Penang sets up Select Committee to assist state-federal relations

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state assembly here approved a motion to establish a Select Committee on state and federal relations.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said in accordance with Rule 102 of the Penang State Legislative Assembly Regulations, the Select Committee will be tasked to investigate and report on all matters related to operational and administrative work arrangements between the federal and state governments to improve governance as well as state and federal relations to be more efficient, responsible, fair and equitable.

“The establishment of the Select Committee on state and federal relations is the state government’s fight to gain powers in the field of public transport, social welfare, environment and fairer allocations from the Federal Government as contained in the manifesto at the 14th General Election.

“The political uncertainty in recent years, and the post-pandemic Covid-19 challenges that affect all aspects of people's lives have shown how important the need for devolution and restructuring of power between the federal and state governments,” he said at the state assembly building in Lebuh Light on Thursday (Nov 24).

Chow added that the Special Committee would identify specific “problems” in the relationship between the federal and state governments, including the call for a fairer distribution of resources.

“The objectives of the establishment of the Committee include to study the issues faced by the federal and state governments as well as policies and projects that require allocation from the federal government under the Federal Constitution; to demand devolution of power and revenue and to increase autonomy for the state government; to ask for a fairer distribution of allocations so that the state government can play a role in the development of the state; to demand more transparency in the Federal Government's accounts and a more open discussion on the way revenue is shared between the Federal Government and the state government,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasary was appointed as the chairman of the Select Committee.

The members include Opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor, Gooi Hsiao-Leung, Satees Muniandy, Lee Khai Loon, Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq, Mohd Yusni Bin Mat Piah and Teh Lai Heng.

All of them are assemblymen from Penang.

In line with aspirations and, as a preparation in facing the crisis and future economic challenges, Chow said the state government has commissioned the implementation of the committee study to identify decentralisation can be achieved quickly, successfully and systematically.

“It is hoped that this Select Committee will be able to promote coordination, consultation and cooperation between the Federal Government and the state government to ensure effective and democratic administration for the people of Penang,” he said.

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