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Guan Eng: Fed-Penang a reality if BN wins back state

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 17/2/2017 Predeep Nambiar
lim-guang-eng-FT © Provided by MToday News Sdn Bhd lim-guang-eng-FT

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government is not “overreacting” to a federal minister’s desire to turn Penang island into a federal territory (FT), Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

The fear is over the state becoming an FT should Penang be ruled by BN again, he added.

“The Pakatan state government is not overreacting to FT Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor’s proposal but sees it as a clear and present danger to the continued existence of Penang.

“Worse, his proposal was to turn just the island into a federal territory, leaving mainland Seberang Prai untouched, which will effectively split up the state,” Lim said, referring to comments on the issue by Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman.

Yesterday, Zainal, who is also Penang Federal Action Council chairman, said Tengku Adnan had told him in a meeting on Monday that he had only wanted to convert the island and not the whole Penang state.

Zainal also revealed that Tengku Adnan wanted to turn Penang island into a tax haven.

“I am also surprised with the plan to turn Penang island into a tax haven.

“He is being dishonest as it was never disclosed when he first spoke of wanting to make Penang a federal territory in a radio interview last month,” Lim said.

Lim said Penang need not be an FT to be a tax haven.

“Lest BN forgets, it was BN which sold out the rights of Penang in the 1970s by abolishing Penang’s free port status.

“BN can return us the free port or grant us the tax haven status without turning Penang into a federal territory. Why have they not done so now?”

Penang had its free port status revoked in 1969 despite opposition by businesses. It was an attempt by the federal government to bring Penang under the national common tax system.

Besides Penang, Tengku Adnan had also proposed turning Langkawi, parts of Malacca and Tioman Island into federal territories. He felt it would ensure adequate funds for development and infrastructure.

Lim said the resistance against the FT idea should carry on, despite federal officials saying it was a highly unlikely idea.

The chief minister said this was not an unfounded fear as Penang could become an FT if BN wins the state in the next general election and uses its majority in the state assembly to declare it an FT.

Fed-Penang a tax haven? That’s FT minister’s hope, says Umno

No way, says LGE on Penang becoming a federal territory

Idea to make Penang FT to ensure equal development

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