Federal govt to work with Penang on Second Link

The Federal Government has agreed to co-operate with the new Opposition-led Penang Government in completing the Second Link or second Penang Bridge project, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

Lim, who met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi here on Thursday, said Abdullah had told him that the Federal Government had no problems in co-operating with the Penang Government in implementing its planned development projects.

"We in Penang will also do whatever is necessary to speed up and ensure the project is completed on time," said Lim, who spent more than 30 minutes with Abdullah.

He said Abdullah hoped to keep the cost of the bridge project, which had escalated from RM2.7bil to RM3bil, low so that motorists would not be burdened by high toll rates when the project is completed in 2011.

Lim said he had submitted a letter containing suggestions and proposals on more allocations and development programmes for the state to the Prime Minister.

"It is the hope of the Penang people that all development projects by the Federal Government will continue in the state," he said, adding that both of them exchanged views during the meeting.

To a question, he said, "He is my Prime Minister and I have come here for the first time on behalf of the people of Penang (to discuss state matters)."

He said his misunderstood statement on the New Economic Policy issue was also raised during the meeting.

To further clarify and put the matter to rest, Lim said that he planned to act against a particular newspaper for allegedly misinterpreting his statement made on March 11.

To another question, Lim said, the move to introduce open tender by the Penang Government was a directive of the Treasury.

"It is to ensure transparency and when we try to comply we are faulted for it," he said. - By The Star

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