BALIK PULAU: Gerakan president Dominic Lau says he is not surprised that Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow has refused to provide the 11 Perikatan Nasional assemblymen in the state with equal allocations.
Last month, Chow said that opposition assemblymen would not be allocated the same funds as their government counterparts.
Government backbenchers are given RM500,000 a year while opposition members receive RM60,000.
Chow reiterated his stance during the state assembly meeting this week when asked by Penaga assemblyman Yusni Mat Piah whether he had the courage to depart from the unequal allocation system he inherited from his predecessor.
Lau, who is the Penang PN chief, said he expected Chow not to provide equal allocations as the federal government also did not do so.
“We have requested for fairness with regard to (equal) allocations for all MPs and assemblymen. But I think they (PH) don’t want to give (equal) allocations, which is (to be) expected,” he said.
Lau pointed out that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim himself had called for equal allocations when he led the opposition.
“Ask Anwar Ibrahim. When he was the oppostion leader, he requested for (equal) allocations. Did PN give it to them? Yes, they did,” he said, referring to the agreement signed between PH and Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government in September 2021 which helped then opposition PH MPs to get equal allocations.
“Then why can’t they (PH) do the same? Why do they say that (just) because they don’t have the support from PN, no allocation has been given?”
“I think it is okay (if no equal allocations are given). Let the people judge whether they (PH) are okay or not.”
Service centre helps Gerakan function as opposition
On a separate matter, Lau said Gerakan’s service centre in Teluk Kumbar would help the party to effectively help the voters and residents in Bayan Lepas.
He said the service centre was established from contributions given by party members and Bayan Lepas residents.
He also said he would advocate against any potential rare earth elements (REE) exploration and mining that might be carried out in Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau, as well as the construction of two hostel complexes for foreign workers in Teluk Kumbar.
Lau contested under the PN ticket for the Bayan Lepas state seat in the August state election but lost to PH’s Azrul Mahathir Aziz of Amanah by 1,889 votes.