KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said he will continue helping the PAS-led Kelantan government, despite being called “immoral” by the Islamist party’s president, Abdul Hadi Awang.
He said this when speaking on the criticism he received for revealing a letter from the Kelantan government which sought a loan from Putrajaya to pay the salaries of civil servants.
This came after he claimed the east coast state had no money to pay its civil servants.
“They challenged me to show proof. When I did, they said I was wrong to do so. If I don’t show the proof, they will also say I’m wrong.
“I approved the loan request, but I still got scolded,” he said when officiating the 2018 KL DAP convention.
Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said Hadi called him “immoral” yesterday, as if it was a sin for him to speak the truth.
He also said that he was branded anti-Malay and anti-Islam by some for revealing the letter.
“When Najib Razak was prime minister, he said something similar, that Kelantan couldn’t pay salaries without Putrajaya’s help. At the time, no one from PAS criticised him; Hadi didn’t call him immoral.
“It’s okay, let them say what they want.
“We will still help even if I’m ridiculed for approving allocations because this is about the salaries of civil servants. We don’t want to see them go unpaid.”
Lim said he hopes the opposition parties would stop resorting to racial and religious sentiments and instead use facts and figures.
“We aren’t interested in racial or religious games, or lies. I also hope Malaysians will place importance on economic issues.”
Recently, Lim revealed a letter from the PAS-led government in which it requested RM97 million, but the ministry approved only RM22.5 million.
“I am now showing you proof that the Kelantan government asked the federal government for an advance, saying that if they could not obtain it, they wouldn’t be able to pay the salaries.
“This letter states that their shortfall means they would be unable to pay a total of RM24.5 million in salaries to their staff, including part-time workers, as well as other bills,” he had said at a press conference outside the Dewan Rakyat.