GEORGE TOWN: The opposition will scrap GST and toll collections on the North-South Expressway (PLUS) and the first Penang bridge if it takes over Putrajaya, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said yesterday.

He said Pakatan Harapan, if given the chance to control the federal government, would undertake both measures to ease the people’s financial burden.

Guan Eng said the 6% GST had contributed to higher living cost for the people, instead of “saving Malaysia” as Prime Minister Najib Razak had claimed.

He also said people should not have to keep paying toll on PLUS, which had cost RM5.9 billion to build, since the concessionaire had already collected toll worth RM37.4 billion over the past three decades.

“If we want to bring prices down, Barisan Nasional has to go down,” he said.

Speaking to a crowd of some 1,200 people at the Balik Pulau DAP division dinner to mark the party’s 50th anniversary last night, Guan Eng again blamed the nation’s economic woes and the decline in the value of the ringgit, on the 1MDB scandal.

Calling for those responsible for the controversy to be arrested and investigated, he said corruption was one of the reasons why the government was short of funds.

“The economy is challenging, and it is so bad that the federal government is short of money.

“Funds for education and hospitals had been slashed. The government has not even given Chinese schools the RM50 million it promised in the 2016 Budget.

“You know how small RM50 million is to the federal government? It is just 0.02% of the budget. The Penang government can even loan them the amount,” said Guan Eng, who is also Penang chief minister.


Fight against corruption

He told the people that corruption must be tackled, adding that it was why DAP was working with other opposition parties, including the new Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) led by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

“People ask me how I can work with Tun M (Mahathir) when he had jailed my father twice under the Internal Security Act. He jailed me, too.

“But Mahathir said although he had done things in the past that people disagreed with, he did not have RM2.6 billion in his bank account,” Guan Eng said, taking a swipe at Najib.

It was allegedly a donation from a member of the Saudi royal family, with most of the amount reportedly returned when unused. Najib has since been cleared of any wrongdoing by the attorney-general, but the opposition remains unconvinced.

Change still possible

Meanwhile, DAP parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said even though some analysts and economists think BN would retain Putrajaya in the next general election (GE14), which is expected to be called later this year, it was still possible to change the government.

“Changing the government is not easy, but it is not ‘mission impossible’,” Kit Siang said, urging the people to unite for change.

DAP vice-chairman and Penang party chief Chow Kon Yeow also said there was hope if DAP worked with other parties to strengthen the opposition.

“We have worked with others since the 80s, up until we formed Pakatan Harapan with PKR and Amanah today. Now we also work with PPBM,” he said.

Chow said the opposition was eyeing the three parliamentary seats in Penang that were still held by BN in Balik Pulau, Tasek Gelugor and Kepala Batas.

“To take Putrajaya, every seat is important. We know Umno and BN are still strong and they will do anything to defend their power.

“We must retain all the seats we won and take those we did not win in the last polls,” he said, pledging DAP’s support to its allies that would contest against BN in the next general election.

Chow also said Penang was a good example of how the Pakatan government could perform better than its predecessor, despite having limited resources.

In the last general election (GE13), Pakatan took 10 out of 13 parliamentary constituencies in Penang. Out of 40 state seats, Pakatan won 30 to keep its hold on the state government, leaving Umno with 10 seats.

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