Nothing wrong in states asking for federal aid, says Bersih 2.0

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

KOTA KINABALU: There is nothing wrong for any chief minister or menteri besar from a state to request aid or assistance from the Federal Government, says Bersih 2.0.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee, on Tuesday (Sept 22), said this following Perikatan Nasional information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s statement on Sunday (Sept 20), where he accused Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as ‘munafik’ (hypocrite) for requesting aid for Sabah in 2018.

Back then, Azmin was the Economic Affairs Minister under the Pakatan Harapan government.

“To accuse Shafie being ‘munafik’ for doing his job as chief minister is uncalled for.

“There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide aid to any state in Malaysia when necessary, as the people of Sabah also pay tax to the Federal Government.

“Azmin should be reminded that the funds held by the Federal Government are taxpayers’ money, and does not belong to him or his party.

“He should be ashamed for ridiculing a chief minister of a state for requesting aid from the Federal Government, instead of addressing the structural problem of unequal wealth distribution between the Federal Government and the state governments, ” the steering committee said in a statement.

Bersih 2.0 highlighted the lopsided income distribution between the Federal Government and the state governments, which tilted heavily in favour of the Federal side.

This resulted in Sabah, despite being rich in natural resources, being one of the poorest states in Malaysia.

“Taxpayers’ money to the Federal Government should not be used to ridicule or threaten political opponents in elections.

“The Federal Government is elected to manage public funds on behalf of the people and it should provide aid or assistance to the states in need.

“Bersih 2.0 calls on the Federal Government to initiate discussions with all state governments to negotiate a new framework of income distribution, which will rectify the huge disparity (of income distribution) between the Federal and state governments, ” the steering committee recommended.

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