GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Air Putih) today told off a leader from the opposition bench for suggesting that those wanting flood relief funds must first be a member of a Pakatan Harapan (PH) party.
He said he had come across a report in Utusan Malaysia quoting state opposition leader Jahara Hamid (BN-Telok Ayer Tawar) as apparently implying this.
“For the record, we have been giving aid to senior citizens, single mothers and more without taking into account their political beliefs.
“We have even been giving aid to Umno branch leaders for many years now. So how can you say that we are only planning to give aid to PH members?
“It is a serious allegation… which is akin to corruption. The honourable Telok Ayer Tawar must present proof for her absurd claims,” Lim said during his winding-up speech at the state assembly.
Jahara then said the Utusan report had clearly used the word “difahamkan” (made to understand), hence it was not a factual statement.
“I will give you proof, just give me some time,” she added.
Lim told her she had until this afternoon, to which she nodded in agreement.
The chief minister added however that “difahamkan” was an assertion of fact and that as a lawyer, Jahara should know the difference.
“It appears that Barisan Nasional (BN) wants to be a government only for its supporters. Let me be clear, we are not,” he said.
Jahara then reminded Lim that the BN federal government had handed out BR1M cash aid to all Penangites despite their different political beliefs.
The Utusan Malaysia article in question was titled “Perjelas kaedah agih bantuan banjir – Jahara” (“Explain methods used to hand out flood aid”).
In it, Jahara claimed that the Penang government had announced RM400 for the earlier Sept 15 flood victims, but had asked them “to be registered as voters through politicians” before getting the cash aid.
“Pada 20 September lalu, kerajaan negeri turut mengumumkan bantuan RM400 secara one-off kepada mangsa banjir tetapi difahamkan, orang ramai perlu mendaftar sebagai pengundi dengan ahli politik tertentu sebelum mendapatkan bantuan berkenaan,” the Utusan article read.