Pakatan puts pressure on Selangor Menteri Besar to spend more

(TMI) – PAS, PKR and DAP have turned the screws on Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid by sending a memorandum urging him not to be stingy with the state’s growing cash reserve.

The memorandum dated October 7 was handed over to Khalid last Friday and signed by three Selangor party chiefs. They are PAS’s Dr Abdul Rani Othman, PKR’s Mohamed Azmin Ali and DAP’s Lau Weng Sang.

The memorandum noted that the state government planned to slash the development expenditure of RM600 million by RM100 million.

It suggested that money be spent on public housing, hill slope maintenance and stabilisation, upgrading of state-owned Universiti Selangor, scholarships, upgrading Wifi services in key areas, providing free bus services during peak hours and increasing the annual allocation for state assemblymen from RM500,000 to RM800,000.

“We are doing this so that the parties have a role to play in drawing up the state budget and not just rubber-stamp it,” Rani told The Malaysian Insider.

Khalid is expected to present the 2014 Selangor state budget on November 19.

The move comes after Khalid came under pressure from his party for the stingy manner in spending state funds.

Dr Rani said the memorandum was not meant to pressure Khalid but to ensure the Selangor state budget took into account the views of Pakatan Rakyat.

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli turned up the heat on Abdul Khalid recently when he demanded an explanation from the state government on the reduction of allocation for his constituency.

In a letter dated October 22, 2013, Rafizi questioned why the Pandan constituency only received RM75,000 for an eight-month period, from May 2013 to end of the year.

He said the allocation was half of the amount set aside for the Kuala Selangor constituency.

Earlier, Oposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised Abdul Khalid openly at a forum in Petaling Jaya.

Anwar said it was pointless to be parsimonious when there were many areas where money needed to be spent.

The PKR de-facto leader also praised Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for managing the state in a balanced manner.