PETALING JAYA: A PKR MP says his outspoken criticism of the government is not aimed at uncovering the weaknesses of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration.
Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim asserted that his aim was to address public concerns, particularly over the recent shortage of essential food supplies in his parliamentary constituency.
Hassan acknowledged that the grievances he voiced, which include shortages of local rice, cooking oil, chicken eggs and sugar in Pasir Gudang, had earned the ire of government supporters, including a deputy minister.
“The deputy minister told me that I was shooting myself in the leg for revealing the government’s shortcomings,” he said in an interview on FMT’s Enigma programme.
In an open message to deputy domestic trade and cost of living minister Fuziah Salleh on Sept 23, Hassan had appealed to the government to alleviate the basic food supply shortages faced by the people of Pasir Gudang.
Following his appeal, Hassan said, he was contacted by communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil, who inquired about the situation in Pasir Gudang.
“I thought he was going to scold me, but it was the opposite. The next day, around 1,000 boxes containing basic necessities from the government arrived in Pasir Gudang,” he said.
“I didn’t hear anything from Anwar, but when I saw his picture (on the boxes), it’s okay, whether he knows or not, or whether he approved it or not, I still would like to say thank you.”
Hassan also said government communications needs improvement in light of a recent misunderstanding surrounding early schooling assistance, which was not announced in the proposed 2024 budget despite still being in effect.
“The government is only reactive when (something) has happened. It doesn’t take initiative earlier or one step ahead,” he said.
Previously, some parents had complained that the 2024 budget tabled last Friday did not include provisions for school preparation assistance as it had in previous budgets.
The education ministry later announced that the government would continue providing RM150 in assistance to each student, with an allocation of RM788.13 million to be distributed from January.