MPSP stands on firmer footing

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The Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) continues to climb to a healthier financial position after wasting lots of money on mainland Penang pre-2008.

Some basic data about MPSP:

Staff: 1,817 people
Rateable properties: 278,000
Total budget: RM177 million (compared to Penang Island’s more than RM200 million)
73 per cent comes from tax collection (assessment, etc)
Council members: 24

Surplus for the last three years:

  • 2007 – RM3m
  • 2008 – RM14m
  • 2010 – RM20m (expected)

Reserves:

  • 2007 – RM18m
  • 2010 – RM83m
  • 2015 – RM171m (targeted)

The council has also been shortlisted to be among the four finalists for the Financial Innovation Award 2010 organised by the Treasury out of 24 local authorities that participated. Not bad for a council that nearly went bust a few years ago.

Its main focus areas for now are:

  • cleanliness
  • maintenance
  • safety
  • revitalisation of urban centres
  • education and enforcement
  • strengthening of the organisation and work processes

MPSP, through its rep, has also expressed openness in looking at gender-responsive budgeting in addition to performance management.

While congratulating the MPSP on its improved financial standing, I would like to  caution the MPSP and MPPP that they should not just focus on increasing its ‘profitability’ and reserves: funds have to be spent on social infrastructure such as creating parks and recreational areas, public amenities and community welfare.

For example, the mainland has few open green spaces left and if the MPSP has some unused land – and it does have the old council premises in Butterworth town centre, which it has put up for sale or rent – there are two things it can do:

  • it can sell the land (to developers or speculators) or rent the land and make a huge surplus, OR
  • it can turn the the property  into a public park with recreational facilities (a gym and aerobics centre in the old building, perhaps). This option would lead to less impressive financial results but the facilities would meet an important social need.

That’s just an example. There are so many other essential services that a local council could provide to the public.

A council therefore should not be motivated by the bottom line but should  ensure that revenue is collected efficiently and compassionately (i.e without being oppressive) and put to the best use for the community.

One bright note is that the MPSP plans to put up its Balance Sheet and Income and Expenditure Account (minus the Notes to the Accounts) and Annual Budget on its website from mid-2011 onwards. Apparently, this will make it the first council in Malaysia to do so! (I asked an MPSP rep why the Notes to the Accounts should be omitted and was told there were just too many pages. Not an acceptable reason, in my view.)

Local councils should know that corporations are required to disclose their Annual Reports (which include the Notes to the Accounts) to the Bursa and the Companies Commission of Malaysia. Now if a corporation is compelled to disclose their financial statements to the public, it is all the more important for local councils to be similarly transparent and accountable to the public (who contribute to council revenue through rates/assessment payments) by placing their full financial statements on their respective websites.

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CPL

Really getting sick of the level of politicking these days. Both camps will find fault with each other. When the Penang State Government gave RM 100 to senior citizens, these were the comments…. And just when everyone thought the brouhaha was only confined within the state, the women, family and community development minister stepped into the fray. Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said that she felt “ashamed” to read of Lim giving only RM100 a year for senior citizens in Penang http://www.mmail.com.my/content/32605-shahrizat-chides-guan-eng-giving-only-rm100-senior-citizens Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today said that she felt ashamed to… Read more »

Andrew I

Fact-based bull.

Kometenmelodie

Anil We have been through this before. There are many ways … to cook the books to show surplus and fool the rakyat. First of all, he could always over-budget and the spend less. Which what had really happened if you notice his budgeting style every year. Secondly, there is not enough details to show that the increase in income is due to better governance. Thirdly, we all know that he has increased fees imposed on developers as well as approving record number of developments in Penang. As such, most likely the increase is coming from this source. As such,… Read more »

Andrew I

Ooh, I hear cheap again. Why is he cheap?

wira

What’s wrong with a Cheap Minister?
I like Cheap Minister.

It’s better to have a Cheap Minister in Penang than bring in that expensive Prime Minister from Putra Jaya.
Cheap minister uses Air Asia, flies economy and stays in 3 star hotel.
Expensive Prime Minister flies government private jet and stays in 6 star hotel suite.
Some more brings expensive wife along with him.

Renovation to official residences for him and his deputy alone cost us more than RM65million.

Andrew I

Exactly my sentiments.

Jarjis

Expensive PM also has an added cost (no value one though) of First Lady and its FLOM…

wira

No need to sow doubts by mere talk, K.
Words like “most likely he did this” … “most likely he did” that do no justice to any argument.

Just show us the figures (like over budgeting and spending less) and prove to us that Lim cooked the books to lie to the country and the auditor general.

Selling land through open tender is not selling land for peanuts.
Giving land to UMNO goons through closed deals is.

Jimbo

I read on The Sun today that Penang paid a total of RM25.67 billion of tax (collected by Inland Revenue Board and Royal Malaysian Customns) to Federal Government.

However, Federal Government only allocated merely 3% of it or RM794 million to Penang Government.

That’s why Penangites should not support BN.

Kometenmelodie

FYI The money given out to Penang state is only used for very small % of the services provided for Penangites. FYI the Feds still pay for majority of the services that we get like education, electricity, transport, defence, universities,roads and other infra, police, civil service,etc,etc.

As such, please do refrain from commenting on issues that you have little or no knowledge on.

