Exco man: Kelantan state GDP above Malaysia’s

THE Kelantan government has denied allegations made by Federal Government ministers that the state was backward and had no economic activities to speak of.

State Entrepreneurial Develop-ment, Commerce and Unity committee chairman Datuk Anuar Tan Abdullah (PAS-Kota Lama) said Kelantan had a better Gross Do-mestic Product when compared to Malaysia.

“In 2007, Kelantan recorded a 7.5% growth as against Malaysia’s 6.2% and again in 2008, Kelantan recorded a 5.1% per cent growth compared to Malaysia’s 4.6%.

“All these statistics were compiled by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department and I cannot see where it says that Kelantan is backward as claimed by a Deputy Finance Minister,” he said in reply to a question from Mohamad Awang (PAS-Gual Periok) yesterday.

He said the social indicators on poverty showed Kelantan had a 10.6% poverty rate in 2004 but by 2007 and 2008, the rate had fallen to 4.1%, adding that that was remarkable by any standards.

He added that the average per capita income of the Kelantanese was RM2,561 per month, which was more than adequate for a family.

“It is so easy for federal ministers to say Kelantan is backward and that it is the second poorest state in Malaysia based on income tax deductions without providing the facts or benchmarks.

“I believe such ministers should check the facts first before going to town with them,” he said to the thumping of tables by backbenchers.

He added that Kelantan had one of the highest zakat (tithe) collections compared to other rich states at RM66mil last year adding that such a collection would not be possible if Kelantan was poor.

The assembly continues today.

Source: The Star

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