LACK of allocation should not be an excuse for not developing rural settlements, said a Johor assemblyman.
R. Vidyanathan (BN - Kahang) said development programmes were important for rural folk to enjoy facilities on par with those living elsewhere.
“The state government needs to be committed towards helping rural folk by providing them proper housing, healthcare facilities, jobs and educational opportunities,” he said in his adjournment speech at the state assembly meeting here.
Vidyanathan pointed out that students in rural areas faced many problems.
“Many of them do not even go to school regularly because it is too far from their settlements. Others find it hard to grasp the teaching methods used in school,” he said.
Vidyanathan said boarding schools in Johor should be opened to all students from rural areas, instead of catering to those with high academic scores.
He said besides providing educational and agricultural facilities, and infrastructure in rural areas, there should also be more tourism programmes.
“This will allow development in these areas and provide job opportunities for rural folk,” he said.
Tan Cher Puk (BN - Johor Jaya) urged the state government to take action against mediocre civil servants.
“Currently, the state awards outstanding achievers but I believe that they should also punish those who do not perform well,” he said, adding that such a move was one way of improving public service.
The state assembly adjourned yesterday after passing the Supplementary Supply Bill approving an additional RM13.77mil, which would be taken from the Consolidated Fund.
The extra allocation would be channelled to various departments, including RM7.26mil to the State Secretariat, RM1.53mil for Islamic education and RM1.31mil to the state Public Works Department.
The sum was over and above next year’s state budget of RM757.25mil, which was passed earlier.