Bersih praises Kelantan, urges Anwar’s govt to emulate equal funds for all reps


Electoral reform group Bersih today called on the federal government to emulate the Kelantan administration in providing equal allocations for all assemblymen, including those from the opposition bench.

Reminding the Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) coalition government of its promise to allocate equal constituency development funds (CDF) to all elected representatives, it urged the federal government as well as all nine states and the territories of Sabah and Sarawak to immediately legislate and provide equal CDF for all assemblymen, regardless of political affiliation.

“The provision of equal CDF regardless of political affiliation, as initiated by the Perak state government under the leadership of Saarani Mohamad in 2020 and now followed by the Kelantan state government, needs to be emulated by other states.

“Political maturity, as demonstrated in Perak and Kelantan, is the way forward for more professional politics without punishing others based on their political ideologies,” it said.

On Wednesday, Kelantan Menteri Besar Mohd Nassuruddin Daud said all assemblymen would receive equal allocations from the state government.

He said the state government would treat all assemblymen fairly, including those from the opposition, as they were all elected by the people.

“Although there were several political ideologies, the elections are over. What remains now are assemblymen who represent the people,” Nassuruddin said.

Bersih also said that it was not right for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to announce that the federal government was willing to grant allocations to opposition MPs and then ask the opposition leader from Perikatan Nasional (PN) to negotiate the matter with the federal government.

It said the PH and BN alliance was not only responsible for implementing the manifesto at the federal level and in all the states under its leadership but also negotiating a package of equal CDF laws in the federation and all 13 states, including those ruled by PN, GPS, and GRS.

“The denial of equal CDF to constituencies won by opposition representatives is a form of punishment for the people in those constituencies.

“Even if the allocation is passed down through the ruling party’s area coordinator, who is often a potential candidate, it is still a gross misuse of government resources for partisan purposes.”

Citing what it called the most extreme case, Bersih said that in Sarawak, government assemblymen received an allocation of a minimum of RM8 million per year while opposition representatives were given RM0, adding that such situations cannot be accepted.

“Even unfair allocations as practised by the state governments of Selangor, Penang, Johor, and Pahang – where government assemblymen were given more allocations than the opposition representatives – is an outdated practice that is not in line with the values of the Madani government,” it added.

PN retained Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan – the three states previously under its administration – at the Aug 12 elections.

It also made inroads in Selangor and Penang, which were retained by PH-BN alongside Negeri Sembilan.

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