KM

Don’t talk nonsense/rubbish.

These (like education, electricity, transport, defence, universities,roads and other infra, police, civil service,etc,etc.) are obligations of a fed goment to pay.

Kumaran

Penang is subsidising those states governed by bn?

Ito

Yes!

Penang only constitues 6% of the population but contributes 36% of Malaysia’s FDI in 2010!!!

Federal government should not be biased in not allocating more fund to Penang to generate more growth for the nation.

wira

Yes, total federal budget is 400 times that of the Penang state budget.

Imagine the colossal sum that is and still can be continued to be divided among cronies, rent seekers and the corrupt who are linked to Putra Jaya.

Imagine if we can just save 20% of those money by cutting off the evil doers, we can save money to run the state budget of 80 Pulau Pinang.

I conclude that only 2 kinds of Malaysians will support BN.
One is too damn stupid.
The other has a vested interest in that potty.

tan, tanjung bungah

Hi everyone,

Would the political eunuch dare to contest in any of the allocated-Gerakan State/Parliament seats in Pg? Do it to show you’ve guts and not just being a back-door minister! Failure to do means what CSL nicknamed you as ‘gutless’ to face UMNO is fair comment.

On another note, harsher deterrents should be legislated by local, state and/or federal authorities to prevent developers who blatantly flout the law(s) by going ahead with their projects even before submission for approval or while pending approval from the authorities.

Yang

The first to go will be white hair from Sarawak. Wonder whether he can stand the election….

Yang

A competent state administration… topple(d).

They did it in Perak but it will soon (backfire)…

Penangite will continue to (reject) one of the most corrupted party and their weaklings like MIC, MCA and Gerakan who would continue to kowtow their master UMNO and Najib.

No spice will reset anything but it will continue to reset the whole political arena, that is to finally kick out MCA, MIC & Gerakan together with their UMNO master. Gerakan K will be … running all over … barking over KBP in their new enviroment ….

Gerakan Suey Siow

Not only Gerakan how siow, also dont kap siow. Then suey siow.

CPL

Gerakan belakang kira bcos president is belakang kira minister

Andrew I

Gerakan “Ow Bun”.

Gerakan K

Machais here run amok over nothing.

One sPICE project will reset everything being discussed here.

Andrew I

Also K Gerakan.

Gerakan 'How Siow'

No you see why my pen-name is ‘Gerakan How Siow’ cos’ Gerakan betul2 how-siow

CPL

Yes, we don’t need the backdoor minister to comment. This was what he said three years ago as reported by the Star on March 8, 2010

Outgoing Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon does not want to be appointed senator if he loses the Batu Kawan parliamentary seat.

“I can no longer speak on behalf of the people if I am no longer representing them,” he told a press conference

http://thestar.com.my/election/story.asp?file=/2008/3/8/election2008/20580568&sec=Election2008

KM

I would like to suggest, any person (like KTK) who sits in that position (CM) with UMNO holding his …, not much he can do.

But, I strongly believe he has something that he is holding on UMNO Penang’s past records, that’s why he can be back door minister.

Think about it, KTK is ain’t stupid. He is just selfish/self-centered and boo-hood durian (seedless durian).

Yang

KTK has nothing to hold on to UMNO except Najib 2 ….

sam

Penang Leads. MPPP and MPSP Leads. This is good. We are setting the example for other states to follow. Prayfully God will bless what has been achieved.

moo_t

177 million budget with 1817 staff. Well, that’s another Malaysia style of management. Just imagine 1817 x 2.5k salary = 4.542 million / month, or RM 54 millions spent on salary.

now divide 54/177 x 100% = 30.5% money spent on “government servant” salary. Malaysia continue be … if the government continue become the country biggest pay master.

JK Kwong

Good job by Pakatan government.
A testimony to good governance and good execution of CAT.

We certainly do not need any remark from KTK after so much wastage during the Gerakan days like paying millions of rinngit on potted plants to questionable contractors.

Kometenmelodie

Good job ?

Did you notice the water rates had been raised but the admin costs and directors’ renumeration has been raised for PBA ? BTW LGE is the chairman for PBA. This isn’t the kind of meritocracy or CAT style govt that LGE likes to boast about.

Jimbo

The water rate in Johor is even higher.

Admin costs could be high but it is OK so long as there is surplus and improvement have been made, in line with pay for performance.

Syukur

When you have surplus and good results, it is ok to increase remuneration OPENLY.

This is far better than having poor results and deficit, yet fund is lost without any account due to corrupted practices.

We Penangites know which type of governance we want, once you are out of Gerakan mentality.

Andrew I

Number of staff.:-)

Andrew I

Now, now. He has since acquired a melodious name. No short form, please.

Syukur

Good news to all Penangites.

Penang is organising a free concert featuring artiste Ning Baizura on March 12 at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) at 8pm to celebrate Penang’s success in attracting the most investment in the country.

Penang attracted RM12.2bil worth of total capital investments last year, the highest in the country.

Reference:
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=%2F2011%2F2%2F20%2Fnorth%2F8102041&sec=North

ps: Let’s hope Ning is not under any ‘pressure’ to withdraw like the previous singer.

Ito

Only 6% of the population yet Penang contributes 36% of Malaysia’s FDI in 2010: Penang must not live in the past but learn from the past so that we can save the future for our children