GEORGE TOWN, Sept 11 — Putrajaya will keep assisting Kelantan if the state continues to face financial issues, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
The Bagan MP said the state did not have sufficient money to pay its civil servants’ salaries and had cash flow problems.
“We can’t allow a state government to be in a situation where they don’t even have money to pay the civil servants,” he said in a press conference here.
Lim said the federal government will urge the state, which is under PAS administration, to practise prudent financial accounting.
“We will still continue to help them even though Kelantan is not happy with us,” he said.
Lim said the federal government wants to ensure that every state in the country is treated fairly.
“When we talk about giving assistance to states, we will give to states that needs them but when it comes to allocations, it would be given to all states equally,” he said.
The former Penang chief minister said the Pakatan Harapan government does not want a situation like what happened to Penang when the state was left out.
Lim claimed that apart from road works and fundings provided under the federal constitution, Penang was completely left out in terms of allocations from the federal government in the past 10 years.
Now, he said Penang and Selangor are in much better financial situations than other states.
“These two states won’t ask for help to pay civil servants’ salaries, Kelantan may do it and we are willing to help, our priority is to help states in dire financial situations that can’t even pay the civil servants’ salaries,” he said.
Lim added that there is a special fund to assist states in dire financial situations.
“We can’t allow civil servants not to be paid salaries, neither can we have a state government without cash flow that the state machinery can’t move,” he said.
He hoped Kelantan can turn around its position as a failed state.
Lim had previously revealed that Kelantan was receiving monetary aid of RM913 million from the federal government to cover its cash deficit and expenditures.