KUCHING, Jan 13 — The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak has lashed out at Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng over his remark about the state elected representatives from the party not contributing financially to maintaining roads and drains in their areas.
Michael Kong, who is the special assistant to Stampin MP and DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, regarded such a remark as ‘unfair’.
Kong said it was widely known that the elected representatives from the Opposition did not have access to the state funds such as the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) and Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants and thus, they could not contribute financially to maintaining the roads and drains.
“I see the recent remark by Mayor Wee about lack of financial contributions from the DAP ADUNs (assemblymen) to the MBKS (Kuching South City Council) for road and drain maintenance in 2023, as ‘unfair, being out to hoodwink the public’.
“It is a well-known fact that each ADUN from the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) receives an annual allocation of RM5 million for RTP, in addition to RM2 million for MRP.
“This is starkly in contrast with the situation of the ADUNs from the Opposition, who do not receive any RTP or MRP allocation.
“Instead, we rely on the federal government and our MPs for financial support to serve in our constituencies,” he said in a statement.
Kong said even considering the allocations available to DAP’s MPs, the financial resources at DAP’s disposal were significantly limited compared to those of GPS ADUNs.
According to him, each MP receives RM2 million for RTP projects, and in the Kuching and Stampin parliamentary areas that encompass six state constituencies, this would average to a mere RM666,666.67 per constituency – a sum dwarfed by the RM5 million available to each GPS ADUN.
“Furthermore, while SUPP often defers to DAP on healthcare and education issues under the premise of federal jurisdiction, we have proactively addressed these sectors.
“As we have consistently done and showcased to the public, a significant portion of our limited allocation is dedicated to improving school facilities. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment towards enhancing education,” said Kong, adding further that matters of local government including roads and drainage, would fall squarely under the state’s jurisdictions; therefore, becoming the responsibility of the state government to finance these infrastructure improvement works.
“Should there be a shortfall in funding from the Sarawak government, it reflects on the inability of the relevant minister to perform.
“At the same time, it is also an indication of the failure of Mayor Wee and (Deputy Premier and Sarawak United People’s Party president Datuk Amar Dr) Sim Kui Hian to hold their fellow GPS colleagues accountable for their disservice to the people of Sarawak,” stressed Kong. — Borneo Post