"During the BN's time, the concessionaires would insist on it," he told a crowd of over 3,000 at the state DAP fundraising dinner in Penang last night.

"In such guarantees, if we do not have enough vehicles running on the highway, the state government has to pay compensation to the company," added the DAP secretary-general.

"We want to prove that Pakatan Rakyat can do things differently from the BN, so we told them, there would be no traffic guarantees, take what you have," he quipped, drawing loud applause from the crowd.

No new announcements

Lim was speaking at the dinner function most likely be the last fundraising event before the 13th general elections, which has to be called by June 27.

State DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow had earlier announced that the party had managed to raise RM500,000 from ticket sales, and another RM12,000-odd from table to table donations.

DAP fundraisingThe event was well-attended by many Pakatan leaders, including PKR de facto head Anwar Ibrahim, DAP chief Karpal Singh, senior adviser Lim Kit Siang, wanita chief Chong Eng, deputy secretary P Ramasamy, central executive committee member Ariffin Omar and PAS deputy chief Mohamed Sabu, who entertained the crowd with their speeches.

There were no new announcements, but each took turns at jabbing the BN government on a wide range of issues from the "shocking" revelations in the recent royal commission of inquiry into unqualified immigrants in Sabah to former premier Mahathir Mohamad's sudden recollection - after more than 20 years - that Anwar, who was then deputy prime minister, was behind 'Project IC'.

Mahathir, who has been vocal despite retiring ten years ago, is known for his "selective memory" especially when grilled on controversial issues during his premiership.

The party also launched several short video clips depicting the lives of ordinary Malaysians - from rising cost of living to the plight of Malay contractors 'forced' to keep political links or suffer denial of work opportunities.

The message in the videos was crystal clear, that "Change is in your hands".

State no control over transport

During his speech, Lim said despite the achievements of the Penang Pakatan administration, there was still room for improvement, especially in the areas of affordable housing and traffic management.

penang outer ring road project 211205 02He took his attentive audience through the state's policy on low and medium cost homes, saying 13,000 units were already being built, not only in the mainland (Batu Kawan) but on the island as well (Jalan SP Chelliah).

On the island's on-going traffic woes, Lim lamented that Penang has no control over public transport as it comes under the federal administration.

"If we had control, we would want the best. But in this case, even if we had our own money, we cannot do it. What do we do then? We have proposed four major road projects for the most congested roads," he said.

The four proposed projects involves the 4.2km Gurney Drive-Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway, 4.6km Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu-Bandar Baru Air Itam bypass (four-lanes), 6.5km Penang-Butterworth Tunnel and a 12km road connecting Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang (four lanes).

"Since the federal government does not want to give us public transport, we will built alternative roads. Out of the four highways we are proposing, three are free of charge," he added, triggering loud cheers from the crowd.

"It is like free wifi . In Penang, if we don't give something free, cannot one you know," he joked.

NONEThe undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland - dubbed the third link - will be charged a similar rate as the second bridge, Lim said.

The second bridge - scheduled to be ready by April this year - is located at the southern end of the island, connecting Batu Maung to Batu Kawan on the mainland.

"We have to charge or else the federal government will kill me. Why? Why would the federal government kill me? (Because) the first bridge or second bridge... might as well sink into the sea," he laughed.

"So, kita tak mahu lawan tauke lah (we prefer not to go against the boss)."- malaysiakini