Think tank throws ball back at Gerakan’s feet

GEORGE TOWN: A state government-linked think tank, which was asked to answer 10 questions on Penang’s economic health, has declined to answer them.

The Penang Institute said it would be best for the Gerakan to direct the questions to the Statistics Department.

Saying he was surprised by the request for it from the Gerakan, Penang Institute Chief Executive Officer Dr Lim Kim-Hwa stressed that his institution was apolitical in nature.

“The economics team at the Penang Institute is run professionally and comprises competent and qualified economists who are not members of any political party.

“The questions posed by Gerakan can be computed by anyone based on the data and information from the Statistics Department.

“We wish to confirm that our calculations are based on the latest available data from the Statistics Department.

“Our calculations show that in 2006-2007, Penang recorded the lowest percentage growth in GDP per capita. However, in 2014-2015, Penang achieved the highest percentage growth in GDP per capita,” Lim said in a press statement today.

Yesterday, Gerakan Secretary-General Liang Teck Meng had posed 10 questions to Lim following a dispute on Penang’s economic health during Barisan Nasional’s stint compared with that during the Pakatan’s administration.

The Penang BN had claimed it had done better during its administration of the state, while Pakatan, too, asserted it had bettered its arch-rivals.

Meanwhile, Lim furnished a set of numbers proving his point that Penang had indeed done better under Pakatan’s rule.