GEORGE TOWN: The DAP-led Penang government has gone back on its word many times since it came into power in 2008.
The state government has broken 51 promises — nine in 2008, seven in 2009, three in 2010, four in 2011, five in 2012, 11 in 2013, four in 2014, five in 2015 and three in 2016.
The promises were made through its election manifesto.
State Barisan Nasional has been keeping track of what was promised, especially in the areas of public transportation, infrastructure, tourism and environment.
State BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow said this showed that the DAP-led government was not committed to keeping the promises.
This, he said, was despite the announcements by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and state executive council members during the State Legislative Assembly sittings.
“The burning question is, when will these promises be fulfilled, if at all? Does the state government need another five or 10 years to implement them?
“These promises were made to blind the eyes and shut the mouths of the people. Indeed, the credibility of the state government is at stake and it must come clean.
“People must realise that the state government’s promises are sweet, but do not translate into reality,” he said in an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times Press recently.
Among the promises made were to gazette the Pulau Jerejak forest reserve, protect the environment, uphold the freedom of press, gazette the Penang Heritage Enactment and resolve flood woes.
On Pulau Jerejak, a developer recently unveiled the island’s redevelopment master plan, which covered the construction of a bridge connecting Pulau Jerejak with the mainland, 1,200 residential units, special port for yachts and boats, and four- and five-star hotels. Also included were a theme park, a 11.5km bicycle lane and other infrastructure to boost tourism.
In 2016, the state government was alleged to have delayed efforts to gazette Pulau Jerejak as a permanent forest reserve since it took office in 2008.
Conservationists have accused the DAP-led government of lacking political will in enforcing its heritage enactment, which has led to the loss of heritage buildings, such as the Runnymede bungalow.
Despite being empowered to protect heritage buildings through the 2011 Penang Heritage Enactment, the state government, conservationists said, had dragged its legs on its implementation.
Teng said the state government also failed to develop 20,000 affordable homes in Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan, an underground train system, reintroduce tram services and provide a monorail system connecting the island and mainland.
Teng said Penangites should take note of these empty promises and give BN a chance in the 14th General Election (GE14).
“Its success story is mainly on the sale of state land apart from being more pro-developer instead of defending the welfare of the people.
“The state continues to be plagued by issues, such as traffic congestion, floods, landslides, and failure of the people to own homes.”
Penang witnessed one of its worst natural disasters last October when 11 people were killed following a landslide at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah.
A Commission of Enquiry is determining the cause of the landslide.
Just a month later, the state saw the worst flooding in its history, which crippled nearly 80 per cent of the state. That incident brought to 120 the total number of floodings in the state since 2013.
Teng said the state BN manifesto for GE14 included addressing the unfulfilled promises by the state government.
“We will focus on public transportation, infrastructure, environment and tourism.”