A THINK TANK has urged the government to reveal information on a proposed mechanism that would allow citizens to seek funding directly from the Economy Ministry.
“Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli should ensure a full disclosure of the source of the funding as well as the criteria for approval to obtain funds,” said the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) in a statement today.
According to IDEAS, the minister should also ensure that approvals and implementation are monitored and publicly disclosed for accountability.
Meanwhile, Rafizi said last Thursday (June 1) that the system will be operational by the third week of June. However, the allocations would only be for small-scale projects, like tackling clogged drains in housing areas.
He noted that the ministry was planning to receive requests for direct funding from “anyone in Malaysia”.
While IDEAS praised the effort, it stated that more information, particularly the exact amount of funding committed for the campaign, was required.
At the moment, only elected representatives, district officers, and local councils may submit allocation requests to the government. These applications are managed by the Prime Minister’s Department’s economic planning unit.
Moreover, IDEAS pointed out that one of the known allocations for small-scale projects was disbursed through MPs and assemblymen through the constituency development fund (CDF).
However, it stated that the cumulative distribution function (CDF) has “historically been opaque,” with the sums per constituency and mechanism of distribution chosen directly by the prime minister, menteri besar and state chief ministers.
“The government of the day has complete discretion on the amounts allocated for CDFs, and as a result, the distribution disproportionately favours constituencies of government MPs.”
Furthermore, IDEAS encouraged the government to overhaul the CDF to ensure an equitable allocation of cash that takes into account constituency needs regardless of which political party their MPs represent. – June 8, 2023