The Penang government‚Äôs anti-corruption stance and tight budget control has made it possible to give cash rewards to the people.
He said the state government has been giving out cash rewards under various programmes to appreciate the courage of Penangites in choosing a graft-free government in the 2008 general election.
‚ÄúThe programmes are in appreciation of your contributions to Penang‚Äôs success,‚ÄĚ he said in an open letter to the people of Penang, published in the state periodical Buletin Mutiara (Edition 2.02).
The programmes included RM100 each paid annually to eligible recipients under the Senior Citizens Appreciation Program (SCAP); Single Mother and Disabled Person Program (SMDPP); and Golden Students Program (GSP).
Local residents above 60, single mothers, disabled persons and standards one and four pupils, and students in first and fourth forms are eligible for the cash rewards under respective programmes.
Some RM27.1 million has been paid to 135,220 registered senior citizens under SCAP to date.
A RM1,000 one-off cash aid is also given to beneficiaries of senior citizens, single mothers and disabled persons upon their demise.
The state also gives out an one-off RM200 cash reward each to babies born to local residents under the Golden Child Program (GCP).
Lim said the annual cash sums received by eligible Penangites were anti-corruption dividends, which were not given previsouly due to the previous graft culture.
Lim noted that the yearly surpluses and 95 per cent debt reduction from RM630 million on March 8, 2008 to RM30 million on Dec 31, 2011 demonstrated a clean government.
He pointed out that the DAP-helmed Penang‚Äôs administration has been praised by Transparency International, the first for any state government in Malaysia, and Auditor General‚Äôs Annual Report for three consecutive years.
‚ÄúThis is not a naked attempt to buy votes, but to demonstrate your courage to choose a clean government,‚ÄĚ said Lim in the letter.