GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has been challenged to rebuke Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who revealed recently that the opposition was only seeking popularity when it promised to abolish highway toll charges in their manifesto for the 14th general election.
Penang Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow said he found Guan Eng’s silence on the issue “strange”.
Dr Mahathir, had in an interview with Singapore’s Straits Times, published on March 25, said: “Sometimes, I feel we may not be able to fulfil our promises. Our party, our coalition partners, you know they are very socialistic – they like to give things to people.
“I told them it cannot be done. You want to remove all the tolls and make them free. I say, look, we have to maintain the roads. You have to build more roads.
“Where are you going to get the funds to maintain these roads? But, they want popularity, which is why they made that promise.”
Teng said Guan Eng should issue a denial if such words were not uttered by Dr Mahathir.
“Yesterday, he said I should not lie about Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto and its promise to abolish highway tolls in phases.
“I want to point out that on page 28 of the Buku Harapan, the sixth promise is to abolish the toll.
“Didn’t he read the opposition’s manifesto? He should read his own manifesto before accusing others of lying.”
The issue of abolishing toll surfaced when the opposition promised, in its manifesto, to do so when it came to power but Dr Mahathir disagreed, saying it was a populist move.
During his visit to Penang last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said that BN would abolish the toll charges for motorcycles on both the bridges if it was given the mandate in Penang in the general election.
In response, the DAP-led government said it would abolish all toll charges for the first Penang bridge.
“My advice to Lim is to not point fingers at others when talking. When he points one finger at someone, another three fingers are pointing back at him.”