Penang govt files police report against ministry adviser

By Tan Sin Chow, The Star

The Penang government has lodged a police report against Rural and Regional Development Ministry adviser Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman over an alleged allocation of RM1.1mil to help 22 hardcore poor families in the state.

State Health, Welfare and Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said that Zainal Abidin had failed to divulge details of the 22 families despite two letters having been sent to him on April 7 and May 12.

“The matter was also brought up during the state assembly but none of the Umno elected representatives could answer my question. “They advised me to ask Datuk Zainal (Abidin) personally,” said Phee during a press conference at the state government’s office at level 52 in Komtar Thursday.

He said he had no choice but to lodge a police report for the matter to be solved, adding that the report was made at the Patani Road police station on July 31.

In February, a Malay daily quoted Zainal Abidin as saying that the federal government would take over the role of eradicating hardcore poverty as the state had failed to do so.

He had said the federal government would spend RM1.1mil on 22 hardcore poor families in Penang.

When contacted via sms, Zainal Abidin, who was overseas, urged Phee to concentrate on running the state administration instead of wasting time at the police station.

“The Federal Government has spent more than RM1.1mil to help hundreds of hardcore poor people in Penang this year. He knew right from the start that includes the 22 families that I mentioned were from Nibong Tebal,” he said.

Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said that he has yet to study the report but assured that a thorough investigation would be carried out.