NGO calls on GPS govt to allocate development funds for opposition lawmakers

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KUCHING, Sept 16: A Sarawakian NGO has called on the Sarawak government to adopt the policy of allocating development funds for opposition State lawmakers and working out a formula that benefits all voters, not just voters supporting the ruling coalition.

Citing the recent bipartisan MoU signed between the ruling and opposition coalitions, Rise of Social Efforts (Rose) noted that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) had expressed its welcome on the point of allocating equal constituency development funds for opposition members and urged the GPS government to do the same.

On the MoU, Rose said the clause to strengthen the efforts to implementation and realisation of the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is of particularly interest for those in Sarawak.

“The frequent changes in government, changes in committees or councils has left us skeptical and disillusioned on whether or not these talks on devolution of powers to the State is on the right track. 

“All developments pertaining to the achievement of the terms of this MoU will be carefully watched and scrutinised by civil society including Rose,” said the NGO in a statement today.

It pointed out that the declaration of an Emergency had come nowhere near to stopping politicking, and welcomed the historic occasion of the signing of an MoU for Transformation and Political Stability between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri’s government and Pakatan Harapan parties on Sept 13. 

“We are hopeful that this confidence and supply arrangement/understanding will enable government (and the opposition) to focus on policies to rebuild our country to pre-pandemic levels in the new normal,” said Rose. 

To Rose, the MoU which consists of overdue administrative, institutional and parliamentary reforms such as Undi18 and AVR (automatic voter registration), anti-party hopping law and equal constituency development funding, can only be a good thing for all Malaysian voters with the opposition still playing the role of check, balance and scrutiny.

On the Malaysia Day celebrations, Rose paid tribute to Malaysians on the frontlines and their families who have endured, persevered and sacrificed much to stem the virus in the last 18 months. — DayakDaily