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KUCHING, Feb 6: The development allowance for MPs cut from RM3.8 million to RM1.3 million would greatly affect the channeling of assistance to the rural folk, says Works Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
He was referring to the recent decision by Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim to reduce the development allowance to better control the country’s finances.
“As a Member of Parliament (MP) and a Cabinet member of the unity government, I fully understand the policy of this action which had to be taken as a measure to save the country’s finances.
“However, this decision is somewhat too sudden, considering the needs of the population and the diverse areas, especially in the rural areas.
“As MP for Kapit, an area that is far inland with geographical challenges and an area as large as Pahang state in Peninsular Malaysia, of course this allocation is insufficient and will give me greater challenges in managing the diverse needs of the population and improving infrastructure in the area which is greatly needed by the people,” he said in a Facebook post today.
Apart from Kapit, Nanta pointed out that most of the parliamentary and State constituencies in Sarawak are also far in the interior which is highly dependent on the provision to help rural constituents more efficiently.
The development allowance is usually channeled directly and quickly without having to go through various processes at the level of district offices and government departments.
It is also channeled to various service centres serving as ‘one-stop centres’ to assist residents in areas that need help urgently.
“Therefore, the development allowance cut will affect the quality of government services and assistance that can be channeled by elected representatives and on that basis, the government needs to take more proactive measures to deal with this constraint.
“Although I feel a little aggrieved, I have to accept this ruling and hope that this provision would be increased by the government from time to time. This is nothing other than to ensure that the people can be helped in the best way in line with the aspirations of Malaysia Madani,” he added. — DayakDaily