KUALA LUMPUR: An MP today asked the Terengganu government to explain the high level of stunted growth among children there despite its status as an oil-rich state.
Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Bahrin Shah referred to a recent report by Unicef, an international body that looks into the rights of children, which said that 26% of youngsters below five were facing stunted growth in Terengganu.
“The figure is the second highest after Kelantan,” the Amanah leader said at a press conference at Parliament’s media centre.
He said this was shocking as Terengganu received a budget of RM2 billion a year for a population of one million compared with Selangor, which had a lower budget of RM1.6 billion for a population of five million.
“Where is the wealth of Terengganu going, so much so that the rakyat are unable to provide nutritional meals (for their children)?” he asked.
He said this showed that the state’s finances were not being handled effectively.
He also asked why Terengganu remained among the four poorest states in Malaysia despite being an oil producing state. The other three were Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak, he added.
Raja Bahrin also raised the topic of the success rate of youths in the state.
He said for the past 30 years Terengganu had been one of the top scoring states in public examinations such as UPSR, PMR and SPM. However, he added, one hardly heard of the students’ success later in life.
“Where do these youths go after finishing their education? It shows that the state government has failed to improve the quality of life of the next generation in the state.”