GEORGE TOWN: Two Pakatan Rakyat MPs have criticised the Federal Government for excluding Penang from the cities to be developed under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).
Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari of DAP said only Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu have been identified as "growth catalyst cities".
He said the four cities were chosen based on their "potential in terms of population size, GDP contribu-tion, existing major infrastructure, concentration of higher learning institutions and geographical advantage."
"On each of these criteria, there is nothing that suggests why Penang should be sidelined.
"Penang is the most well-known and developed city after Kuala Lumpur as well as the most liveable city in Malaysia according to ECA International.
"Based on all the above criteria, Penang more than qualifies to be chosen as one of the top cities to be included in the proposed master plan for cities.
"Its exclusion is nothing less than a travesty that could only have been based on petty and narrow-minded politics," he said in a statement yesterday. PKR's Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin alleged that all new hospitals, highways and the new Seremban-Port Dickson-Nilai development were concentrated in Barisan Nasional strong-holds.
"Penang wants airport extension and LRT promised since (former prime minister) Tun Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi)'s 9th Malaysia Plan but nothing has materialised," he said yesterday.