GEORGE TOWN: Following the freezing of RM200,000 in constituency allocations, DAP’s Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu said the Penang government has issued termination letters to five of his assistants.
The five assistants, officially known as publicity officers or “pegawai seranta”, were all given one-month’s notice in the termination letters sent by the state secretariat last week.
According to the termination letters, their last day of service would be Feb 18.
In a press conference today, Teh urged the state government not to take such action as the officers had families to feed.
“We hope the chief minister and the executive council will reconsider their decision. These officers should not be punished for my choices,” he said referring to his recent discontent with the state government and party leadership on many issues.
“I respect the state government’s decision as it is its prerogative to sack and hire who it wants, but I hope they will be more mature about this.
“My officers are hardworking and they are well known by the people of Tanjung Bungah. Their last day is also so soon after Chinese New Year.”
Teh said he will be making an official appeal to the Penang government and his five officers will be doing likewise.
According to Teh, the sacked officers comprised “senior division and branch leaders from DAP and PKR” and they were loyal to Pakatan Harapan.
The conflict between Teh and the state government began with him declaring that he would be leaving DAP at the end of his term over his differences with the DAP-led government.
The Penang government, in turn, stripped him of his constituency allocations amounting to nearly RM200,000 as well as other powers accorded to state assemblymen from DAP and PKR, to sign off documents pertaining to the payment of aid to constituents.
The state government had said the cut was due to his vow to leave DAP and his “drop in performance” as an assemblyman.
Later, DAP said it would be opening a new service centre for the people of Tanjung Bungah to replace Teh’s centre at Jalan Osman bin Abdul Rahman.
The service centre will come under the purview of Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari.
Tanjung Bungah falls under the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency.
Asked about the new service centre, Teh said it was unfair to him as the legitimate assemblyman.
“I now have to close my service centre by the end of March, as that is when the contract ends.
“The two workers I have in my service centre are being paid from my own salary. We will continue to accept aid applications but we will send them all to Zairil’s office.
“I just hope the sacked officers will be absorbed into the new centre and they will be treated well,” he said.
FMT has contacted the state government for comment but has yet to receive an official reply on the termination letters.