Uproar in Dewan Rakyat over allocations for MPs

KUALA LUMPUR: A shouting match erupted in the Dewan Rakyat, after Opposition lawmakers questioned the allocations that were promised to them under the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) urged the Pakatan government to keep its promise in its election manifesto.

The manifesto had said there would be funding based on a transparent formula to all Dewan Rakyat lawmakers, so that they can carry out their responsibilities in their respective constituencies and operate their service centres.

“Pakatan was seen as being positive in giving equal funding for all, which is why the people chose Pakatan.

“I want to know, when YB Langkawi (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) became the Prime Minister, he announced (RM100,000) allocation for all Opposition lawmakers; that was his first announcement.

Dr Mahathir had announced in June last year that Pakatan lawmakers would be given RM500,000.

“Who cancelled that (earlier) announcement, not even one cent was given to us,” said Dr Wee.

He said that now, Pakatan lawmakers are given RM1.5mil and an additional RM300,000 for their service centres, but there is nothing given to Opposition lawmakers.

Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PAS-Tumpat) said that it was a form of discrimination and is unfair for the people.

“The people chose their MPs but the government has provided a very small allocation for the Opposition lawmakers, this is discrimination and unfair to the people who voted for the Opposition,” he added.

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) said the allocations should be given based on the needs of a particular constituency.

“If Kangar needs more, or Pasir Gudang needs more, then give them, but if Pasir Salak asks, also give Pasir Salak an allocation,” he quipped.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik said in response that the allocations for lawmakers were released last week and can be used.

He added that this was a first step to a good beginning, as it is the first time such allocations have been implemented.

“We can have improvements from time to time, based on the economy as well as based on the discretion of the Prime Minister,” he said in his winding up debate on the Royal address for his ministry on Monday (April 1).

He said that the allocations given to Pakatan MP are special allocations totalling RM1.5mil for this year.

“Last year, there was RM500,000 and an additional of RM500,000 given to (Pakatan) MPs.

“The Pakatan lawmakers were also given RM300,000 to manage their service centres,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had lodged a police report over the leaked investigation papers involving the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He said the MACC had lodged a report on Feb 28 this year.

“The police report is regarding the leak of investigation papers of the Penang undersea tunnel project.

“It is under police investigation and it is still being probed,” he said.

Dr Wee had earlier took the government to task for not confirming or revealing any information on MACC’s report lodged over the leaked investigation papers involving the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He urged the government to reveal the content of the report and authenticity of information leaked.

“We want to know whether it is true or not, as we want to correct what is wrong.

“This is not something that we can play around,” he added.

The Ayer Hitam MP also urged the government to state how can the investigation papers got leaked as it involved the integrity of MACC.

“The most important thing is the reputation of MACC and why no action was taken,” he asked.

To this, Hanipa said a police report is a public document and can be acquired from the police.

“It is a public document, and anybody is entitled to look into the report,” said Hanipa.

It was reported that political blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin posted several articles on his blog, said to contain the leaked information.

The blogger alleged that several Penang state exco members were being scrutinised in the MACC’s probe into the project.

The 7.2km undersea tunnel is part of a RM6.3bil, which also includes three paired roads.

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