Sunday, September 22, 2013

Penang to allocate RM40k a year each to Umno reps

5:51PM Sep 22, 2013 
In contrast with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s hollow urgings for national reconciliation, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says he is beating Najib to it.

He said the Penang executive council has agreed to provide the state’s 10 opposition assemblypersons - all from Umno - with a small-scale development project allocation of RM40,000 per year.

This is done as a “differentiation to BN’s practice of national confrontation and Pakatan Rakyat’s adoption of ‘national reconciliation’,” he said in a statement today.

The allocation will be tabled at the Penang legislative assembly at the end of the year as part of the state’s 2014 budget, after a stringent mechanism is determined to disburse the funds.

In his statement, Lim slammed BN for refusing to cooperate with the DAP-led state government, including rejecting its invitation for its assemblypersons to join the state executive committees.

“This is in line with the confrontational attitude that BN and Umno practices against Pakatan even as Najib speaks of the spirit of national reconciliation.

“The promise of national reconciliation is empty when BN openly takes on a discriminatory stance between BN and Pakatan supporters and is hostile towards Malaysians, especially non-Malays, for not supporting BN at the 13th general election,” he said.

Lim added that the state government wanted Umno assemblypersons to become committee members out of concern that they may not follow standard operating procedures, such as holding competitive open tender and barring family members from dealings with the government.

NONE“Umno assemblypersons’ refusal to work with the Pakatan government is akin to getting the right to allocations without any responsibility,” he said.

In an immediate response, Penang legislative assembly opposition leader Jahara Hamid (right) said she viewed the move positively because the money was from the people and should be used to benefit the people.

“The money does not belong to Lim, but the people.”

When asked whether Umno reps will accept the offer, she said the allocation is not for Umno, but for the people.

“The federal government (led by BN) also provides allocation for the development of Penang and has never discriminated against those who are entitle to it, so this is only fair,” she added when contacted by Malaysiakini.

Additional reporting by Low Chia Ming.

~ Malaysiakini

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