I had protested in Parliament at the US$100,000 (RM380,000) compulsory levy imposed on the Penang State Government to contribute to the hosting of the Petronas Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix 1999, and demanded to know why it was necessary to compel the various State Governments to contribute to the event and how much were extracted from the various State Governments for this purpose as it could easily amount to RM5 to RM10 million.
In Penang, the US$100,000 compulsory levy were apportioned among the two municipal councils, namely Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) and the Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Prai (MPSP), and other government agencies, with the MPPP contributing RM63,000 of the taxpayers’ money while the MPSP contributing about RM70,000.
The RM380,000 could have been put to better use in Penang, as in ensuring that Penang is not so flood-prone as evidenced by the thousands of people in Seberang Prai who have become flood evacuees and the poor administration of the two municipal governments resulting in a much lower quality of life for the people of Penang as compared to the past.
This applies to other states as well for the compulsory levies running into hundreds of thousands of ringgit imposed on them by the Federal Government to contribute to the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix 1999 could be better used for the welfare of the people.
The claim that the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix 1999 held at the Sepang F1 circuit would result in attracting more foreign tourists to Malaysia is no justification for spending hundreds of millions of ringgit of public funds.
After spending RM286 million of public funds to build the Sepang FI circuit, it is even more inexcusable to compel State and local governments to contribute to the hosting of the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix 1999.
Mohd Nor admitted that the various state governments had made financial contributions for the hosting of the Formula One Grand Prix although he denied that they were compulsory levies.
I call on the Tourism Minister, Datuk Abdul Kadir bin Sheikh Fadzir to give the full background as to why the State Governments were required to make such contributions and to make public the compulsory levies imposed on the various State Governments to finance the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix 1999.
Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should also explain
why the Penang State Government did not decline the compulsory levy of
RM380,000 imposed by the Tourism Ministry on the state to contribute to
the hosting of Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix 1999, as it is an illegal
levy as well as misuse of public funds which could be better used for the
good of Penangites.