Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. File pic by Zulaikha Zainuzman

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional's (BN) Strategic Communications Team today slammed the DAP for failing to provide answer if Penang is on a path to become a failed state or bankruptcy.

It said the DAP's four senior leaders had responded to their question with various "rhetoric and diversions".

"Penang executive council member Chow Kon Yeow's response was merely to say if Penang is a failed state, the federal government should call for a general election as soon as possible.

"However, we are unsure how that answers our questions," the team said in a statement today.

It also criticised Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for claiming that the state had only registered revenues of RM657.6mil from land sales from 2008 to 2015.

"Lim's reply has raised many questions from people who remembered him praising the sale of RM1.07 billion worth of sate land in Bayan Mutiara in the year 2011.

"Or the sale of RM484 million of land in Batu Kawan to Aspen Vision in 2014 saying that the entry of IKEA to sell furniture to Penang people would be an economic game-changer for the state.

"Questions were also raised as Lim was reported on Dec 16, last year to have confirmed that the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) had sold RM1.94 billion in land from 2008 to 2015,

"Most are aware that PDC is 100 per cent owned by the Penang government thus many are curious why Lim still claims that Penang only registered RM657.6mil in revenues from state land."

The team expressed dismay over Lim's refusal to challenge its claim that as much as RM37 billion of state land, land rights and assets had been sold or traded away since 2008.

"DAP supremo YB Lim Kit Siang's reply, however, was that Penang will not fail but Malaysia will become a failed state instead - a claim that Kit Siang had repeated since the 1960s including in a 1978 book of his titled "Timebombs in Malaysia".

"Malaysians have been waiting 50 years for Kit Siang's much-repeated prophecy of Malaysia becoming a failed state."

The team, however, asked how the federal government would be able to guarantee the multi-billion ringgit loan from China's EXIM Bank that the Penang state government wanted to borrow if Malaysia was set to become a failed state.

"Penang Deputy Chief Minister II YB P. Ramasamy also responded by claiming that Penang has been saved by DAP. As proof, he said that DAP had reduced 95 per cent of Penang's state debt.

"However, Ramasamy had neglected to explain that it was the federal government who in 2011, had converted a RM655 million debt of Penang into annual lease payments over 45 years - which means the state actually ends up paying the same RM655 million amount - that allowed the Penang state government to boast a 95% reduction in state debt."

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