Constituency allocations for backbencher MPs slashed by over 65%

PETALING JAYA: The constituency allocations for government backbencher MPs this year have been slashed by more than 65%.

It is learnt that allocations for this year have been reduced from RM3.8mil to RM1.3mil.

The RM1.3mil consists of a RM1mil outright grant and another RM300,000 for service centre operations.

Many government backbencher MPs were informed by the Prime Minister’s Department’s Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) in early January of the RM300,000 allocation for service centres.

The ICU also told government MPs that outright grants would be slashed to RM1mil from the previous RM1.5mil.

During the previous administration under former premier Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Peninsular Malaysia MPs received RM3.5mil in outright grants and RM300,000 for service centre operations.

In the same period, East Malaysian MPs also received RM4mil in outright grants and RM300,000 to maintain service centre operations.

Some MPs contacted by The Star have said that operations in their service centres are not affected.

However, many of them have indicated that short-term development programmes might be suspended.

“Small-infrastructure projects will be halted for the time-being,” said a Sabah MP.

Another PKR MP, who wants to remain anonymous, also confirmed the reduction in allocations.

“There is normally a RM2mil fund for community projects, but no announcement whatsoever on this fund so far.

“Therefore as of now, only RM1mil for community and RM300,000 for office expenses has been confirmed,” said the PKR MP.

The PKR MP said if the RM2mil fund for community projects had a big slash in allocations, it could potentially cause unhappiness among voters.

“If there is a reduction of 30%, it will be okay for us to manage the expectations of the constituents.

“If the cut is bigger than 30%, then it will be harder to explain to the public,” said the MP.

The PKR MP also said that if the government can solve community needs such as infrastructure repairs and upgrades faster and more efficiently, there is no need for community funding for projects.

“But this is not the current reality. I have school classrooms with collapsed roofs that have been waiting for repairs for one to two years.

“That being the case, there will be a need for MPs to channel money for repairs in a faster and more efficient manner,” said the PKR MP.

A Selangor PKR MP said he was unaware of the new changes.

“I will meet the Prime Minister on Feb 12 and I will ask him then,” said the Selangor-based PKR MP briefly.

Another PKR MP from Johor also said he was unaware of the new changes.

“I’m not so sure about that,” said the Johorean briefly.

Another senior Pakatan Harapan MP from Federal Territories confirmed the slashing of allocation.

However, he said that he has no issue and would continue to provide his services the best he can.

"This is the direction of our 10th Prime Minister.

"We need to adjust spending based on the current economic situation. We cannot simply spend like before," he said, adding that he has no objections with the cuts.

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