On Sinchew Daily’s report of misallocation of constituency development funds

ICU Special Budget 2011: RM 513,957,100 (budget 2011 pg128)

ICU Special Budget 2011: RM 513,957,100 (budget 2011 pg128)

Media Statement by DAP MP for Bukit Bendera Liew Chin Tong on 4th September 2011

Today Sinchew Daily front-paged an allegation that Barisan Nasional has tied the allocation of constituency development funds to the winability of the ruling coalition in that constituency.

In seats where Barisan Nasional feels it has no chance of winning (“black”), no allocation would be given. While on the other hand seats that are perceived to favour Barisan Nasional (“white”) can get up to RM 2.5million per constituency. There exists also a “gray” category.

It has been a long standing practice of Barisan Nasional to exclude elected representatives from opposition parties to access constituency development funds held in custody by the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department.

In most instances where the parliamentary constituency is held by the opposition, the funds are usually handled by the local UMNO Division Chairmen instead.

Up until 2006, each parliamentary constituency was given RM500,000 from this source. However, the current figure is unclear as the amount keeps increasing in the last five years.

If the Sinchew report is proven to be true, two new developments are stunningly shocking. First, it is for the first time that the amount given to a constituency is not equal and tied to the winability of Barisan Nasional in that constituency.

Second, if the amount of RM 2.5 million for “white” seats is true, it is a five-fold increase over the last five years since 2006.

I call on the Prime Minister to answer Sinchew Daily’s allegation and make public the spending under the “KHAS” (special) heading in the budget of ICU, which has a total budgeted sum of RM 513,957,100 for 2011.

Liew Chin Tong

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