KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has chided Bachok MP Syahir Sulaiman for claiming that Kelantan is being treated as a “stepchild” by the unity government.
He said such claims were baseless based on the allocations made to the east coast state in the last budget announcement.
“Those views are baseless because you can see the government gave the largest allocation to Kelantan compared with other states under the budget (Budget 2023).
“This allocation by the unity government for Kelantan is much bigger than what they were given when PAS and Bersatu were in the government (between March 2020 and November 2022),” he told reporters after the 36th Asia-Pacific Roundtable here.
Anwar added that Syahir should be more outspoken in providing suggestions to solve issues in Kelantan such as the lack of clean water and flood barriers.
Syahir made the claim during a televised debate on the economy with economy minister Rafizi Ramli last night.
During the debate, the PAS assistant secretary-general also claimed that the main reason why Kelantan had struggled for so many decades in terms of development was that “federalism” had denied the state its rights, including oil royalties.
In March, Anwar pointed out that the Perikatan Nasional-led (PN) administration never bothered to increase allocations for Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.
Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said Kelantan received RM351.5 million, Terengganu received RM411.1 million and Perlis received RM154 million under Budget 2023, adding that it was “far better” than what each state was allocated under Budget 2021
He also said that in terms of development funds under Budget 2023, Kedah received RM1.5 billion while Perlis received RM570 million. Kelantan, on the other hand, received RM2.5 billion, an increase of RM700 million from the sum allocated under Budget 2021.