Penang State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Yahaya Abdul Hamid was reported in yesterday’s press as saying that the Assemblymen for Datuk Kramat and Bayan Lepas were not recognised as "independents under the Barisan Nasional" and that they would not receive existing benefits accorded to Barisan assemblymen, such as the annual RM50,000 for "minor developments" of state constituencies.
Furthermore, like opposition assemblymen, they would not be allowed to sit in the district development councils chaired by the respective district councils.
The Gerakan-led Penang State Government is extending the politics of personal vendetta against Boo Chang and Chien Aun to the people in Datuk Kramat and Bayan Lepas, which is most deplorable.
If the Gerakan-led Penang State Government understands the meaning of justice and fair play, the question of depriving Boo Chang and Chien Aun the annual RM50,000 constituency development allocations should not have arisen; instead, there should be an extension of this allocation to opposition Assemblymen, as the people in Opposition areas are also citizens who have the right to such allocation as they have contributed to the state government treasury through taxes and rates.
The time has come for the Gerakan-led Penang State Government to stop playing politics with public funds and to recognise the right of every Penangite to development as a fundamental human right which should not be turned into a political bargaining chip whether between the ruling and opposition parties or in intra-party feuds in the Barisan Nasional.
Although we have different political differences, I will defend Boo Chiang and Chien Aun’s right to fair and just allocation of annual development funds for their constituencies and I am prepared to meet them on this issue.