GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s top PKR leader today dismissed the state government’s explanation of why it had barred an elected rep from giving out flood relief aid to his constituents as naive and hard to accept.
State PKR leadership council chairman Mansor Othman said he was disappointed by the Penang government’s decision which had wounded the spirit of camaraderie between Pakatan Harapan parties.
He was responding to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who said yesterday that Kebun Bunga assemblyman Cheah Kah Peng had been relieved from all matters related to the RM700 cash aid to flood victims.
Lim said the job had been given to Pulau Tikus assemblywoman Yap Soo Huey.
He added that the decision was an administrative “internal procedural change” to ensure the aid was received by all flood victims quickly via the RM105 million state government emergency aid.
However, Mansor said handing over the flood relief duties to Yap was seen as an attempt to sideline PKR’s role in the Penang government.
“As a representative of the people who received his mandate from his voters, he (Cheah) should not be blocked from discharging his responsibilities.
“It is unfair and disrespectful of the democratic decision by the people of Kebun Bunga in the last general election,” Mansor said in a statement.
According to Cheah, he first received word of the decision in an email dated Nov 20 from state secretary Farizan Darus.
He said in that email, Farizan had simply said that he would be “exempted” from all matters related to the RM700 flood aid.
Cheah said he had received about 200 applications for aid via the forms supplied through his service centres. Others had applied for aid online through penangbangkit.com.
There are currently 19,278 voters in the Kebun Bunga constituency, with a large number from the Rifle Range area.
Cheah said since he had been left out of the picture, the village security and development committees had been busy helping victims fill up forms for the aid.
The cash aid is part of the Penang government’s initiative to help some 100,000 households affected by the Nov 4-5 floods.
State assemblypersons are supposed to receive and approve the applications from flood-hit victims in Penang starting Nov 20.