Wong Chen apologises for suspending welfare programme

wongchen-suspending-welfare-programmePETALING JAYA: PKR’s Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen today apologised to those who had applied for aid under his constituency’s welfare programme, which has been suspended until further notice.

In a short letter, Wong Chen said action taken by the Selangor government had left them with no funds to run the programme.

In a Facebook post minutes later, he said his office was currently writing 355 letters to the people in his constituency who had been interviewed last week for the Welfare Month programme.

He said this was the least they could do as most of the applicants had taken the time and effort to come to the office for the interviews.

“Most of my constituents shared taxi fares to come here from Desa Mentari.

“The least we can do is to formally apologise to them via an official letter.”

Wong Chen added that he would consult his lawyers and auditors on the next course of action.

The apology comes two days after he decided to suspend the programme.

He made the announcement in a Facebook post on Tuesday, saying the decision was made after a fax was sent to his office late Friday afternoon from the Selangor government.

“We were about to close office, when my office received a fax from the Selangor government. Having discussed the matter with my staff, we decided to suspend our Welfare Month programme until further notice,” he said.

When contacted, he declined to reveal the contents of the fax.

“Cannot talk about it (the fax). We are not going to issue any public statement on this,” he told FMT, adding that his only concern now was that his constituents were informed that the programme had been cancelled.

Wong Chen said for now, his office will cease community allocations and refocus on his parliamentary work of public policy research and the policy research training of interns.

The first-time MP was in the news last month when he revealed some concern over what he saw as a lack of transparent, fair and proper handling of an audit on the spending of the annual RM250,000 budget allocation to his office.

Saying the audit findings had alleged that his office had failed to follow guidelines, Wong Chen decided to make a public disclosure of the audit findings and the lack of answers from the Selangor state treasury despite repeated queries from him and his staff.

It is not clear, nor did Wong Chen wish to confirm, if the fax from the Selangor government was related to the audit findings he spoke about last month.

Kelana Jaya MP suspends welfare programme for constituents