KUALA Lumpur MPs at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) draft budget dialogue lamented that once again discussions were held too late to do any good.
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the dialogue session was merely a formality and did not show DBKL’s willingness to hear public opinions before the budget was finalised.
“The budget has already been drafted but only now we are called to give our feedback.
“Even then, our suggestions are rarely taken into account,” he said during the DBKL draft budget dialogue yesterday.
He added that requests to hold the sessions earlier with an itemised list of the proposed projects and expenditure had not been heeded.
“There should be separate sessions for the MPs and the community so each will have sufficient time to voice out the respective constituency’s issues and development needs.
What was disclosed to us are in bulk summary of expenditure and this is not transparent enough,” he said, adding the budget was an important financial and economic blueprint for the city.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar pointed out that none of the disclosures were made in Parliament and this was the only way the public could have access to a budget that would affect their lives and services.
“It is incumbent on DBKL to showcase the percentage of accepted recommendations versus the rejected ones.
“If not it would just be a ‘talk shop’ where we supposedly listen to, but none of the recommendations made year after year actually make it in the final budget,” she said.
“In terms of quality, there is a huge disparity between those given to a Barisan Nasional seat and opposition seat.
“There is no transparent and detailed expenditure which we had expected from DBKL at least at this session,” she said.
She cited Titiwangsa which was a BN seat and was allocated RM101.7mil but Lembah Pantai was only allocated RM32mil.
She also said the summary of projects listed under the constituencies’ budget was too simplified.
Other MPs present during the session were Batu MP Tian Chua, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun and Wangsa Maju MP Dr Tan Kee Kwong.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz said the yearly budget did not vary too much from previous years.
He said pending approval, DBKL was set to increase its budget by 2.27% to RM2.78bil compared to this year’s allocation of RM2.72bil.
About RM1.73bil has been set aside for management expenditure while RM1.06bil is for development costs.
“Based on the trend for the past five years, there has been a decrease in Federal Government’s allocation. Usually the figure is around RM500mil, but this coming budget sees it reduced to between RM200mil and RM400mil.
“We cannot rely only on the federal allocation for big projects, but will have to find ways to increase our revenue and to balance out the budget,” said Amin Nordin.
He added that the budget would have to be endorsed by Federal Territories Ministry by Dec 31.