Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng believes the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has contributed much more to opposition-held states than the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration did.
He said since coming into power in May 2018, the ruling government has pumped in various funding and extended a number of aids and assistance to states like Kelantan to help in their development.
“If you look at what the government is doing, especially the prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), we have given more attention to these states than the previous government.
“Just look at the attention and funding we have provided, it is much more,” he told a press conference today.
Last year, the federal government allocated RM13.05 billion to six most less developed states in the country, namely Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.
When pressed further, Lim merely said: “I think the prime minister has much more to say about how PH has helped the opposition states. So, let him explain on that.”
Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, was responding to a claim by newly minted Kelantan DAP chairman Datuk Zaid Ibrahim that ministers from the party should do more to help states like Kelantan.
The former law minister however acknowledged that it would be a challenge to convince federal ministers to go all out to help the state, seeing that it has been under PAS’ ruling for decades.
“This is a historical habit that has to change. In 1990, the federal government lost its hold on the state and Kelantan has been in the hands of PAS ever since.
“This came about because of the short-sighted policy of the then (BN) federal leaders of ‘punishing the people’ for voting PAS,” he had told a local online portal on Monday.
Dr Mahathir had said in September when announcing the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 that increasing incomes in poorer states, such as Kelantan, Perlis and Kedah, will be one of the focuses of the roadmap.