Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen has suspended a welfare month programme for his constituents due to undisclosed reasons.

He has urged potential aid applicants not to come to his office.

“We need to bring the message quickly to the ground so that the poor will not spend any more of their little money for transport to visit my office,” the PKR MP wrote on Facebook.

This was supposed to be the fourth year Wong’s office has done a welfare month programme meant for needy constituents, which is funded through his allocation by the state government as a lawmaker.

His office has already processed 300 applications from potential recipients.

It is not clear why Wong had suspended the aid programme and he was tightlipped when contacted.

However, his Facebook post said the programme was suspended following a fax he received from the Selangor state government last Friday.

“Having discussed the matter with my staff, we decided to suspend our welfare month programme until further notice.

“Accordingly, my office will cease community allocations and refocus on our primary work which is the parliamentary work of public policy research and the policy research training of our interns,” he said.

Exposure for interns

Wong told Malaysiakini that the welfare month programme is carried out every June, and is part of his internship programme.

“We want the interns to meet poor people, and understand what they’re going through.

“This is so that one day if they become politicians, and do public policy for the poor, they actually know what they’re talking about,” he said.

Last year, he said, his office received over 700 applications, half of which were rejected as the applicants did not meet the necessary criteria.

Last month, Wong had been the subject of a Selangor state treasury audit, which he complained was carried out without his knowledge.

The audit examined his office’s spendings in 2014 and 2015, and it was conducted in March 2016.

Wong said he felt like his office had been denied the right to be heard regarding the audit findings of not complying with Selangor guidelines.

He also refuted all six of the audit findings in a lengthy Facebook post, adding that they could have been clarified easily by asking him or his staff and requesting for documents.