DAP’s Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming today sent a letter of demand to Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar, seeking that Noh retract the ministry letter instructing the cancellation of allocation for projects in non-BN parliamentary constituencies.
The letter of demand was also issued to Abu Bakar Johar, the ministry’s local government department director, who issued the directive on March 17.
Nga also urged the duo to publicly apologise to people in constituencies held by non-BN members of parliament (MPs).
“The decision is completely unjust, unfair, irrational and unreasonable. It is for an improper purpose and also an attempt to fetter the minister’s discretion,” the letter issued by Nga, via his lawyer, reads.
He also accused the minister of discrimination “which is clearly against the rule of law in our country and against public interest”.
“An honourable person who holds an executive position, at any time and in matter, should not be biased in his discretionary function as minister,” read the letter.
In the March 17 directive, Abu Bakar instructed that all local councils cancel BP 1 projects approved for 2017, in “non-BN parliamentary constituencies”. There are 89 constituencies held by non-BN MPs.
Local governments were also directed to provide a list of approved BP 1 projects, to be handed over to BN MPs during a meeting between Noh and the MPs.
He also instructed that all warrants for approved allocations already issued for BP 1 projects (small-scale infrastructure projects), be cancelled.
Abu Bakar said the decision was made in a meeting between Noh, city mayors and local government heads on March 9.
When contacted, the Penang and Selangor governments which are led by non-BN parties, said the states will not be affected.
Selangor exco member in charge of local government Ean Yong Hian Wah had said the state has not received any funds for local council projects since it took over from BN in 2008.
Chow Kon Yeow, the exco member in charge of local government in Penang, said there are six projects for street light installations amounting to RM136,000 funded by the federal government in the state, of which four are in constituencies held by non-BN MPs.
Checks with the ministry found that the directive does not apply to projects already approved, said Chow, who added that he was told the ministry will issue an official letter about this soon.
‘Probe Noh for abuse of power’
Meanwhile, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to probe Noh for abuse of power under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act.
“His action in issuing the directive is clearly made in relation to his personal interest to be elected as a member of parliament, and to be retained or appointed as a minister, or in the interests of his BN associates, to be elected as MPs and for them to be retained in or appointed to the office of ministers.
“The interest in seeking to be retained or appointed as a minister falls within the meaning of ‘gratification’ under Section 3 of the act, which provides that ‘gratification’ includes ‘any office, dignity, employment, contract of employment or services and agreement to give employment or render services in any capacity’,” Leong said.
He said Noh must be prosecuted for issuing the directive to safeguard citizen’s right to vote freely.