Negotiate, don't just demand allocations, Anwar tells Opposition

KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition has been told to proper discussions to seek allocations from the Government instead of simply demanding it.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he had assigned Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to represent the government to resolve this issue.

"Discuss, come to an agreement and I will approve it. Don't be arrogant," Anwar said during his winding-up speech on the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Sept 19).

Anwar said that the Opposition also did not receive any allocations during Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's tenure as prime minister.

"When Bera (Ismail Sabri) took over, I was thankful to him as he said if you really want (allocations), discuss it properly.

"We sent representatives to discuss this and there was a direction.

"He (then invited me over for lunch and discussed this again before a decision was made.

"Once it was agreed, we signed it and it was approved. Now, there are no signatures or discussions. This is not an MP's right.

"Discuss it properly. Or else, wait till whenever. I will not approve it," he added.

Anwar also said there was a difference between allocations for constituencies and allocations for MPs.

He added that action would be taken against those found using allocations designated for constituencies for different purposes.

"This is a reminder – those found using these allocations for things such as for weddings will have action taken against them by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the Opposition had yet to bring forward the proposal of equal allocations for Opposition lawmakers with Fadillah.

Fahmi was responding to Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said the unity government took a "no action, talk only" approach when it comes to reforms.

The Muar MP had cited the issue of unequal allocations for Government and Opposition lawmakers, claiming there was no progress despite a series of discussions.

To this, Fahmi said Syed Saddiq should ask Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin about this.

"If you want to know why Opposition MPs have yet to receive allocations, ask the Opposition Leader," Fahmi said.

During Ismail Sabri's tenure as prime minister, Peninsular Malaysia MPs from the Opposition who signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government received RM3.5mil in outright grants and RM300,000 for service centre operations.

In the same period, MPs in Sabah and Sarawak who signed the MOU received RM4mil in outright grants and RM300,000 to maintain service centres.

The MOU comprised six initiatives namely empowerment of Covid-19 plans, administrative transformation, parliamentary reforms, Malaysia Agreement MA63, judicial independence and the setting up of a steering committee.

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