DESPITE numerous demands to provide equal allocations to representatives from both sides of the political divide, the Penang state government is adamant in its decision to not change the amount of allocations given to opposition assemblymen.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow asserted that it was better than his predecessor’s practice of giving opposition assemblymen zero allocations.
Penaga assemblyman Mohd Yusni Mat Piah had challenged Chow in the state assembly to provide the RM500,000 allocation given to ruling government assemblymen to the opposition assemblymen.
“The breakdown is special account (RM200,000), community development projects (RM120,000) and special programmes and training (RM180,000).
“Is the Chief Minister brave enough to give such an equal allocation to the opposition, unlike his predecessor?” the PAS assemblyman asked when debating Penang Budget 2024 at the state legislative assembly today (Nov 27).
Penang opposition leader Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff also called on the state to be fair when giving allocations to assemblymen in the state, including the opposition.
“The state must be fair to all communities and people regardless of race, religion, location, and political affiliations.
“Allocations for opposition assemblymen must be given fairly as they are representatives elected by the people and each assemblyman has a role to assist the people in their constituencies.
“Let us not be ‘gengam tak tirih’, as the saying goes, which means stingy, but let us be compassionate. This is in accordance with the Madani concept,” he said.
Muhammad Fauzi reminded the state government that winning an election is not like winning a gamble where all bets belonged to the winner.
“Instead, the government has to fulfil the trust that the people have given them and enforce justice,” he said, adding that the state government should avoid the colonial politics of oppressing the people.
“Be the government that fulfils the trust of the people and enforces justice, and refrains from the greedy politics of colonisation.
“The government’s funds must be properly managed, and rights should be given to those who are deserving of the greater good,” he added.
Chow, who is also Penang DAP state chairman, has previously said that the state government will continue to allocate RM60,000 annually to each assemblyman, while those in the state government line-up will receive RM500,000 each annually.
The Padang Kota assemblyman pointed out that at one time, opposition assemblymen in Penang were not given any allocations by the state government.
“So, the current administration has decided to continue with the annual allocation that was practiced by the state before the 15th General Election (GE15).
“It is best to continue with the practice rather than return to an era when no allocation was given to the opposition,” the Batu Kawan MP said in a Facebook post today. – Nov 27