Penang state government is giving 'ang pows' to senior citizens.Whether wealthy geriatrics would also get the payment I am not sure.Maybe, Lim can enlighten us.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng called it Senior Citizen Appreciation programme.I call it vote buying. Buying political favour using state funds.
It should be called Lim Guan Eng's Benevolent Fund because a personal letter from him will be enclosed with every cash voucher send to the recipient.Lim will be the first Santa Claus chief minister in Malaysia.
Read the letter below and make your own assessment if it is not long term plan to buy political favour.In other words a well thought out political corruptions.
Dear Sir/ Mdm,
Penang Senior Citizens Appreciation Program of RM100 Annually
As a people-centric government, the Penang Pakatan Rakyat (PR) State government continually endeavours to listen to the people, do the people’s work and give hope to all. A people-centric government can be achieved through 3Es-to enable, empower and enrich the people.
- Enable the people with the skills, knowledge and education to provide equal opportunity for all to create wealth.
- Empower the people with fundamental rights, basic freedom and responsibilities with full observance for the rule of law.
- Enrich the people by sharing wealth and economic benefits to persue socio-economic justice.
For the first time in Penang’s history, senior citizens above 60 years old residing in Penang shall receive RM100 annually. This is a symbolic gift from the Penang PR State government to all senior citizens for their contributions and efforts that have allowed Penang to enjoy its success today whether in the field of socio-economy or unity in diversity amongst our plural society.
The Penang PR state government can afford to do so as we have been rigorously adopting a prudent budget, strict savings and good governance based on CAT- Competency, Accountability and Transparency. CAT governance has gained recognition from international bodies such as Transparency International that praised a state government in Malaysia for the first time ever. The 2008 Auditor-General’s report also praised the success of the Penang PR State Government in turning around a projected 2008 Budget deficit of RM35 million to a record surplus of RM88 million and a projected 2009 Budget deficit of RM40 million to a surplus of RM77 million.
We regret that our political opponents have tried to sabotage this RM 100 cash appreciation program by describing giving money to senior citizens as an act of bribery and corruption. However we shall continue with this program and are prepared to face any investigation or action by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Agency(MACC).
The RM100 cash appreciation to the senior citizens continues the Penang PR government’s tradition of giving to the people such as the RM100 water rebates to the nearly 170,000 low-income families in 2008-2009. Lest you think that you will be forgotten when you grow old- Remember that so long as Penang PR government exists, you will always be in our heart!
God Bless You!
Lim Guan Eng ,Penang Chief Minister
This brought me back to the reign of Tun Mustapha Harun in Sabah in the sixties and seventies when every Sabahan get paid annual dividend.
Even back then Mustapha's lack of education did not stupefy him to blatantly use state funds to buy favour.He was much smarter. He set up a foundation to do business to pay every eligible Sabahan.
The scheme in Sabah at that time was more sophisticated.Every eligible Sabahan was made shareholder of the Sabah Foundation. Operating under a group of companies its main revenue came from forestry business.Dividends were paid out of the profits made by these companies.If profits were low no dividend would be paid.Unfortunately, the scheme was abolished by the succeeding government.
If Lim is really concerned about the welfare of senior citizens than he should give them a monthly payment and only to those who are poor and have no sustainable income.
Why should he wants to enclose a personal letter from himself? As it is state money any officer in the State Treasury can sign the letter.
It's pure and simple, he wants them to know he is the giver.The benevolent Lim Guan Eng.He would become a cult figure like the late Mustapha Harun, very popular with the populace particularly the older generation.Those days Mustapha could stand in an elections in any areas (except Kadazan and Chinese areas) in Sabah and win overwhelmingly.
In his letter he also mentioned due to prudent financial planning the state has surplus budgets two years running. Too much surplus budget means the government is not doing enough for the people and has not been spending enough for the benefits of the people.There must have been less development projects in Penang since Pakatan took over.
The US government budget deficit ran into trillion of dollars yet it is still one of the richest country in the world.
The capitalist system and free market economy will not survive without spending of both public and private sectors.The eventual result of continual less spending and high surpluses would be negative economic growth and a decaying economy.You have a healthy looking balance sheet at the expense of growth.
Government, as long as it is not overgeared, can borrow to finance development projects for the people, there is nothing wrong with it.It is only wrong if it has to borrow to finance its recurring expenditure.
That's Pakatan Rakyat for you.Only two years in office already doing better than the BN as far as corruptions are concerned.
Of course, Pakatan supporters would say it is not corruptions.I think it is good money going to waste.These days how far can you stretch RM100 over a year.
If it is not vote buying than what is it? The worst thing it is geared for the Malay community because being the biggest population in the country there are more poor Malays than poor Chinese or Indians.
Lim Guan Eng has worked out that votes may not come free in the next elections.