Penang gov't told to be more open-minded on federal territory proposal

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Territories Ministry has called on the Penang government to be more open to suggestions and less defensive, especially on its proposal to make the state a federal territory.

Its minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the idea was mooted as a way to ensure fair development in the state, which would allow all its people to enjoy housing facilities.

"In Kuala Lumpur for instance, we have many affordable housing programmes, such as the Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip), the 1Malaysia Housing Programme, the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Homes (PPA1M) and housing programmes under the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

"We want to have the same thing in Penang.

“This is the problem with DAP. When we come out with a suggestion, they always want to make it a big deal," Tengku Adnan told reporters after launching the Putrajaya Fishing Competition and Fiesta Walkabout here.

He said it was only a proposal which requires paperwork and approval at the national level.

"We are not only proposing Penang, but also Langkawi (Kedah), Tioman (Pahang) and part of Malacca to be made federal territories.

"I urge the Penang government to be more open-minded on this matter, because the Barisan Nasional government is always concerned about the people's welfare," he said.

In an interview with Business Radio Station BFM on Feb 1, Tengku Adnan said he would like to expand the federal territories to include Penang, Kedah's island of Langkawi and parts of Melaka.

The states would come directly under Putrajaya control and Tengku Adnan claimed that with the involvement of the federal government, they would get more funding and more attention.

However, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has expressed strong opposition to the idea.

Currently, the federal territories are Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

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