GEORGE TOWN: An opposition assemblyman wants the Penang government to provide equal allocations to all members of the state legislative assembly in the spirit of fairness.
Zulkefli Bakar (PN-Penanti) said having equal allocations for all assemblymen is one of the many issues the opposition will advocate in the assembly, which began its new term last Friday.
Following the tabling of the 2024 supply bill at the start of the assembly, Zulkefli reminded the government that any allocation to elected representatives must be given without discrimination.
“It is important that for the sake of Penang’s development that the distribution of financial (aid) and opportunities be given equally to all assemblymen.
“Therefore, we hope that the gaps in allocations (will be reduced) and that they will be (given) equally,” the Bersatu assemblyman said when debating the governor’s address today.
His call for equal allocations follows a statement by chief minister Chow Kon Yeow earlier this month that the state will maintain its unequal distribution of allocations to government backbenchers and opposition assemblymen.
Currently, backbenchers are given RM500,000 a year, while opposition assemblymen receive RM60,000.
Chow’s statement came amid calls by a Pakatan Harapan MP for opposition lawmakers to be given equal allocations to manage their constituencies.
On Oct 25, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun said opposition MPs must not be made to beg for more, as he recounted how he and his colleagues struggled to serve their constituents while they were in the opposition.