GEORGE TOWN: A PKR rep today called on the federal government to stop giving Penang the “Cinderella treatment”, saying it should be seen as an equal partner in the federation.
Gooi Hsiao Leung (PKR-Bukit Tengah) said although Penangites were among the top taxpayers in the country, the state had been treated like a “stepchild”, getting only a pittance over the past 10 years.
Speaking in the state assembly, he said the injustices to Penang included the removal of the state’s free port status and concessionaires reaping millions from the Penang bridge tolls.
“For far too long, Penang has been neglected and treated like Cinderella. In the next five years, we must strive to be recognised as the first among equals in the Federation of Malaysia,” he said.
He said the chief minister had informed him in a written reply that there were 133 projects that had stalled or were behind schedule due to a lack of funds from the federal government.
“This is something we must fight for as we have been given the mandate by the people to deliver our promises in the manifesto,” he said in his debate on the motion of thanks to the governor.
Gooi, who is a former Alor Setar MP, said the federal government’s allocations to Penang had yet to be revised, with just 1% of the federal budget going to the state.
“While we (Pakatan Harapan) are already in power at the federal level, the state’s lawmakers have to constantly remind them what they owe us, as an equal partner in the federation.”