KOTA KINABALU (Feb 4): Kota Belud member of parliament Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis is dissatisfied with the government’s decision to cut development allowance for MPs from RM3.8 million to RM1.3 million.
She said the move will hinder efforts to bridge the development gap between Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
“Cutting allocations is not a good start in bridging development and economic gap between the three regions in Malaysia as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“Taking into account the much larger size of the parliament areas in Sabah and Sarawak coupled with the poverty of its people, the existing allocation should be maintained and in fact, should be increased,” she said in a statement on Saturday.
According to Isnaraissah, the allocations are used to help solve people’s issues in the constituency and not for personal purposes.
Compared to the assistance provided by the government, she said this allocation reduces the burden of bureaucracy.
“That is why people are more inclined to ask for help from MPs through the allocation that are easier to ask.
“Therefore, I request the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to reconsider the decision and suggest that a meeting be held with all MPs as well as the agencies involved in addition to prioritising the improvement of good governance and integrity instead of cutting allocations,” she added.
Although Isnaraissah fully supports the government’s efforts to control the country’s finances through prudent spending, but cutting parliamentarians’ allocations is not acceptable.
On Friday, Anwar confirmed that the development allowance for MPs has been reduced to RM1.3 million from RM3.8 million.
He said this move was meant to better control the country’s finances and would be implemented in stages.
“This allowance is the development allocations of MPs coordinated by the District and Land Office, and State Development Officer, (being reduced) due to economic constraints.
“It will be done in stages. This will set an early example, meaning MPs don’t mind the cut although they are not personal contributions but are development allocations,” he said.