NIBONG TEBAL, Malaysia - Plans are afoot to turn Penang into a vibrant development hub, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"This is not an empty promise as it will be included in Barisan Nasional's manifesto.
"We have identified three cities, including Penang, that will be turned into such hubs. We are presently working out the details," he said in his speech at the 1Malaysia People's Feast in Kampung Simpang Tiga, Sungai Acheh yesterday.
Najib also approved a RM8.5mil allocation for the construction of a multi-purpose hall in Nibong Tebal (RM3mil), repainting of several blocks of flats in Nibong Tebal (RM2mil), repair of houses in Indian and Chinese estates (RM2mil) and the rebuilding of a religious school (RM1.5mil).
"This allocation shows that the Government always has the people's interest and welfare in mind."
More than 20,000 people, including former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Penang MCA chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen were at the event.
Najib said Barisan cared for the people of various ethnicity.
"I dare not say we are perfect as we, too, have our weaknesses. However, our deeds in the past have brought much changes to the landscape of each family in Malaysia."
Earlier, Najib visited single mother Teoh Yang King, 51, at her newly-built house in Perkampungan Jawi here.
She was a picture of happiness as she kept expressing her gratitude to the Prime Minister for rebuilding the house under a Government initiative at a cost of RM40,000 (S$16,376).
Teoh, who lost her house during a fire in January, said she was lost for words, adding that she was very excited when told Najib would be visiting her the previous day.
"I am happy that the Government came to my aid. I am touched," she said.
Later at a dialogue session with Indian non-governmental organisations at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Najib presented 18 mock keys to former Kampung Buah Pala residents.
The nine former temporary occupation licence (TOL) holders, along with nine members of their extended families who also received Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd houses, had refused to sign agreements with the private developer who demolished their houses.