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It looks as if the Penang government is still keen on the Penang International Convention Centre (PICC), going by a Bernama report.

The state should think again whether this is really a prudent use of our precious – and limited – financial resources. Even during colonial rule in early 19th-century Penang, the island’s British administrators experienced difficulty in raising funds. Little has changed now, with the BN federal government denying the state its rightful allocations and even by-passing the Penang state government by channelling funds through Finance Ministry-owned entities and parallel federally-overseen state development offices.

The way I look at it, the PICC is a luxury (or white elephant) we cannot afford especially when other privately built convention centres are already in the pipeline in Penang. Penang has so many other more pressing needs requiring the use of public funds e.g. the upgrading of public markets and a new computer system for the MPPP.

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Another historic day for Penang, Sunday, 27 June 2010: That’s when hecklers first made their presence felt at the recently opened Penang Speakers’ Square.

Hecklers are of course a regular feature at London’s Speakers’ Corner, and now they have become part and parcel of Penang’s Speakers’ Square. It’s good practice for up-and-coming public speakers when they have to contend with a less than receptive crowd. And all part of the fun.

The Penang Speakers’ Square, open in the evenings on Wednesdays and Sundays, is fast turning into a local attraction and a must-see for visitors to Penang. Dozens turn up especially on Sundays to listen to the speakers – and now the hecklers.

This report from theSun:

Gerakan speakers heckled

Mon, 28 Jun 2010

A senior citizen waves the front page of a Chinese daily which featured a report on Gerakan losing Penang in the March 8 general elections, while Kedah Gerakan secretary Tang Hing Lye was giving his speech at Speakers’ Square in George Town.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ahmad Maslan revealed that Felda’s cash reserves had dwindled from RM4.1 billion in 2004 to RM1.4 billion last year.

Photo credit: Utusan/

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The agreement to buy Menara Felda at the Platinum Park Site, Jln Stonor, KL, for RM641 million was signed in 2008 and the building was reportedly expected to be completed in four years (2012). Has the full payment for the building be made now? When will the building be ready?

Felda’s cash reserves have dropped by RM2.7 billion in five years. This was explained as follows: