless of whether the state is under the ruling party in Putrajaya or not, we should not leave it aside on the spirit of 1Malaysia,” he added.

The Pekan MP also took a dig at Lim for using federal aid when he was chief minister but giving the impression that Penang had succeeded on its own abilities.

“The RM650 million aid from the federal government has been misused by the DAP government since 2011, as if it was they who had managed to reduce their state debt of 95% and are good at governance, while BN is not,” Najib said.

He said it was an undeniable fact that Kelantan was one of the poorest Malaysian states today and he blamed it on the “prime minister number 4” who had allegedly halted developments and other necessary projects in the state in the 1990s.

This lead to “not a single highway or infrastructure for clean water” in Kelantan, which was why revenue generated from the state is limited, Najib said in a jibe at Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib also said that when he was the prime minister, he had made plans to improve the situation on the ground by initiating efforts to develop its public transport system, water infrastructure and flood mitigation efforts, all of which had been cancelled by the PH government.

Lim previously said that Kelantan was the only state to have recorded a deficit in its operating account for more than five consecutive years, and without assistance from Putrajaya, it would not be able to pay its staff.

The Bagan MP said Kelantan was paid RM86.1 million in 2013, RM95.1 million in 2014, RM67.2 million in 2015, RM59.9 million in 2016 and RM54.7 million in 2017, making it a total of RM363 million.

Kelantan also received RM550 million in the form of advance funds, making it the largest sum received from the federal government among the states, not including its deficit of RM913 million.

The state, which is currently led by PAS, has yet to repay RM384 million out of this advance.

Last year, only Kelantan and Perlis received such assistance.

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