KUCHING – Sarawak Opposition lawmakers are not entitled to receive an annual allocation of RM9 million from the state government to service their constituencies, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said today.
“It has never been the practice in Sarawak before for the state government to set aside allocations for the opposition state assemblymen to service their areas,” the local government and housing minister said after handing over grants to 37 non-governmental organisations at SUPP headquarters here.
He told reporters that a delegation of Sarawak DAP state lawmakers, led by its chairman Chong Chieng Jen, had met with Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg on the sidelines of the State Assembly session last month, requesting the state government to set aside allocations for the opposition-held constituencies.
“The chief minister did not make any commitment, but he would study the matter,” he said, adding that there is no reason for the DAP state lawmakers to be unhappy with no allocations setting aside for them to service their constituencies.
He said Chong and other DAP assemblymen should jump to SUPP if they want “so badly” the annual allocations from the government.
“We will welcome them very much if they decide to join us in the Barisan Nasional,” he said.
Dr Sim, who also state assemblyman for Batu Kawa, said the RM9 annual allocation for each state Barisan Nasional assemblymen consists of RM5 million under the rural transformation programme (RTP) and RM4 million under the minor rural projects (MRP).
“Each Barisan Nasional assemblyman can ask for more allocation if the total amount of RM9 million is not enough to service their constituencies,” he said.
Apart from the funds allocated under RTP and MRP, Dr Sim said Barisan Nasional-held constituencies are also given allocations from the state and federal ministries.
– Malay Mail