|Many malaysians do not know that not all MPs have been alloted with the annual RM2 million as small project fund for their respective parliamentary constituency. Niether do they understand the logic or rationale why the MPs from the opposition parties were not given the same allocation, after all , they were all elected representativs through the same democratic system.
But this is just one of the examples why we always regard our democracy as a “half-past-six” democracy. Likewise, only state assemblypersons from the Barisan Nasional parties were given such annual allocation for their respective constituencies, except for those from Kelantan. Only the Kelantan state government under PAS treated every SA equally in terms of such allocation.
In this sense, PAS is much more democratic and “gentleman” than the Barisan Nasional ruling coalitions. Shame on the Barisan Nasional Governments!
On the other hand, we have reasons to believe that the majority of the BN MPs and SAs do not spent their allocation on projects beneficial to their voters. In fact, many of them “pocketed” the allocation instead of spending the fund for the benefits of the voters. That probably explained why so far only two elected representatives ( Ong Tee Kiat and Lee Hua Beng) published the details of their spending through their websites.
How would one publish the details if one has actually “kept” the money for their own use? One good example is Chew Mei Fun of PJ Utara. She would never publish such details despite of repeated challenges issued publicly by Lau Weng San, the Selangor DAP secretary. She did not even bother to respond to Weng San.So much about transparency , integrity and accoutability under the AAB administration.
BN MPs at odds over RM2 mil ‘bare it all’
|MCA vice-president Ong Tee Keat’s decision to post details of the RM2 million annual allocation for his Pandan parliamentary constituency on his website ignited a heated debate.While the MCA leadership disagreed with the move, other Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentarians appeared to be at odds over the issue.Contacted by malaysiakini, this is what they had to say:Shahrir Abdul Samad, Umno MP for Johor Bahru
I think it’s okay to provide more information to the public. I think every MP would know that there is nothing secret about the allocations. MPs are implementing the government strategy.
Putting (such information) up on the website is meant for voters. I would do the same but I haven’t done it because I don’t feel like I have any problem with my constituents wondering where the money has gone to.
The change (in allowing more disclosure) is part of the government strategy to show greater disposal and disbursement done by the MPs rather than relying on the ketua kampung (village heads) or penghulu to determine where the money goes.
There is no news on (whether other Umno MPs are disclosing their parliamentary allocations), there’s no directive. But everybody knows how the money is spent. Why can’t the MP proceed to do what he wants on his website? Personally, I have no problems with disclosing the amount (of allocation used).
Raja Ahmad Zainudin Raja Omar, Umno MP for Larut
The government has a guideline on how to spend the money allocated to our constituencies. Of course, I think it’s good that MPs have website(s) to disclose how much is being spent.
But for my constituency there are rural and urban areas … so even if we have a website, the kampung people cannot access it. So it’s good if your have a website, it’s only bad for those who cannot access it.
So what we do is make the proposal on how much should be spent and the district office will decide based on (feedback from) the ketua kampung and relevant sources. The residents will know about the project, everybody will find out.
It’s better if the public knows, it’s their money and they should see how we spend their money but it is all up to the individual (MP). What’s important to me is the delivery system, that the money is given back to the public and they know when we make announcements through goodwill functions.
I don’t have a website. What for? There are many kampungs here with no Internet. So we normally put it (how much we have spent) in our annual report.
G Palanivel, MIC deputy president and MP for Hulu Selangor
The government has guidelines on how to spend the allocated funds. I would normally disclose it to the leaders on the ground during the MIC division meetings. I would read the figures out and make announcements.
Each person has a different method of doing things. My style is to go to the ground and tell them the amount I have spent on that area.
Ng Lip Yong, deputy minister and Gerakan MP for Batu:
Tan Lian Hoe, Gerakan Wanita chief and MP for Bukit Gantang
Our lawmakers are always transparent in managing their allocations, we welcome you to visit our office to ask about how we use the allocation.
I will not declare the allocation on the Internet because it is an individual constituency’s affair. It is not necessary to put it on the Internet for the whole country to know.
Wong Nai Chee, MCA MP for Kota Melaka:
Different parliamentarians have different ways (of revealing the information). Some do it via their service to the constituents while others declare it on the Internet.
I will not emulate Ong, I have never thought of doing so. The most important duty for a parliamentarian is to understand the needs of the people.
Wee Ka Siong, MCA MP for Ayer Itam
‘True gold is not afraid of fire’ (Chinese proverb). Anyone can come to my service centre to check on the distribution of my allocation.
My constituency is a rural area where most of the voters do not know how to use the Internet, therefore disclosing the information on the Internet would not be effective.
I announce the details at public events and this is reported by the media.
Party opposes online revelations
On Jan 23, the MCA central committee decided that its elected representatives – for both state and parliament – should not reveal their constituency allocations on the Internet.
The party leaders are concerned that such revelations could be “sensitive”, especially in allocations for religious and education purposes.
All BN members of parliament receive an annual allocation of RM2 million for their respective constituencies. However, constitutencies held by the opposition do not get such yearly allocation.