KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — Penang will be transformed into a development hub to power the nation’s economy, a promise Datuk Seri Najib Razak said will be part of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) upcoming election manifesto.
“We will create several more hubs because in our new planning, we see large cities as the nerve centres of national economic growth and Penang is one of them,” the prime minister and BN chief was quoted as saying by Bernama Online.
“We will include in BN’s manifesto, our promise to make Penang a key national hub with several plans which would be drafted soon.”
Najib is currently on a one-day tour of the Pakatan Rakyat-ruled state, one of five lost by BN during Election 2008. Perak had also fallen under PR rule, before a series of defections saw it return to BN in 2009.
Prime Minister Najib is expected to call for an early general election soon to allow Barisan Nasional (BN) to take advantage of the positive mood following a slew of cash handouts and a civil service pay increase.
The Malaysian Insider understands the election may be held as early as June with Parliament expected to be dissolved in mid-May.
The prime minister also announced RM8.5 million in development for Nibong Tebal, Penang — the parliamentary constituency currently held by former PKR-turned-Independent MP Tan Tee Beng.
According to Bernama Online, these include RM3 million for a multi-purpose hall, RM2 million to repaint an apartment complex, RM2 million to repair homes in Indian and Chinese villages, and RM1.5 million to rebuild Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR) Al-Amin.
“So long as we can afford it, we will assist the people with better facilities as the people must be cared for in line with ‘people first concept’,” said Najib.