Selangor state assembly deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad notes that the Menteri Besar has yet to tackle major issues in the state.
PETALING JAYA: Selangor state assembly deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Nazmi has joined the volley of criticism against Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim saying that the state government has yet to address ‘real concerns’ in Selangor.
“We should not just be focused on reserves – building our reserves when there are still major issues faced by the public such as urban poverty, facilities for housing, affordable housing, basic services.
“People will start to [question] if we keep announcing higher and higher reserves, but these basic things are not addressed,” Nik Nazmi, who is also Seri Setia state assemblyman, told FMT in a recent interview.
Abdul Khalid has come under criticisms not only from the Barisan Nasional but also from his own party over his ‘stingy’ ways. The Menteri Besar often boosts to have managed to increase state coffers but this had become a point in contention.
Among those who had criticised the Menteri Besar include Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Selangor party chiefs Dr Abdul Rani Othman of PAS, Mohamed Azmin Ali of PKR and DAP’s Lau Weng Sang also had submitted a joint memorandum on Oct 17 urging the state government to loosen its purse strings, while Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli has demanded an explanation over why the constituency’s allocation had been slashed.
Adding fuel to fire, Nik Nazmi, who is also former PKR communications director, noted that the Selangor government had yet to tackle problems faced by the younger generation, who migrate to the country’s richest state in droves to study and earn a living.
He acknowledged that affordable housing had become a real bone of contention for young working adults in Selangor, and that the state “could do more” about the issue.
“I think this is one of the biggest challenges for the young generation – my generation. A lot of my friends find that we are being driven further and further away from the city in order to stay and work in Selangor,” the 31-year-old said.
“The development of younger generation also needs to be looked at, in terms of sports, youth development,” he added.
But he pointed out that credit should be given to Abdul Khalid for balancing a “people’s economy” with growing reserves – something even the federal government, with its growing deficit, had failed to achieve.
“He has presided over an impressive period of the state development in terms of attracting investment, promoting economic growth, building reserves…and promoting the people’s economy,” said Nik Nazmi.
“You can see the policies – free water, financial aid to the elderly and the newborns. This is unprecedented. You can give money in a large way to the people, and the reserves continue to build and the economy is prospering.”
He said that while the federal government also provided aid, most of it was in the form of cash handouts that had put a strain on its fiscal position.
“There are weaknesses here and there, but generally, if you compare with the federal government, [the latter is] a joke. And certainly that says a lot about our administration of Selangor,” said Nik Nazmi.