Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced yesterday, 6 June, that the government will be providing allocations to opposition Members of Parliament (MP)
Malaysiakini reported that the move was a departure from the policy of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government. According to The Malaysian Insight, BN MPs used to receive an annual allocation of RM5 million, while opposition MPs had nothing.
Nonetheless, the allocation for opposition MPs to run their constituencies will be five times less than what Pakatan Harapan lawmakers receive.
"We will give them (opposition MPs) an allocation but it will be less... RM500,000 for us, and RM100,000 to them," Mahathir was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
In response to Mahathir's announcement, Terengganu Menteri Besar Dr. Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the state is appreciative of the allocation
"We feel appreciated in Terengganu, as nothing was given to opposition MPs by the previous government," Ahmad Samsuri was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight earlier today.
"We thank the federal government, although the quantum is lower. A gift is a gift," he added.
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin also praised the Pakatan Harapan government in a Facebook post today
"Although the amount (for opposition MPs) isn't the same as what our PH counterparts receive, this allocation is better than what we (BN) used to practice where opposition lawmakers had no allocations at all," he wrote in a Facebook post.
However, he hoped the government would consider giving out equal allocations to MPs from both coalitions in the future.
"Voters should not be punished based on their choices during the General Election," he added, in reference to constituents in BN-held areas.
On the other hand, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong commented on the disparity in allocations given to BN MPs in a string of Facebook posts
Wee wrote in a Facebook post yesterday, 6 June, that BN should have given allocations to opposition MPs during the previous administration.
"Mahathir's announcement on allocations for opposition MPs is an unprecedented move which deserves praise," he added.
However, he criticised the lack of fairness in the amount allocated to government and opposition MPs.
"Many Pakatan Harapan leaders pledged to treat parliamentarians fairly, but evidence prove otherwise," he wrote.
"Did voters in Ayer Hitam, Cameron, Kota Bharu, and Mersing (BN-held areas) not pay taxes? Or did they only pay half of it?" he questioned.
With the "modest" funds allocated for BN lawmakers, Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak has pledged to continue helping the poor in his constituency
In a Facebook post today, Najib promised to continue providing financial aid to the hardcore poor in his constituency, Pekan, Pahang.
"I will continue to deliver zakat aid to the hardcore poor, even though the allocations are modest now compared to before when there was more contribution from government agencies," the Pekan MP wrote.
Nonetheless, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail assured MPs earlier today that allocations to state governments will be done in a fair manner
"Some rich states can accommodate (the expenses) compared to poorer states that should get more allocation," she was quoted as saying by Bernama.
According to her, a "fair policy" was adopted towards the opposition-led states.
"Even though they are not with the federal government, (allocation) will be channeled, but must (finally reach) the people regardless of party," she added.
What do you think about the disparity in allocations for the MPs? Let us know in the comments below.