GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government today denied that the RM60,000 allocation for opposition assemblymen had been withdrawn as alleged by four Bersatu assemblymen.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the allocation for the four state constituencies had instead been channelled through the ‘ADUN angkat’ or adopted assemblymen for the constituents to benefit from it.
“The boycott excuse given by them is because their allocation was withdrawn by the state government, but the truth is that the allocation was never reduced by even a sen and has been channelled to the constituents via the ‘ADUN angkat’.
“The other three opposition assemblymen (two from Umno and one from PAS) will continue to receive their allocations as they won their seats based on their party, while the four Bersatu assemblymen won because voters chose Pakatan Harapan during the last General Election and achieved victory to form the Penang state government,” he said at a press conference at an engagement session today.
Earlier, four Bersatu assemblymen, Dr Afif Bahardin (Seberang Jaya), Zulkifli Ibrahim (Sungai Acheh), Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq (Bertam) and Zolkifly Md Lazim (Teluk Bahang) decided to boycott the engagement session involving the state executive council members and all state assemblymen, beginning today.
In a joint statement, they announced that their boycott followed claims that the Penang government leadership was biased as they had withdrawn the RM60,000 allocation to opposition assemblymen that was approved on Jan 20 in a letter dated Feb 19.
However, Chow expressed hope that the four assemblymen would attend the engagement session as it was held to ensure the check and balance principle could be implemented in the current administration following the suspension of the State Legislative Assembly.
“If they did not attend the morning session, perhaps they could attend in the afternoon or tomorrow to ensure checks and balances,” he said.
Penang has 40 state constituencies and is led by Pakatan Harapan (PH) with DAP holding 19 seats, PKR (12), Amanah (two), while Perikatan Nasional through Bersatu has four seats, PAS (one) and Umno (two). — Bernama