GEORGE TOWN (Dec 22, 2011): The delightful Christmas surprise that 3,000 plus civil servants in Penang received when they discovered that double amount of their December salaries have been credited into their bank account has now become a big disappointment.
The extra money credited to them two days ago is the result of a banking error, not any so-called surprise Christmas ang pows, and the state authorities are seeking refund of the money. According to State Secretary Datuk Farizan Darus, 3,054 accounts are affected and the authorities are in the process of recovering the money.
“The error has been detected and the bank has taken the step to debit the money from the accounts and the process is expected to be completed by today,” he said.
Farizan said this at a press conference attended by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday.
Farizan said that initial investigations showed the error occurred as the bank went ahead with a previous order to credit the salaries which were meant to be cancelled.
According to Farizan, the bank had wanted to bank in the salaries on Dec 19 and the bonuses the following day, but the state government told the bank to credit both simultaneously on the same day.
“The bank credited the money on the 19th, but the order for the 20th was not cancelled so the money was credited again,” he explained.
Farizan said the state is waiting for a full report from the bank on whether there are monies which could not be recovered as the account holders have already withdrawn the money. He said clarification has to be made as certain parties have erroneously think that the state government wants to pay them twice.
Meanwhile, on another matter, Lim dismissed claims that the state authorities have failed to address traffic congestion on the island. Instead, he said, the authorities have taken various measures to alleviate the congestion.
Among others, Lim pointed out that the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has allocated RM37 million for Phase One of the Jalan Masjid Negeri Traffic Improvement Plan.
Under the plan, various projects, including upgrading works, are being undertaken. Among the roads being upgraded or widened are Lorong Batu Lanchang, the Lebuhraya Thean Tek junction, Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jalan Air Hitam, Jalan Scotland, and the Udini roundabout.
The projects under the phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, while Phase Two involves constructing a flyover at the Jalan Masjid Negeri and Lebuhraya Batu Lanchang junction.