Penang CM moots bipartisan panel after aid to schools becomes 'hot' topic in state assembly

GEORGE TOWN: After a heated exchange in the Penang state assembly over elected representatives handing aid to schools, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has suggested a bipartisan committee to look into the matter.

He asked state education committee chairman Dr P. Ramasamy, who is Deputy Chief Minister II, to discuss the issue with the state Education Department.

The proposal came after several state and opposition lawmakers voiced their grouses on not being allowed to provide aid to schools during the state legislative assembly sitting here on Friday (Dec 3).

Among them was Mohd Tuah Ismail (PH-Pulau Betong), who asked Ramasamy in a supplementary question about challenges faced by assemblymen when they wanted to provide aid to schools, but were often prohibited from doing so.

Ramasamy (PH-Perai) said he agreed with Tuah, recalling an incident when a school principal was transferred within 24 hours after receiving aid from an elected representative for the benefit of the school.

State Opposition Leader Datuk Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN-Sungai Dua) then intervened, saying he had to go through the parent-teacher association instead of dealing directly with the school.

Muhamad Yusoff’s response triggered immediate reactions from M. Satees (PH-Bagan Dalam) and Chris Lee Chun Kit (PH-Pulau Tikus), who argued with Muhamad Yusoff.

Muhammad Faiz Fadzil (PH-Permatang Pasir) said they (the representatives) just wanted to help the schools.

Order was restored by Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah before Chow made the suggestion.

"This should be done in the presence of the Opposition Leader and interested members," he said.

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