Penang Perikatan reps accuse state govt of sidelining their poor constituents

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

SEBERANG PERAI, Feb 28 — State opposition leader Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff has accused the state government today of sidelining the poor living in constituencies under Perikatan Nasional (PN).

The Sungai Dua assemblyman said the state government’s role is to be fair to all Penang residents.

“There have been several incidents in which people in our constituencies were sidelined, even by their own state constituency coordinators who were given the responsibility to dispense allocations in constituencies under the Opposition,” he told a press conference at the PAS headquarters in Pongsu Seribu, Sungai Dua here.

He said there were incidences where voters from Sungai Dua went to the state government’s state constituency coordinator to ask for aid but were turned away.

“Not only were the Opposition front denied allocations to help our constituents, the state’s appointed coordinators are also not helping the people,” he said.

He said the Opposition only receives RM60,000 in allocation per year for infrastructure projects from the state and it was only accessible by applying through the district office.

“The unity government state assemblymen gets RM200,000 in allocations per year and the coordinators were given allocations too, but if they are not using it to help the people, where did the allocations go?” he asked.

He also accused the Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohamad Abdul Hamid of preventing the poor living in constituencies held by PN from receiving zakat benefits.

“The DCMI is arrogant towards us, the Opposition and the people in our constituencies,” he said.

He said there was a Back To School and Ramadan hamper programme by Zakat Pulau Pinang (ZPP) for the poor early this month, but only assemblymen from the state government were invited while the 11 opposition assemblymen were left out.

“These programmes should be for all the poor people in the state regardless of which constituency they are from, but it is obvious that Mohamad is using zakat to gain political mileage,” he claimed.

He said the Opposition assemblymen had tried to set up a meeting with Mohamad but they were ignored.

“We have also tried to meet with ZPP management to ask for the Back To School programme for our constituents but they have refused to meet us,” he said.

He claimed that ZPP refused to meet the Opposition as they were instructed by Mohamad not to do so.

“Previously, ZPP had also channelled the Back to School and Ramadan hamper programmes to the Opposition but now, suddenly they stopped and I believed it was instructions from DCMI,” he said.

He reminded Mohamad that zakat is also contributed by constituents in PN-held constituencies.

“In fact, a majority of the Malays had voted for PN in the last general election so we could say a majority of the contributions are also from our constituencies,” he said.

He said zakat is there to help the hardcore poor and should not be misused for politicking, and that ZPP is a professional body and should fairly distribute aid to everyone

Malay Mail has reached out to Mohamad, who is the state Islamic religious affairs committee chairman, but has not received any response yet.