Opposition MPs seek clarity on RM100k allocation spending

Alyaa Alhadjri
·3-min read
Opposition MPs seek clarity on RM100k allocation spending
Opposition MPs seek clarity on RM100k allocation spending

No clear guidelines have so far been released on approved spendings for the RM100,000 allocation for opposition MPs, according to Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil.

Among others, Fahmi said the MPs needed to know if the funds can be used to directly assist their constituents who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We don't have the details given to us in black and white yet.

"So I think the MPs still needed to be briefed," he told Malaysiakini.

Fahmi said the MPs were also only recently informed that the funds have been parked under the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) which is under the Prime Minister’s Department.

"Earlier this week I asked my staff to check (with ICU), and they said there were no funds.

"When (Umno president Ahmad) Zahid (Hamidi) said he received as much as opposition MPs, we said we didn't receive anything," said the PKR communications director.

"We received it (word of the allocations) probably in the last 24 hours.

"I know for a fact that when Zahid said he received as much as an opposition MP, at that material time, there was none (for opposition MPs)," stressed Fahmi.

Previously, Zahid complained that he was only getting RM100,000 in allocations for his parliamentary constituency, which he claimed was similar to the amount given to opposition representatives.

In contrast, Zahid claimed his counterparts in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government were getting RM3.7 million in allocations.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh yesterday revealed that PN has decided to provide opposition MPs with RM100,000 in allocations, following queries over Zahid's remarks.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto similarly said that had it not been for Zahid's remarks, opposition MPs would not have been aware of the RM100,000 allocation for this year.

"So now we have received it but there is no circular to formally inform us (of the guidelines)," she said.

Kasthuri said she was made to understand the funds must be channeled through a local NGO, instead of used to directly assist a needy constituent.

"You cannot for example, if someone asked you for a sewing machine, just buy it directly and give it to them.

"There must be a local NGO partner," she added.

Under the Pakatan Harapan federal administration, a government MP could apply for up to RM3.5 million a year in allocations, while an opposition MP could only apply for up to RM100,000 a year from the federal government.

The RM3.5 million is split into RM2 million for development purposes while the other RM1.5 million is for grants and donation purposes.

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah explained that under Harapan's administration, the amount approved for government MPs could be used for four types of spendings - operations, welfare, programmes, and infrastructure.

KiniGuide: A closer look inside the 'MP allocations' cookie jar

The approved allocations were frozen since February last year when PN took over Putrajaya, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic a month later which saw Harapan MPs, now in the opposition, requesting funds to assist their constituents.

"Under PN it looks like the RM100,000 is only for the organisation budget line and can only go through the NGOs.

"The amount is not to be used for other budget lines," said Maria.

Responding to MPs' requests, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at the time had reportedly approved a RM100,000 allocation for parliamentary seats that do not fall under the ruling coalition.

On Thursday, 32 MPs from Harapan, PSB, Pejuang, Warisan, and Muda, together with independent lawmaker Maszlee Malik, in a joint statement urged Muhyiddin to emulate the PN state governments of Johor and Perak in providing higher allocations to opposition lawmakers, or even equal to amounts received by those in government.

The Perak state government recently provided opposition lawmakers equal allocations while the Johor state government gave a one-off RM50,000 additional allocation to all state constituencies, including opposition constituencies.