Money go­ing to waste?

> Se­lan­gor govt to put un­used funds of op­po­si­tion reps to good use

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SHAH ALAM: The state gov­ern­ment will chan­nel un­used funds al­lo­cated to op­po­si­tion as­sem­bly­men to co­or­di­na­tors at their re­spec­tive con­stituen­cies.

Se­lan­gor Men­tri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Azmin Ali (PKR-Bukit An­tara­bangsa) said this is so that the money can be spent for the peo­ple as orig­i­nally in­tended.

“The state ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil has de­cided that if the op­po­si­tion fail to spend the re­main­ing money, then we will dis­cuss other ways to chan­nel the money to the con­stituency,” Azmin told the state assem­bly yes­ter­day.

He said a por­tion of the RM200,000 al­lo­cated to each op­po­si­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tive was spent to main­tain their ser­vice cen­tres and to pay staff.

Azmin also noted that only the leg­isla­tive as­sem­blies in Se­lan­gor and Pe­nang al­lo­cate funds to their op­po­si­tion as­sem­bly­men. Op­po­si­tion MPs in Par­lia­ment re­ceive none.

Azmin said in his bud­get wrap-up speech that op­po­si­tion as­sem­bly­men have only been us­ing RM6,000 per month for their ser­vice cen­tres while the rest re­mains un­touched.

He said op­po­si­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives are self­ish as they have pre­vi­ously re­jected the al­lo­ca­tions and only took money to fund their ser­vice cen­tres.

Se­lan­gor BN, how­ever, ar­gued that the RM6,000 per month for ser­vice cen­tres and staff were al­lo­cated to all as­sem­bly­men and they were only spend­ing what they have been en­ti­tled to.

The funds for op­po­si­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives started in Bud­get 2015 as an ef­fort to cre­ate a more demo­cratic space in the Se­lan­gor leg­isla­tive assem­bly, which also in­cludes hav­ing the op­po­si­tion leader chair the Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee (PAC).

Se­lan­gor BN spurned the RM200,000 al­lo­ca­tion as it is far less than the RM700,000 al­lo­cated to gov­ern­ment as­sem­bly­men.

Op­po­si­tion as­sem­bly­men sim­i­larly re­jected the PAC chair­man­ship, ar­gu­ing that it is mean­ing­less as the num­ber of gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the PAC out­num­ber op­po­si­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

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